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View Full Version : Where did all the studebakers on the east coast vanish too?



Restobaker
11-12-2015, 03:21 PM
So I've been trying to find a parts car for my 61 lark project but have come up short.... So my question is where did they all go ? Did they just all rust away in yards and barns ?

Bud
11-12-2015, 03:26 PM
I'm thinking that the years of bad weather and salt took their toll on most of the old cars on the east coast. I remember when I was a kid and living on Long Island, N.Y. cars started to deteriorate in 4 or 5 years due to the weather and rock salt. There are parts cars in the western states, but the people that have them want too much money for them because they are old cars and must be worth a bunch of money. Bud

57pack
11-12-2015, 03:42 PM
My neigbor in New Jersey purchased a new 1957 Ford Fairlane 500, beautiful car. By 1960 the headlights were falling out beacause of rust.:(

Robert Crandall
11-12-2015, 04:20 PM
I don't think they were ever here. I was in high school in 1972 when my dad, who would not let me get a car, relented when his friend offered 2 Studebakers that did not run for $15 apiece. I had never heard of or seen a Studebaker, but I was happy to be able to have a car. None of my friends at the time had ever seen one either, but everyone's parents remembered them. I soon found some in the local salvage yards. One yard that specialized in antique cars had some C cab trucks. There were only Larks in the other yards. All were blue, white, or gray. I did not know that they made other models. I saw another one on the road back then - a green one - the only one I saw back then in a color different from the three noted above. It was ahead of me and appeared to be a 1963 or up. It was obviously a V8, 3 speed, and it was being dogged. The back squatted and smoke poured as it accelerated from a stop light. The squatting and smoking stopped between shifts then quickly resumed. I was not able to catch up to it. That was before 1980, so they have been gone from here a long time. There are some here in the club and at car shows, but to this day I have never seen another one driving on the road, except my own that I have now. I bought it in California in 1980.

karterfred88
11-12-2015, 05:17 PM
So I've been trying to find a parts car for my 61 lark project but have come up short.... So my question is where did they all go ? Did they just all rust away in yards and barns ?
Nope- in the 70's they got junked-too hard to get parts as they litterly fell apart, in the 80's they got sold as scrap to Japan, the left overs went in the 90's to China. Then, in comes the EPA or state and wants the wrecking yard's "hazardous waste" removed so out went the rest of the rusted hulks, to make room for something they could sell and make a profit. There weren't that many to start with. Go find a 61 Chevy for a parts car--probably the same problem. We, unlike the majority, still care about the old cars. So now it's up to the forum members to find you the parts you need, from warmer, drier, more friendly holding areas.

r1lark
11-12-2015, 06:13 PM
The east coast doesn't end when you get south of DC :). Still seem to be a number of them around in the Southeast.

Warren Webb
11-12-2015, 06:46 PM
My neigbor in New Jersey purchased a new 1957 Ford Fairlane 500, beautiful car. By 1960 the headlights were falling out beacause of rust.:(

You are so right Bill! Back then I helped my dad welding in patch panels on a family friends 58 Ford with it's, common to the time, rusted out fenders above the headlamps. Patch panels for that were common & easy to find. Fords seemed to rust the worst there followed by Plymouths & Dodges of that similar era.

SN-60
11-12-2015, 06:47 PM
So I've been trying to find a parts car for my 61 lark project but have come up short.... So my question is where did they all go ? Did they just all rust away in yards and barns ?

It's not so much that boneyard Studebakers have disappeared here in the northeast,...it's more that the older boneyards, which always contained a good stock of these earlier vehicles, have disappeared! :(

Skip Lackie
11-12-2015, 07:06 PM
In some states (Maryland for example) junk yards must pay a fee for every vehicle they keep for more than a certain number of days. Cars are stripped of anything valuable, kept for another 30 days or so, then scrapped.

