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View Full Version : Still looking for a restored 1961 Lark hardtop



barnlark
09-23-2008, 09:20 PM
I met a couple at Lancaster who are interested in a hardtop of the '61 Lark vintage. They aren't into a project, they would like instant driving pleasure in a car that has been safely and professionally finished. Maybe a 2 door sedan as a second choice. No color preference that I remember, but I can ask. Just trying to help, not trying to make money here. Anyone have a car for these two nice, retired, future SDCers and former 1961 Lark first daters [?]

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/DSCN0753.jpg

bams50
09-23-2008, 09:36 PM
Sorry, I didn't answer this in your e-mail[:I] I'll keep an eyeball peeled[8D]

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

Roscomacaw
09-23-2008, 10:25 PM
I'm waiting to hear back about a 61 hardtop. Not restored, but driveable.

Miscreant Studebaker nut in California's central valley.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

barnlark
09-23-2008, 10:34 PM
Ok, Bob. They want it nice. I will try to convince them solid is good and go from there and fix it up to their needs. Any pictures will obviously help. Thanks

Roscomacaw
09-23-2008, 11:15 PM
I'll call again this week. ;)

Miscreant Studebaker nut in California's central valley.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

barnlark
09-24-2008, 10:15 PM
Thanks, SB. They are excited to find a car but will wait for the right one. Their heart is set on a '61 J body.

barnlark
09-25-2008, 07:27 AM
I'm surprised I haven't heard about more decent tips on this. I don't think I've ever seen a 61 hardtop in person, but there has to be one out there for sale.

54-61-62
09-25-2008, 09:43 AM
I've only ever seen one for sale, Anne Goodman here on the forum had it. I've seen lots of 61 4drs and currently now own one again, but 61 J bodies seem to have dropped off the face of the earth.

mbstude
09-25-2008, 11:03 AM
I know of one in a Florida boneyard, but it's beyond restoring. It's the only one I've seen in person.

Matthew Burnette
Hazlehurst, GA

barnlark
09-25-2008, 11:12 AM
That bad? Any pictures?

mbstude
09-25-2008, 11:31 AM
Here's the only one I could find.

It's been sitting in these woods for as long as I can remember. Mother nature has really taken its toll on it. And more than likely, if it was in nice shape before it was dragged in here, it would've been restored. ;)


http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk179/1959S2D/lark.jpg

Matthew Burnette
Hazlehurst, GA

barnlark
09-25-2008, 11:44 AM
Sad, but I've seen worse. Can't tell from that how bad, but you're right; in there for a reason.

lstude
09-25-2008, 12:16 PM
There was one at an auction near Carlisle, PA in 2003. There were over 100 Studebakers, but most of them brought $15.00 to $20.00 to a junk man who was going to crush them. I don't know if this one was bought by a restorer.

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q8/LHSJR/2003AuctionnearCarlisle61Lark.jpg



Leonard Shepherd
http://leonardshepherd.com/

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q8/LHSJR/MyStudebakernobackgroundsm.jpg

barnlark
09-25-2008, 03:52 PM
Leonard, I think that's what I meant by "I've seen worse." ;) Pretty rough. Someone has to have a 2 door sedan at the very least that's presentable, I'm hoping.

Steve T
09-25-2008, 07:05 PM
Interesting...one would think that it would be the HTs and droptops that would have survived in proportionally the greatest numbers, being generally seen as more desirable than sedans. I've never thought about it, really, but thinking about it now, I believe I've never seen a 61 Lark HT or convertible. There is a '61 Lark VIII in the local group which I have heard may be for sale soon, but it is a 4-door. (I've posted pix of it on here before.) '62s seem plentiful enough (one of the local ones being mine), but even at the Zone Meet I don't think I saw even one '61 Lark. Hmm!

S.

lstude
09-25-2008, 08:49 PM
There was a beautiful 61 Lark convertible at Lancaster.

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q8/LHSJR/Lancasterlark61.jpg

And there was a 61 Lark hardtop Skytop for sale at Hershey in 2001. The just wanted $10,000 for it. I would have bought it, if I had the money.

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q8/LHSJR/61LarkSkytopHershey2001.jpg

And a few years before that, there was a 61 Lark hardtop for sale at Hershey for $4,500.00

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q8/LHSJR/61LarkhardtopatHershey.jpg

Maybe one will show up this fall.


