View Full Version : Other: 1959 Lark Restoration

06-22-2014, 08:54 PM
I recently purchased a 1959 Lark V8 to restore. It's in pretty bad condition with a lot of rust. This is my first restoration on any car, and I'm finding it pretty hard to find anything for this vehicle, particularly the 1959. I have found parts for a 1960 and newer using the studebaker-intl website. I found the floor panels, the trunk panel, and some of the doors and quarter panels. If anyone has any advice on good places to find parts for this car I'd be very grateful. I'm pretty sure it's going to need a new frame, and if anyone knows an interchangeable frame that would work that would be great. Any advice is appreciated!

Thanks! :)

06-22-2014, 09:13 PM

Buy the chassis parts manual and the body parts manual, and the shop manual. The parts manuals will tell you what parts interchange with other years and models. The manuals will also tell you what Studebaker called the parts, what the part numbers are, and all the Studebaker vendors use these part names and numbers.

Many parts interchange for a number of years, and many were changed every so many years.

There are almost no parts from other brands that will fit without significant modification, so try not to go down that path.

Do your research, find out what your car is, and refrain from the urge to disassemble it before putting a plan in place.

There are more parts available for this car than almost any brand X of similar vintage, so don't give up. There is a lot of good advice here, so please stop by often and see what everyone has to say.

06-22-2014, 09:18 PM
Thanks! I'll start with buying those manuals and looking more into finding more parts.

06-22-2014, 09:45 PM
Hey Kyle...welcome to the forum!:) Unless you are in the Federal Witness Protection Program...how 'bout telling us where in South Carolina you are. Although the Studebaker Drivers Club is one of the largest auto clubs...few seem to be computer savvy and use these great forums. We have a club chapter in this state.

Here is the link to our chapter's new website. I just got this and have not explored what is there. I hope it has some value for you.


Like a lot of organizations...we are a rather diverse group, with families, jobs, homes, and lives beyond our hobby calling for our time. Knowing where you are can assist in finding nearby experienced folks that could point you to resources that give you a better chance of success and an enjoyable experience. Good luck with your car and I hope to meet you soon.:)

Skip Lackie
06-23-2014, 07:20 AM
As you will see in the parts book and shop manual, there aren't a lot differences between the 59 and 60 Larks. Stude did make some cosmetic changes to the exterior and dashboard trim, but otherwise the cars are almost identical -- and many mechanical parts continued unchanged through1964. Stude sold a lot of 59 Larks, and many have been parted out -- so good used parts should be easy to find (I have several boxes of them myself).

06-23-2014, 09:14 AM
Welcome to the "family". In 2005 I purchased a 60 Lark VIII convertible project that needed lots of work. The goal was to keep the cost reasonable by using flea market parts. There are 3 GREAT Studebaker only swap meets held each year, besides the International Meet. Reedsville PA in Oct or Nov, York PA in March and South Bend IA in May. Over a 2 year period I found what I needed to get the car on the road and in the next 2 years found the NOS parts on my wish list. The car is now done and I am a happy camper. What you need is out there, have fun, and enjoy the search.

64 Daytona & 60 Lark Vii Convert

06-23-2014, 01:10 PM
Welcome to the SDC Forum!
This may come across as negative, but is meant to be constructive. Why are you restoring this particular car? It can't be a family heirloom since you just bought it. Is it all that you could afford? Do you just want to tackle a project of this magnitude and nature? You are at the beginning of a slippery slope. It will cost much more to restore this car, even not counting your labor, than it will be worth when finished. I know that it is not all about the money, but it is a consideration. There are many 1959-1960 Larks available with reasonably good bodys and frames that do not need to be replaced. Even if they cost a little bit more initially, they will be much less expensive in the long run.

06-23-2014, 01:54 PM
pinehurstbob, That's south Bend, IN. I lived in both IN and IA, both GREAT places to be.

06-23-2014, 08:11 PM
To Kyle, I repeat the welcome, and what model have you purchased? If you need a frame Tom K in South Bend has then stacked up for four doors!!! Secondly take the advice given by JClary in post 4. To Studegary I say why not? Its his car, would you not like to see another on the road? I would!! To Bhapner, Where is IA if not IN? I am just a Canuck from On that used to be Ont. before the computer took over and changed everything to 2 characters.

64 Daytona & 60 Lark V111Convert

06-23-2014, 08:32 PM
I agree with your sentiments and say to Kyle, more power to you...have fun! As for those 2-digit state codes, IA is Iowa...IN is Indiana.

06-24-2014, 05:59 AM
Jclary, I'm in the summerville region. Studegary, It's been a dream of mine to restore a car. Studebakers are beautiful cars so I figured why not restore one. I did research before I purchased it and knew it was going to be challenging, but thats where the funs at! Pinehurstbob, mine is a four door, so possibly getting a frame from Tom K would be great! Thanks for the welcome and advice everyone !

06-24-2014, 11:42 AM
Well, Kyle, you are a "flat-lander" and I am up here in the hills more than a three hour drive from you. We have some members in the Charleston, Georgetown, and Hemingway area closer to you. There was a time, when gas was cheaper, I wouldn't hesitate to drive that far to check out a Studebaker, or buy a five dollar part. Things have changed. My suggestion is to take your time and get connected through the SDC, our state chapter, and find the resources already mentioned. Proceeding from an informed perspective will give you a greater chance of enjoyment and success in the hobby. Hope you can make it to the Tri-State meet in Maggie Valley, N.C. this fall. Even if you drive a brand X car...it is a great meet.

06-24-2014, 01:09 PM
Hello Kyle,

Welcome to the forum! You will find this the place to be for in-depth information on these beloved ( sometimes hated :) ) vehicles. I was in your boat awhile back with my 1961 Lark. Although I started out with a fairly straight, rust-free California body the 1961 model is a one year oddity with a lot of exterior body pieces only for 1961. Mine is one of those "4-door cars that need to be off the road", but I never did listen to criticism all that well. Restore what you personally like, but do be cautious of how much you may have to invest in it. 1959 was one successful year for Studebaker in terms of production, and overall the best year out of the Lark series production run. My dad just recently sold his second 1959 Lark (2-door hardtop) and had a 1959 (2-door sedan) when I was growing up, they are good little cars that can be relatively easily to work on. I will keep an eye open for some 1959 lark parts over on this side of the country for you. Once you have established a list of what you need, please send me a copy and don't forget to have fun!

06-24-2014, 02:40 PM
Ill definitely keep you posted, thanks!

08-03-2014, 04:28 PM
Does anyone know of a website or somewhere that I can buy the fenders, and the front nose panel, for the 59 lark?

08-03-2014, 05:46 PM
One avenue to try are the universal search all craigslist sites. There are several. Type in 59 Lark, most of them have narrowing search buttons, so you can just look for east coast or midwest hits. Another tip I've found is, when you do do a CL search, go the beginning searchbox and type in Studebaker and see what shows. Sometimes that'll bring up secondary listings you wouldn't have initially hit on.
There is a guy in Missouri who advertises regularly in the Turning Wheels magazine. He just listed in his want ad all sorts of Lark parts and cars, fwiw, others here can comment on the seller, I just know his ad. You might also try to network with your local Pick n Pull (do you have that junkyard franchise?) and see if a yard can network for Studes for you. Be patient, but it shouldn't be too difficult to get parts for your rebuild. Enjoy the experience.
Definitely network with any local SDC club to you. It was how we got our Lark wagon last year. The power of word of mouth from people who want to get a result.