Restobaker
11-12-2015, 07:12 PM
I'm starting to consider parting this car out and just calling it a day. I've come to the conclusion that It will be best if me and the lark parts ways. I'm not in a situation financially to continue this project(having a place to live is more important). After losing my job last mouth I realized that there are more important things then this car.

I'm going to miss the lark but I know what best for the car and I'm not that....

SN-60
11-12-2015, 07:15 PM
I'm starting to consider parting this car out and just calling it a day. I've come to the conclusion that It will be best if me and the lark parts ways. I'm not in a situation financially to continue this project(having a place to live is more important). After losing my job last mouth I realized that there are more important things then this car.

I'm going to miss the lark but I know what best for the car and I'm not that....


That's a shame about losing your job....they're not so easy to come by these days....Best of luck to you! :)

rockne10
11-12-2015, 07:20 PM
The northeast is a cauldron of Studebaker enthusiasts. The lack of parts cars in this area is because we fix them, drive them and keep them! :D

SN-60
11-12-2015, 07:29 PM
The northeast is a cauldron of Studebaker enthusiasts. The lack of parts cars in this area is because we fix them, drive them and keep them! :D

It's true!....we do DRIVE them here in New England!! :!!:.....Still, it's nice to have a parts car (or two) tucked away to 'fall back on'! ;)

STEWDI
11-12-2015, 10:55 PM
Dad's '62 GT that he bot new, needed, and got a minor body job and re-paint by '66 and needed more body work again by the fall of '68 when it was "retired" to an Aunt's barn. And it only had 56,000 miles on it.

It was sold, but because of it's completeness and low mileage it got a restoration in the late 70's and is actually still being driven in the hobby!

Rocker panels commonly rusted out in 3 or 4 years here. Fenders very shortly followed.
the only ones that survived here were the ones that were seldom driven.

56H-Y6
11-13-2015, 08:55 AM
Hi

By the early 1970's, what with the heavy use of road salt, finding a Studebaker (or most any other older make of car) without serious rust damage was quite a task. Add to that when Studebakers became orphans their resale value went to virtual zero. Dealers, whether new or used, didn't want and frequently wouldn't take them in trade. I recall seeing them for sale next to the road with near scrap prices.

Fast forward 40 to 50 years, the natural attrition of all used cars has cleared all but a few away, maybe a 1% survival rate. Finding any cars older than 30-35 years is rare in junkyards as active recyclers only keep cars from which to sell parts that are in demand, don't have time or space for dozens of old cars with low parts demand. Some keep a motley collection of whatever shows up, as long as they not too numerous, otherwise they get scrapped.

As far as trying to restore a rusty, run-down, weathered post WWII car, some advice: find the best one you can, even if its a financial stretch and even if it has to be shipped from regions of the country where old cars have survived in better condition. Unless you really enjoy the project i.e. repairing or replacing rusted sheet metal, paying for chrome plating, paint and upholstery in addition to all the mechanical rebuilding required, start with a car that simply doesn't need as much, hasn't been allowed to deteriorate. I remind myself of this all the time when some rough car comes along available, keeps me from getting 'underwater' on a project.

Good luck, not only with your job search but also finding another Studebaker that will prove an easier, but still satisfying project.

Steve

jackb
11-13-2015, 10:10 AM
there are tons of "dry" cars out there.... Might have to spend another $1000-1500. to get it in the driveway, but you'll be way ahead. Another direction (even if it sounds like ambulance or funeral home chasing) is to ask about "Studebaker Passings" . Most widows/families of past Stude owners want Uncle Harold's Lark to go to the "right" owner....Call a chapter President, some are on here.....GL

Pat Dilling
11-13-2015, 11:06 AM
Probably the ones that rust didn't get, "cash for clunkers" did. For the common person, more motivation to scrap them than keep them.