Leonard Shepherd
http://leonardshepherd.com/

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q8/LHSJR/MyStudebakernobackgroundsm.jpg

fstst56
09-25-2008, 10:11 PM
I went to a Zone meet in Wisconsin just a few years ago.
There was a perfect '61 2-dr HT there.
It was kind of a brown color.
Anyone remember the car?
Don't know if it would be for sale or not, but you can always ask.

54-61-62
09-25-2008, 10:18 PM
Just got to thinking about it and I believe somebody showed me pictures of a 61 hardtop lark six that was for sale at reedsville or york last year. I seem to recall that the car had MD plates on it if my memory is accurate about the pic I saw.

barnlark
09-25-2008, 10:29 PM
Thanks guys..wish some were newer sightings. Those all are really nice looking cars and would be great for them. That blue convertible was really something at Lancaster. Local 61 Lark aficionado, Ted Hurd has a sweet convertible, too.

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/DSCN0541.jpg

barnlark
09-25-2008, 10:33 PM
54-61-62, If you could track that down, I would be most appreciative. That would be a reasonable get for them. They are 30 miles from the Poconos.

bams50
09-25-2008, 11:07 PM
Only one I remember at York was a brown one driven in by a young guy. Kind of rough, not for sale. Here it is:

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a243/bams50/York%2008/York08087.jpg

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a243/bams50/York%2008/York08086.jpg

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

barnlark
09-26-2008, 05:58 AM
My guess is he might have been parts searching for one of those darn tail lights. ;) Not a fan of that color, whatever it may have been, but it still looks solid.

barnlark
10-01-2008, 06:16 AM
I have received some pictures of some cars without contact names, but am still looking for a nice '61 hardtop for sale for the couple visiting Lancaster. They have their hearts set on a hardtop and a restored one at that, so any more leads would be most appreciated, thanks.

BobPalma
10-01-2008, 07:35 AM
:)[V] It's a fairly small pool, Dave. Here are 1961 J-Body (2-door hardtop) production figures:

V-8s: 1,666

Sixes: 1,870

Sixes are more prevalent because it was the first year OHV and much was being made about what a performer it was...and, compared with 1960 sixes, it was! Also, the brochure and early-model press releases made frequent use of a 1961 Regal Six hardtop in that putrid brown P6118 Autumn Haze[xx(], so the 1961 Lark Six hardtop was out in front of the public as "the" 1961 model.

But, production-wise, Studebaker suffered in 1961 as the Big Three ramped up even more compacts in Buick-Olds-Pontiac lines, Dodge Lancer, Mercury Comet, et al. Big Three dealers who added Studebaker in 1959 to get an early compact car were quick to either quit promoting the Lark, or even the franchise altogether, as soon as their bread-and-butter lines had their own compacts. That was too bad, because the 1961 Lark had a myriad of needed improvements and modernizations over earlier cars.

So, 3,536 is not a lot of cars almost 50 years out. I hope your contact folks are willing to pay for a nice one if you scare one up. I'm not aware of any or I'd pass the information along. If they find a nice one anywhere near a reasonable price, advise them to not reject it on the color or other details, hoping to later find something more to their liking...they probably won't! :DBP

barnlark
10-01-2008, 07:54 AM
I think they will take any color, even the one you pointed out, as long as it's a clean and serviceable car. We often see preferences for colors by SDC members that are not loved by all, but this particular model holds a place in their hearts, so I think while they are willing to pay for the exact model they desire, I also don't want to have a part in seeing them get taken advantage of either. There seems to be some of those cars still out there in nice color combos and condition, as observed above in this thread, so it's just a matter of the Forum members getting the word out to their local chapter and checking the newsletters ads. There a lot of quiet owners who don't always show up until they want to sell a car, so keep your eyes open folks. [8D]

8E45E
10-01-2008, 08:00 AM
quote:Originally posted by BobPalma

:)[V] It's a fairly small pool, Dave. Here are 1961 J-Body (2-door hardtop) production figures:

V-8s: 1,666

Sixes: 1,870

Sixes are more prevalent because it was the first year OHV and much was being made about what a performer it was...and, compared with 1960 sixes, it was! Also, the brochure and early-model press releases made frequent use of a 1961 Regal Six hardtop in that putrid brown P6118 Autumn Haze[xx(], so the 1961 Lark Six hardtop was out in front of the public as "the" 1961 model.

