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Thread: '60 Lark Regal wagon.

  1. #1
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    '60 Lark Regal wagon.

    Hi! I'm new here and this is my first post! My name is Marc and I'm from Wayland, Michigan. I've never owned a Stude before (not for lack of wanting) but have had dozens of project cars, old and later model. Currently I'm trying to sell my '59 F-100 Ford. It's a cool truck but a total blown-apart restoration and, working two jobs it'll take me an eternity to finish it. That being the case, I'm after something that has fewer needs, that I can get running and driving over a summer and have some fun with! I'm looking at a '60 Lark Regal four-door wagon. The car is intact and in really decent shape, but it doesn't run. It has the 170 cubic inch flat-head six in it. The seller doesn't know anything about the car's history. It came to him with the cylinder head unbolted. I'm not sure if it had a stuck valve or if it's seized or what. I promised myself that whatever I bought next needs to at least run and move under it's own power, but I really love this little wagon!

    I guess my question is, worse case scenario if the engine was total lunch, would it be very difficult to find a replacement? Thank you from a very hopeful to be Studebaker owner! -Marc.

  2. #2
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Welcome Marc - you have posted in probably one of the best places to get questions answered about anything Studebaker on the web - so ask away.

    Those flatheads (of which 1960 was the last year) are pretty easy to find. In many cases, people will yank a good running motor and replace it with something that has more 'umph." If you luck out, you might locate a 185 cu. in. flathead that lived under the hoods of Studebakers from 1955 to 1958 - cannot remember why they went back to 170 cu. in. in 1959, but someone else can clarify.

    As far as parts go - in general there are plenty to choose from. Photos below are from Studebaker International, largest retailer of Studebaker parts out there. Photo shows NOS flatheads they have in stock.





    When you get your hands on the car, please add information to the online registry found on the forum. You can browse through and see there are a number of 4 door wagons on the list. http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...forum-registry

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  3. #3
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    Hi Marc,

    I think Studebaker International still has new 6 cyl. short blocks. That said, the Champion 6 is easy to rebuild if necessary. Also, there are used ones around. PM me if you need advice. I'm in the Kalamazoo area.

    JT

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    I have within my collection a 1960 four dr. wagon. It's completely original, but it is a V8 automatic. When I found the car it had been in a garage for 38 years. I knew what I had found and it was coming home with me. it needed an engine rebuild, but that was it. I think that if you get this little ugly duckling that you will be amazed at the response you get from the car world. In short try it you will like it, I guarantee it!-Bill

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hallabutt View Post
    I have within my collection a 1960 four dr. wagon. It's completely original, but it is a V8 automatic. When I found the car it had been in a garage for 38 years. I knew what I had found and it was coming home with me. it needed an engine rebuild, but that was it. I think that if you get this little ugly duckling that you will be amazed at the response you get from the car world. In short try it you will like it, I guarantee it!-Bill
    Thanks for the replies guys! The car in question was last plated in 1994, so it hasn't been off the road as long as some, but I'm sure it'll still need the usual things involved with bringing a vehicle out of hibernation. Fuel system gone through, brakes, etc. One of the things I love so much about it is the three-speed standard shift. I'm a stick fanatic, and thought that was really cool. The tough spot I'm in is sending my pickup down the road and getting a hold on the Studie before someone else gets her. I guess a lot of guys have responded, but so far nobody has shown up with cash. I wish I had the full amount to go at least pay for it even if I don't have room to bring it home yet. I'll keep you guys posted! -Marc.

  6. #6
    Silver Hawk Member studeclunker's Avatar
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    Best of all fortune in this Marc! The two reasons other buyers walk on this are the engine and the engine. Clear as mud right? Or perhaps not? Most people want a lot of go. Hence that little six in that heavy wagon is not what most buyers are looking for. A plus in your favour. I agree on the 185, however a V8 would make the car a lot less stressful in modern traffic. Most especially with an OverDrive transmission. If you want to change, it's not difficult to do. However you must also upgrade the front springs and brakes to match the larger engine. You should have no trouble acquiring either the 185 or a 259 for this car. Parts are available to fix the original engine and all other systems on the car. All the best!
    Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
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    Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

  7. #7
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    Update 2/7/19: The truck went to a new home on the Eastern side of Mich this morning. I've now got garage space and some $$$$! Over this coming week I'm going to clean the garage (which at this point is getting done annually, not as often as I'd like) and then get a plan in motion to get the Stude home. I'm so excited!