Restobaker
11-13-2015, 11:34 AM
I decided to post my car for sale here on the forum and just part ways with the old girl. if anyone is interested in a parts car let me know I'm letting her go cheap

1961 3 speed o/d 259 4 door car .....

the motor is out of the car

I have everything but the distributor and the starter ....

the car has rust that's why I'm selling it as a parts car

the frame is solid the car has all the glass intact the interior has seen better days


make me a offer I don't want to see this car go to waste just rotting away in my back yard....

wittsend
11-13-2015, 02:34 PM
I have frequented the self serve junkyards monthly most of my driving life. In the late 80's 1960's era cars were in plenitude. From 1990-1992 I was occupied with building my house and did not make my frequent visits. Two years later when I returned I was shock that the 40% inventory of 1960's cars had dropped to about 5%! Now any old car is far less than 1% of the inventory. Even the 1980's cars are getting hard to find. But, we need to remember most 80's cars are up to 35 years old now.
In 2008 I began building my Turbo Pinto with parts sourced from the 80's T-Bird Turbo Coupes. Initially it seemed like every time I went to the yards there were at least five of them. Then within a 6 month period they seemed to dry up over night. I think I've found one or two in the past four years or so. Thus, trying to find a yard with 1960's and older Studebaker parts is going to be pretty slim.

One of the issues we deal with here in California is titles for the old cars. Or, better said, the lack of titles. Old cars sit, they get 'given' to others and the titles just slip off into some crack in the ground. Unless you can find the succession of ownership, that individual is still alive (or an appointed executor)... and they are willing to sign off there are problems. About the only option is a lien sale that is a multiple month process and does nor guarantee that you will will be the party taking ownership. Craigslist California is full of cars that sit for months (maybe years) because of this. Eventually these cars find their way to the junkyard because the cost and/or trouble of obtaining ownership exceeds the value. I guess it is the proverbial mixed blessing. The opportunity to put the car on the road again is lost, but for others the car becomes "available parts."

JRoberts
11-13-2015, 05:16 PM
Paul is correct we in the southeast are on the east coast. There are always a few parts cars on local craigslists around North Carolina. A few days ago there was even a 2R available on the Monroe, NC Craigslist for free. Now for good but inexpensive examples is another thing. I have been looking for dealerships in eastern North Carolina and find there were very few. Yes, if we go back to the 1920's there are a surprising number in small towns and big cities, but not like I have heard about in other parts of the country. I just do not think Studebakers were all that popular in the southeast and thus nowadays it is difficult to find a large number of cheap parts cars and such. Still that does not mean there are some around.;)

rodnutrandy
11-13-2015, 09:24 PM
My father bought a new 64 Daytona 4 door to use on his rural route as a mail carrier. 1st new car he ever bought, Only kept it a year and traded it back to dealer for a 65 Fury III. I never asked why ,but figure it was hearing Studebaker was going out and him worried about finding parts down the road, kind of funny since parts are still being bought 50 years later!

Pat Dilling
11-14-2015, 12:31 PM
One of the issues we deal with here in California is titles for the old cars. Or, better said, the lack of titles. Old cars sit, they get 'given' to others and the titles just slip off into some crack in the ground. Unless you can find the succession of ownership, that individual is still alive (or an appointed executor)... and they are willing to sign off there are problems. About the only option is a lien sale that is a multiple month process and does nor guarantee that you will will be the party taking ownership. Craigslist California is full of cars that sit for months (maybe years) because of this. Eventually these cars find their way to the junkyard because the cost and/or trouble of obtaining ownership exceeds the value. I guess it is the proverbial mixed blessing. The opportunity to put the car on the road again is lost, but for others the car becomes "available parts."

