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  • My new Studebaker

    Hello everyone, I'm new to the Studebaker world. I bought a 1959 Lark VIII on 4/8 from Charlestown, Indiana. Looks like it was always an Indiana car, it has a dealer badge on the rear from "Snider Indianapolis".

    The story goes that a barn and it's contents were bought at an estate type sale by folks that ran a large flea market, the car was in the back corner of the barn covered in an inch of dust. It hasn't been plated since 1988 and it appears to be all complete and in fair shape for it's age. It came with a small plastic bag with the owners manual, accessories brochure, a bottle of touch up paint, and some receipts from the late 1970's for a battery, light bulb, etc.

    The engine is stuck at the moment, but I removed all the spark plugs and have been soaking the cylinders with a mix of transmission fluid and PB blaster since Saturday when I got it home. The crankcase was full of clean looking oil, and the radiator was full of antifreeze. I pulled a valve cover just to see what it looked like inside.... I was amazed at how clean it was. The picture is immediately after the cover came off. Fingers crossed!

    Glad to have found this website!

    Lee

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    Attached Files
    Lee
    1959 Lark VIII

  • #2
    Hello Lee,

    Welcome aboard! Looks like you have a nice first Studebaker! You will find many on this forum will provide very useful information for you during your restoration efforts. You will also find it advantageous to explore the various other sections of this forum. I am sure several other members will be around soon to welcome you and point you into the right direction for parts and advice. Again, welcome and congratulations on your new purchase!
    1947 Studebaker M-5
    1946 Studebaker M-5
    1948 Studebaker Land Cruiser
    1961 Studebaker Lark 4-dr. Sedan
    1951 Studebaker Land Cruiser

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    • #3
      Welcome! Nice car,even has AC

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      • #4
        more pictures
        Attached Files
        Lee
        1959 Lark VIII

        Comment


        • #5
          Welcome...you're going to have some fun...and spend some money, lots of money, in the process.
          Lou Van Anne
          62 Champ
          64 R2 GT Hawk
          79 Avanti II

          Comment


          • #6
            The picture of the floor mat.... can someone tell me if that's a Studebaker emblem of some type or is that a generic emblem on an aftermarket floor mat.

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            Last edited by chief915ky; 04-13-2017, 06:34 PM.
            Lee
            1959 Lark VIII

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            • #7
              Floormat is aftermarket-------- typical. An Indiana car that still has a floor to put a mat on ---------amazing. I drove a 1959 Lark many miles. Agile, economical, rugged. I loved that little car. I sold it in a moment of poor judgement, and missed
              buying it back. Twice. Hopefully that won't happen a third time. Go ahead, spend money and fix it up. You won't get it back on resale, but its better than pissing it away on lottery tickets. Have fun and drive the wheels off'n it.

              JT

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              • #8
                Originally posted by oilnsteel View Post
                Floormat is aftermarket-------- typical. An Indiana car that still has a floor to put a mat on ---------amazing. I drove a 1959 Lark many miles. Agile, economical, rugged. I loved that little car. I sold it in a moment of poor judgement, and missed
                buying it back. Twice. Hopefully that won't happen a third time. Go ahead, spend money and fix it up. You won't get it back on resale, but its better than pissing it away on lottery tickets. Have fun and drive the wheels off'n it.

                JT
                Thanks, I plan on it!
                Lee
                1959 Lark VIII

                Comment


                • #9
                  Take a look under the floor mats and see what's under there.....when I see a barn find car with snow tires still on..... I get a queasy feeling. By all means, keep this group informed... I suspect you will need us..... GL-lots of good help here...