But, production-wise, Studebaker suffered in 1961 as the Big Three ramped up even more compacts in Buick-Olds-Pontiac lines, Dodge Lancer, Mercury Comet, et al. Big Three dealers who added Studebaker in 1959 to get an early compact car were quick to either quit promoting the Lark, or even the franchise altogether, as soon as their bread-and-butter lines had their own compacts. That was too bad, because the 1961 Lark had a myriad of needed improvements and modernizations over earlier cars.

So, 3,536 is not a lot of cars almost 50 years out. I hope your contact folks are willing to pay for a nice one if you scare one up. I'm not aware of any or I'd pass the information along. If they find a nice one anywhere near a reasonable price, advise them to not reject it on the color or other details, hoping to later find something more to their liking...they probably won't! :DBP


That's rather interesting, as those 'other' new compacts aside from the Valiant/Lancer didn't have a 2 door hardtop until 1962 or '63. Do you have the Hamilton figures for hardtops handy, Bob?

Craig

BobPalma
10-01-2008, 08:29 AM
:) No, Craig; I don't. Those figures are from The Standard Catalog of American Cars and do not include Canadian-produced vehicles from any manufacturer I know of. Given the realities of the 1961 model year, I'd be surprised if Studebaker of Canada built even 1,000 J-body Larks, both engines combined, in 1961. But that's just a guess; I'd like to be proven wrong! :DBP

barnlark
10-01-2008, 11:55 AM
As few as the production numbers of Packard Hawks and the number of those for sale lately, I was hoping those Lark hardtops were still for sale somewhere, too. How's that for an apples and oranges analogy? ;)[:o)] That's one thing about this club, though, you just never know who's saved a good one and had taken care of it like family, regardless of the rarity.

studegary
10-01-2008, 02:30 PM
quote:Originally posted by Steve T

Interesting...one would think that it would be the HTs and droptops that would have survived in proportionally the greatest numbers, being generally seen as more desirable than sedans. I've never thought about it, really, but thinking about it now, I believe I've never seen a 61 Lark HT or convertible. There is a '61 Lark VIII in the local group which I have heard may be for sale soon, but it is a 4-door. (I've posted pix of it on here before.) '62s seem plentiful enough (one of the local ones being mine), but even at the Zone Meet I don't think I saw even one '61 Lark. Hmm!

S.


When you talk about proportions, keep in mind that there were 50,179 sedans (two & four door) and only 3536 hardtops and 1981 convertibles for the 1961 model year. This works out to 14.2 sedans for every hardtop.

I like '61 Larks and have owned a Regal four door sedan, a Deluxe two door sedan and a hardtop (all Regals). All of these were 259 V8s and the hardtop was a Skytop.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

SDC member since 1968
Studebaker enthusiast much longer

BobPalma
10-01-2008, 02:44 PM
quote:Originally posted by barnlark

As few as the production numbers of Packard Hawks and the number of those for sale lately, I was hoping those Lark hardtops were still for sale somewhere, too. How's that for an apples and oranges analogy? ;)[:o)] That's one thing about this club, though, you just never know who's saved a good one and taken care of it like family, regardless of the rarity.


:) Watch your snail-mail, Dave. Earlier today, I dropped you some info about a nice ('wouldn't mind having it myself!) 1961 Regal V-8 hardtop still in the hands of the original owners[:0]. Seriously. I do not know the people well and have no idea if it is for sale (or could be), so I obviously wouldn't post the information.

I did supply you their name / address / phone number, though, should you want to make a polite [I trust!] inquiry. Having finally met you in Lancaster[^], you seemed to be the type of fellow who would handle the situation respectfully.;):) Thanks. :DBP

bams50
10-01-2008, 03:09 PM
You??? Saying "Snail-mail"????[V]

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

BobPalma
10-01-2008, 03:22 PM
quote:Originally posted by bams50

You??? Saying "Snail-mail"????[V]

Robert (Bob) Andrews

[:0]:D UH-OH; I forgot! I'm in deep do-do. Sorry, Bob.

I meant to say: "Dave, carefully observe the speedy delivery to be tendered by The United States Postal Service to your home mailing address, wherein you may expect to promptly receive from me a personal communication."