My experience with obtaining titles in California is quite different. I even brought a car in from out of state without a valid title and just a bill of sale. I used a local registration service rather than trying to deal with the DMV myself. The one I use works with DMV on a weekly basis and knows all the rules and even more importantly, the people at DMV who also know the rules. Using their service I had a title delivered to my mail box in less than 3 weeks. Cost was about $150 plus DMV fees and sales tax. Well worth the cost in my opinion.

wittsend
11-14-2015, 05:00 PM
My experience with obtaining titles in California is quite different. I even brought a car in from out of state without a valid title and just a bill of sale. I used a local registration service rather than trying to deal with the DMV myself. The one I use works with DMV on a weekly basis and knows all the rules and even more importantly, the people at DMV who also know the rules. Using their service I had a title delivered to my mail box in less than 3 weeks. Cost was about $150 plus DMV fees and sales tax. Well worth the cost in my opinion.

Out of state cars are often less of a problem. I have a '61 Corvair station wagon that came from Michigan in the 1970's and was parked before fees were due here. Twenty years later I was told by the DMV that they took the position that the car had just entered the state as this was the first encounter with the California DMV. I was able to register the car with a Michigan Title that had been signed off on years prior.

That said from everything I have read - and that is recent you can not walk into a California DMV with a Bill of Sale and get a title. What the service might have done was contacted the last previous owner (after they did a search) and gotten them either to have applied for a duplicate title, or signed a Power of Attorney allowing the service agent to do so on their behalf. Or, the service might have run you vehicles through the lien sale process. In either case their experience is likely worth the price paid as the average person would be in a learning process. That said, if any of the cars you bought had been stolen they would have been impounded. The Bill of Sale is only a record of the person (actual or fraudulent ID-ed) you gave the money to.

So, yes, people have gotten titles with a Bill of Sale only (at the point of sale). But, in those cases there were not the hindrances that can occur. And, so getting a title with a Bill of Sale does not work in every case. I have also heard, but do not know for a fact that in California cars no longer "fall off the books." A lot of the clamping down by the Calif. DMV seems to have been in recent years. So, People who have had past experience may not find it so easy now.

Update: I did some investigating and apparently you can get a Bonded Title. This link describes the process for California. http://blog.suretysolutionsllc.com/suretynews/california-dmv-lost-title-register-a-car-without-proof-of-ownership As far as I can tell one still has to show they have exhausted all possible angles to getting a title before they can go this route. So, while the article makes it sound easy (for $100) I would read this (from bullet point #2) three times "What efforts were made to obtain original title, and why you could not obtain it" before committing to the process . I say that because it seems one can't just jump to this last resort process immediately.

Pat Dilling
11-15-2015, 11:05 AM
There was no lien or bond involved. We completed a "statement of facts" to state that the car had changed hands to the owner I purchased it from more than 15 years before, that the title was lost and that the previous owner to the current one could not be contacted. Also that the car had not been operated during that time. All of this was true. This was done within the last 3 years, so while not current, it is fairly recent. As I said I think the key is knowing what the regulations are, and dealing with DMV staff that are also familiar with them. Just walking into your local DMV may be more problematic if the persons you are dealing with do not do these things on a regular basis. I can only relate my experience and also state that I know quite a few others who have been successful.

Dick Steinkamp
11-15-2015, 11:25 AM
One of the issues we deal with here in California is titles for the old cars. Or, better said, the lack of titles....Eventually these cars find their way to the junkyard because the cost and/or trouble of obtaining ownership exceeds the value.

I don't know of any junkyard, wrecking yard, scraper that will take a vehicle without a title. I am pretty sure it is illegal anywhere. Otherwise cars would be towed off the street straight to a junkyard/scrapper en masse.

Each state is different, unfortunately, but Pat outlines the best approach. Pay to have an expert who knows the local regulations inside out and has the DMV/DOL network get the title for you. You can certainly do this yourself, but it is liable to be frustrating and unproductive.

Other options are using a title service like Broadway Title (http://www.broadwaytitle.com/) or obtaining a bonded title (http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/420008.pdf) which most states make available.

Here in Washington State, we have State run Department of License offices as well as privately run ones. I've found the privately run ones are more helpful (surprisingly enough ;)). If your state does the same, give that a try.