    To start with, I'm planning to try and make the 170 run and get the car in driving condition. Down the road I'd like to make a solid driver out of it, so it may get an increase in displacement or a V8 swap eventually. I definitely want to keep the manual trans though. Perhaps a 4-speed swap though? We'll see. The first victory will be getting her home.

  8. #8
    President Member thunderations's Avatar
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    Best trans option for cruising is a 3 speed W/OD, especially if you stay with a 6. Going to a V8 will also mean updated brakes, suspension and rear end, but with a V8 an automatic is a good option too.
    1966 Daytona (The First One)
    1950 Champion Convertible
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    1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
    1957 Thunderbird

  9. #9
    President Member Michidan's Avatar
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    Hi Marc - I'm also in the kalamazoo area. I'm guessing you were looking at the pale green wagon I've seen on craigslist this winter? A lot of neat potential in that car.
    You clearly want to get it running and then fix it up as a driving project. If that 6 cyl spins freely than it's a good plan. Parts are not hard to come by. If it is locked up, I also don't think you will have trouble sourcing a new 6 or even exploring the V8 options. You came to the right place by posting here.

  10. #10
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Welcome and congrats on the potential purchase, Marc. You've got some sound advice above.

    'First order of business, as you suggest, is to get the 170 engine running and see what you have. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

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    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  11. #11
    President Member thunderations's Avatar
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    Marc, do a little research and find a good running 170 or better yet, a 185 to slide into wagon. You will be money and a lot of time ahead. So many flat head 6's have been removed for more powerful drivetrains that you should be able to find one with tranny, or at least the bellhousing. That will save you from needing to dial in your existing bellhousing to a different engine. While locating an engine, go ahead and replace/repair the brake and fuel system.

    If you were to find a running V8 donor car to get an engine/trans, it would have the suspension, motor mounts, linkages, radiator, brakes and rear end to update your wagon. That's always a good way to go to make sure you have all the oddball parts needed for the swap plus any other parts you might need for your new wagon.

    Good luck.
    1966 Daytona (The First One)
    1950 Champion Convertible
    1950 Champion 4Dr
    1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
    1957 Thunderbird

  12. #12
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    go ahead and buy a NOS fitted block from Studebaker International....if you can get someone on the phone these days...By 1960, most highways were 70 MPH + and that little, old 6 banger from Studebaker was way beyond it's functional life. Most likely you'll get it running after you install a new head and gasket (less planing), then find that compression is around 50 - 70 in all cylinders. Some of the pistons will be cracked and the lifter bores will only take reaming and re-fit with .001/.005 or more if you can find them..... Oil Consumption will deflate your expectations of economy and value.... and try going up any hill. Your new block will come sealed in cosmoline, will simply require a good shop degrease and fully clean it. Use your shafts or buy new, re-align for your bell, and find the OD tranny if you don't have one now. MHO = don't throw bad $$$ after good....GL

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys! Had a couple more questions. 1st, does anyone know what the weight is for this car? Going to have to rent a dolly or trailer to go get it, and I'm sure Uhaul's specs don't go back that far. I'll have to compare it to a more modern vehicle weight wise. Second, for the initial 'get it running' effort, what other year 170s will interchange?

    Michidan, yup it's the darker green '60 from FB marketplace, with the NOS front fenders, rockers, and driver's door.

  14. #14
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Factory shipping weight was 2800. Might want to get all four wheels off the ground to transport - don’t know what might happen dragging half the car down the highway...

    With the correct mounts, think any of the 170s would fit where the original engine sits.

    Good luck.

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    Thanks 62Champ! Thankfully it's a very short trip from where the car is to my home, but yes I'd much rather get it all the way off the ground. I'll have to see what I can line up. Thanks again! -Marc.

  16. #16
    Silver Hawk Member studeclunker's Avatar
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    Best of all good fortune in your acquisition, Marc.

    Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
    K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
    Ron Smith
    Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

  17. #17
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    Well I've got a trailer rented, garage cleaned out, and moving day is next Wed. Can't wait! One more question: Does anyone know what the stock wheel size and backspacing is for this car? Most pictures I've seen look like 15" wheels, yet I swear this car had 13s or 14s on it when I went to look. Thanks as always! -Marc.

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