Is that better, Bob?

Whew! That was close! :D;):D:)[8D]:DBP

barnlark
10-01-2008, 03:40 PM
Thanks to both Bobs! One for sending me mail and the other for being part of a national effort to get it to me. [^]...and just when I thought there were too many Bobs. ;)[:o)]

BobPalma
10-01-2008, 06:57 PM
quote:Originally posted by barnlark
[^]...and just when I thought there were too many Bobs. ;)[:o)]

[}:)] Not a chance. We've only begun to multiply. :DBP

barnlark
10-01-2008, 09:01 PM
[}:)] Not a chance. We've only begun to multiply. :DBP


http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/1773639163_12bd963779_o.jpg

I know what you mean. ;)
Seriously, thanks for taking the time to drop what you sent in the mail, Bob. I expect an explanation of the situation in the letter when it arrives. I also expect it to be well worth a try or you wouldn't have gone the extra mile. Thank you for the extra effort. [^]

BobPalma
10-01-2008, 09:12 PM
:) Don't get too excited, Dave; it's a long shot. 1961 Lark hardtops in this car's nice condition are rare, but exactly what your folks would want. Whether the lead I gave you might be for sale, I have no idea.

Best wishes on the pursuit. If nothing else, you'll get to speak with a 1961 Lark hardtop's original owner while it is still in his posession...pretty rare in and of itself! :DBP

8E45E
10-01-2008, 09:13 PM
quote:Originally posted by barnlark

That bad? Any pictures?


One of the nicest I've ever seen is this one that was at the 1986 Pacific Can-Am Zone Meet. Can you see the three other '61 Larks in the background?[:0] All different body styles!![:0][:0]

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3217/2905589397_254a58d327_b.jpg

Craig

barnlark
10-01-2008, 09:25 PM
Red convertible, red 2 door sedan...and yellow sedan; ( 4 door, can't tell?) can't see if a wagon is maybe back there, too? Blue one between the two closest people.

8E45E
10-01-2008, 09:30 PM
quote:Originally posted by barnlark

Red convertible, red 2 door sedan...and yellow sedan; ( 4 door, can't tell?) can't see if a wagon is maybe back there, too?


Green Jade 4 door sedan immediately above the red two door sedan. The yellow one is a '55 if I remember right.

Craig

Bordeaux Daytona
10-01-2008, 09:32 PM
quote:Originally posted by fstst56

I went to a Zone meet in Wisconsin just a few years ago.
There was a perfect '61 2-dr HT there.
It was kind of a brown color.
Anyone remember the car?
Don't know if it would be for sale or not, but you can always ask.


I think it could be this car that was at a zone meet in Rockford, Illinois last year. Very nice car, can't remember who owns it but I think it won a 1st place. :)

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll176/64daytona/100_1364.jpg

barnlark
10-01-2008, 09:33 PM
"Green Jade 4 door sedan immediately above the red two door sedan. The yellow one is a '55 if I remember right."


I choked on that one. I thought the jade green one was a 55 sedan instead. The yellow one looked like it had the regal chrome c pillar to me.

barnlark
10-01-2008, 09:45 PM
Bordeaux..not sure if it's the different light for the color, but that looks like this one at Lancaster..what is that brown? I don't have a 61 chip chart. I like the deluxe trim front panel on that sedan.
http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/DSCN0674.jpg

Craig, btw, that black hardtop from 1986 is exactly what they are willing to wait for if we can find one. 1986 makes that a cold case file, though! ;)

Steve T
10-01-2008, 09:49 PM
Gary--

Didn't realize the production figure discrepancy was that huge between sedans and HTs in '61...now I see why the HTs are harder to come by! Obviously there have been at least some cherished examples at meets pretty recently, though, so I guess it'll be a matter of "right place/right time" for the folks who are currently hunting for one. Around here I've only heard about one '61 possibly for sale and that one is a 4dr.

S.

8E45E
10-01-2008, 09:51 PM
quote:Originally posted by barnlark
..what is that brown?

It is the infamous Autumn Haze color. Legend has it, that color was created by mixing all the other '61 colors together.:D

Craig

barnlark
10-01-2008, 10:00 PM
A lot of other car makers in that early 60 to 62 era seemed to have that earthtone (read:mud) in their palette.