Restobaker
11-15-2015, 11:58 AM
All of the information here has been great but no one has truly addressed my question...

I'm aware that the east coast doesn't end at dc but not all of us have the ability to get cars 200-300 miles away from home.

Not everyone who enjoys this hobby has a lot of money, but here lately the club has made me feel like if you don't have money you don't have any business here....

Folks here always preach about reaching out to other club members , what happens when your local chapter is barley in existence?

Sorry for the rant Ive just been hitting walls every time i try make progress with the car.. I take one step forward and get pushed back five more...

Dick Steinkamp
11-15-2015, 12:30 PM
Your question was...

"So my question is where did they all go ? Did they just all rust away in yards and barns ?"

I think that was answered quite extensively, but the short answer is "yes".

It also sounds like it is a moot point. You state...

"I'm not in a situation financially to continue this project(having a place to live is more important). After losing my job last mouth I realized that there are more important things then this car.

I'm going to miss the lark but I know what best for the car and I'm not that.... "

I am sorry about your current financial situation and hope it improves for you shortly. If it does and you then want to get back into the old car hobby, keep in mind that vintage cars and parts are hard to find and can be expensive when you do. Plan accordingly.

wittsend
11-15-2015, 07:35 PM
Pat,
Let me say I found your experience encouraging. I have all the components to create an electric car. A neighbor had offered me a Fiat X-19 her sister had left on the property 20+ years ago to convert. When I contacted the DMV I was told that the only way I could get title to the car was:
1. Have the holder of the car push it out on the street.
2. Contact the city and have the car towed away.
3. After a period of time the tow company would put a lien against the car for storage fees.
4a. When the tow company attempted recovery of fees they could either attempt to sell the car - or junk it for junk prices. If they attempted to sell the car then I was one of..., well, "anyone," who could attempt to buy the car.
4b. The sister who owned the car might have paid the storage fees and retained ownership of the car. (note - the sisters whereabouts were unknown to have her get a duplicate title).

Also, at the DMV.Org site (California) this is listed under titling / Bill of sale:

Seller Requirements



Completely fill in the title and give it to the buyer, whether or not you complete a bill of sale.

A bill of sale is beneficial but not required; a properly completed title is required—period.


Buyer Requirements

Don't leave without the title. The title is the proof of ownership, not the bill of sale.



Thus, my experience. I don't dispute your experience, but I must say it is frustrating that the process seems to be relatively hidden and ambiguous to the interpretation and opinions of each DMV office. As a government agency it should not be that way.

Dick,
I've seen cars in the yards here (Calif.) with "No title" written on them. I'd assume that the car must pass some hold and discovery process before being put in the yard. I mean, if they didn't take "no title" cars (by some means) they would be backing up all over the place. How would abandoned car be disposed of???

In closing, I'm not trying to argue with folks. But what one reads at face value at the (Calif.) DMV and my phone experience with a "no title" situation did not end with results like Pat got. I'm just saying fair should be fair. If the DMV allows titling of untitled cars then the process should be spelled out specifically and every DMV office should be held accountable to follow the rule. It shouldn't fall to paying people who know the (hidden) loopholes and the discretion of individual offices.

aarrggh
11-15-2015, 07:36 PM
I just watched a metal business load six average looking Larks into a dumpster. They were sitting there about 30 or more years and he was cleaning up his pigsty lot ... Dam , i wish i had my camera with ......

Dick Steinkamp
11-15-2015, 07:59 PM
It shouldn't fall to paying people who know the (hidden) loopholes and the discretion of individual offices.

I agree. Shouldn't be. But it's the current reality unfortunately.

Misery is optional.

wlfrench
11-15-2015, 08:35 PM
Isn't there some huge junk yard out in Texas, New Mexico or somewhere in the south west that has hundreds of classic cars just baking there in the desert sun.