View Full Version : Studebakers at the California Auto Museum # 3

12-30-2010, 08:07 AM
Third instalment of seven. Check out the others if you havent already. The display will be in place on Sunday January second. It will be there for the month of January. Check it out if you are going to be in Sacramento.


As the Detroit “Big Three” were making cars bigger and bigger in the late 1950s, Studebaker saw the need for more compact and economical cars. While the 1959 model year cars had some of the biggest fins and longest wheelbases, Studebaker introduced its compact Lark line of cars.

Studebaker was struggling once again and the Lark was a huge success for the company. The brainchild of Studebaker-Packard President Harold Churchill, the bottom line results were a $41.8 million dollar turnaround for Studebaker. All of this was accomplished without having to invest in a completely new car.

Although the car looked completely new, it was essentially a 1958 sedan with a shorter front and rear end. The end result was a compact car with a full size interior.

The car was so successful, the “Big Three” were quick to put their Corvair, Falcon, and Valiants into production by the next model year.

While the Lark was a very cool car for its day, the only way to make it cooler would be to offer it in a convertible.
1960 was the second year of production of the Lark. The convertible model was introduced this year. This was the first convertible manufactured by Studebaker since 1952.
The 1960 Lark was available with a 259.2 cubic inch V-8 or a 169.6 cubic inch L-head six. This was the last year the L-head six was used. Originally introduced in 1939, the flathead six served Studebaker well for 21 years. The next year the engine was converted to overhead valves.
Perry’s (or should I say Betty’s) Lark convertible is about as cool as they get. Perry also serves the Studebaker Drivers Club as an occasional judge so this car is in pristine condition.
As you can see.

12-30-2010, 08:40 AM
Too Cool! Can't make it to Sacramento, so thanks for the virtual tour:)

Bob Bryant
12-30-2010, 09:33 AM
Excuse my foggy memory, but back in my college days a frat brother from South Bend was given a new light green Lark convertible by his father. My wife-to-be and I doubled with Bill and his date went to Indianapolis from Muncie for what was known as state day when all of the chapters in the state convened (and partied). I think this event was in May, 1959. My first ride in a Studebaker cnvt. Is that possible? Were the 1960 models out that early?

Lou Van Anne
12-30-2010, 10:13 AM
Jon, You do excellent work! You deserve a raise.
Lou Van Anne

12-30-2010, 10:31 AM
Jon, You do excellent work! You deserve a raise.
Lou Van Anne

Thanks Lou..... Just so you know, the club doubles my salary every year!

01-02-2011, 04:50 PM
bumping it up

01-02-2011, 04:51 PM
bumping it up