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60ragtop
09-25-2012, 10:02 AM
The December 2012 edition of this magazine contains an interview with Del Coates, a designer who worked for S-P in 1957 and early 1958. He was laid off in April '58. He talks about working for Duncan McRae and with Virgil Exner, Jr on the design of the '59 Lark, the dual headlight nacelles on the '58s and so on. The article includes sketches he did for full size Packards and Studebakers before that program was killed. I hadn't seen these before. One claim he makes is that apparently some time in late '57 a Chrysler designer who was looking for a job provided McRae and another designer pictures of a clay model of the '60 Valiant, and that immediately McRae started working on a Lark design with a Valiant like front end and would beat Chrysler to the punch by a year. Who knows for sure? I always thought the '59-'61 Lark grille was Hawk inspired but there is a close resemblance to the Valiant front end. Anyway, an interesting read and fairly detailed. I have a subscription and got the mag last week. Not sure when its going to be on the newstand racks.

ddub
09-25-2012, 10:53 AM
And it has a nice photo article on a 54 Conestoga.

60ragtop
09-25-2012, 11:40 AM
And it has a nice photo article on a 54 Conestoga.

Yep. Owned by Malcolm Stinson according to the article. Was that the one at SB?

deco_droid
09-25-2012, 12:34 PM
I saw that article as well. Apparently there was a lot of design "borrowing" back then. I would imagine there is a lot tighter security now that prevents designers from just "sneaking in" another manufacturer's design studios. Never heard that about the Lark, but then I'm not really a big Lark fan...

studegary
09-25-2012, 01:15 PM
The December 2012 edition of this magazine contains an interview with Del Coates, a designer who worked for S-P in 1957 and early 1958. He was laid off in April '58. He talks about working for Duncan McRae and with Virgil Exner, Jr on the design of the '59 Lark, the dual headlight nacelles on the '58s and so on. The article includes sketches he did for full size Packards and Studebakers before that program was killed. I hadn't seen these before. One claim he makes is that apparently some time in late '57 a Chrysler designer who was looking for a job provided McRae and another designer pictures of a clay model of the '60 Valiant, and that immediately McRae started working on a Lark design with a Valiant like front end and would beat Chrysler to the punch by a year. Who knows for sure? I always thought the '59-'61 Lark grille was Hawk inspired but there is a close resemblance to the Valiant front end. Anyway, an interesting read and fairly detailed. I have a subscription and got the mag last week. Not sure when its going to be on the newstand racks.


The way that Exner Jr. tells it is that he went to visit his father, Exner Sr. at Chrysler. Exner Jr. saw the design for the Falcon (later became the Valiant) [another story]. Exner Jr. brought these ideas, especially the grille, back to Studebaker for the Lark.

deco_droid
09-25-2012, 01:30 PM
The December 2012 edition of this magazine contains an interview with Del Coates, a designer who worked for S-P in 1957 and early 1958. He was laid off in April '58. He talks about working for Duncan McRae and with Virgil Exner, Jr on the design of the '59 Lark, the dual headlight nacelles on the '58s and so on. The article includes sketches he did for full size Packards and Studebakers before that program was killed. I hadn't seen these before. One claim he makes is that apparently some time in late '57 a Chrysler designer who was looking for a job provided McRae and another designer pictures of a clay model of the '60 Valiant, and that immediately McRae started working on a Lark design with a Valiant like front end and would beat Chrysler to the punch by a year. Who knows for sure? I always thought the '59-'61 Lark grille was Hawk inspired but there is a close resemblance to the Valiant front end. Anyway, an interesting read and fairly detailed. I have a subscription and got the mag last week. Not sure when its going to be on the newstand racks.

I also found it interesting the story of how a 12-year old decided where the Lark badge should be placed on the car. With many of these guys gone or memory fading, who knows the actual truth, but as stated, very good article -- but then CA always has outstanding articles.

56H-Y6
09-26-2012, 07:54 AM
Hi

Does the article include his renderings for the '59 Packard? I've had a brief look at them, imho, not real attractive but period consistent.

Steve

55s
12-10-2012, 06:16 PM
Yes, there is quite a resemblance between Larks and Valiants.

One of the travel games that we used to play 50 years ago as a family in the car was called "Studebaker."

First one to see a Studebaker got a point. It it was a Valiant, and the person had called a Studebaker, the person would lose a point.

In those days, the points scored was quite high - the winner would usually have about 20 Studebakers after about an hour of the game. (counting Chevs or Fords would have been impossible)

My dad, as a salesman who travelled throughout Ontario, knew where many of these cars lived, so he would be quite the contender.

I think he also kept track of all of them for future consideration/purchase.