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                  • #10
                    Lee-- Several times over the years I have been able to successfully free a stuck engine by soaking the cylinders as you are doing, but by using a 50/50 mixture of ATF and Acetone, and then, as you look under the car, many of the Flight-O-Matic transmissions have about a 3/4" hole in the bottom of the bellhousing. if yours doesn't have one, you can drill one. Using a sturdy screwdriver, use the edge of that hole to pry your screwdriver against one of the teeth of the ring gear. First go a tiny bit one way, then the other way. If it moves at all, go a little bit further each time, back and forth. You can apply pretty tremendous force this way that you could not do by using the front bolt, for example.
                    Recently used this method on a 1967 Jaguar that had been sitting 20 years. Got it running and driving just fine. And Man, it was REALLY stuck hard. Was a stick-shift, and even had tried dragging it in high gear and the tires would skid.
                    Of course, I wouldn't worry about trying this, because if this doesn't get it, that engine is going to have to come out anyway!
                    1950 Commander Land Cruiser
                    1951 Champion Business Coupe
                    1951 Commander Starlight
                    1952 Champion 2Dr. Sedan
                    1953 Champion Starlight
                    1953 Commander Starliner
                    1953 2R5
                    1956 Golden Hawk Jet Streak
                    1957 Silver Hawk
                    1957 3E5 Pick-Up
                    1959 Silver Hawk
                    1961 Hawk
                    1962 Cruiser 4 speed
                    1963 Daytona Convertible
                    1964 Daytona R2 4 speed
                    1965 Cruiser
                    1970 Avanti

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by drrotor View Post
                      Lee-- Several times over the years I have been able to successfully free a stuck engine by soaking the cylinders as you are doing, but by using a 50/50 mixture of ATF and Acetone, and then, as you look under the car, many of the Flight-O-Matic transmissions have about a 3/4" hole in the bottom of the bellhousing. if yours doesn't have one, you can drill one. Using a sturdy screwdriver, use the edge of that hole to pry your screwdriver against one of the teeth of the ring gear. First go a tiny bit one way, then the other way. If it moves at all, go a little bit further each time, back and forth. You can apply pretty tremendous force this way that you could not do by using the front bolt, for example.
                      Recently used this method on a 1967 Jaguar that had been sitting 20 years. Got it running and driving just fine. And Man, it was REALLY stuck hard. Was a stick-shift, and even had tried dragging it in high gear and the tires would skid.
                      Of course, I wouldn't worry about trying this, because if this doesn't get it, that engine is going to have to come out anyway!
                      Thanks for the advice.... I read the ATF/Acetone trick somewhere and that's what I've been soaking it with for the last 3 days. I've been bumping the starter a few times every couple hours, I read that somewhere too lol. So far it hasn't budged, but I'm still hopeful. I do have the hole in the bottom of the bellhousing that you mentioned, I will try the screwdriver. I put a dot of paint on the balancer where the pointer is pointing now, that way I can tell if it's moved at all.
                      Lee
                      1959 Lark VIII

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        V8, auto trans, A/C. That is a nice ride. Is that a factory or aftermarket A/C unit?
                        Perry
                        \'50 Business Champ,
                        \'50 Starlight Champ,
                        \'60 Lark Convertible,
                        \'63 GT R1,
                        \'67 Triumph TR4A

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fpstude View Post
                          V8, auto trans, A/C. That is a nice ride. Is that a factory or aftermarket A/C unit?
                          Thank you very much.... I'm not sure on the A/C, I suspect it's an aftermarket unit..... but it's old either way lol.

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                          Lee
                          1959 Lark VIII

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                          • #14
                            Welcome to the forum and congratulations on a nice find. We of course encourage you to join the Studebaker Drivers Club (SDC). The annual membership will be recovered many times from the good articles in the monthly Turning Wheels publication and the opportunity to participate in SDC events. Speaking of which, the International Meet is in South Bend, IN May 3-6. This will be a great opportunity to see hundreds of Studebakers (no doubt several similar to yours), meet lots of Stude Folks, and wander a great swap meet to find the things you need for your car.
                            Pat Dilling
                            Olivehurst, CA
                            Custom '53 Starlight aka STU COOL


                            LS1 Engine Swap Journal: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ournalid=33611

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pat Dilling View Post
                              Welcome to the forum and congratulations on a nice find.
                              Thank you very much!

                              Originally posted by Pat Dilling View Post
                              We of course encourage you to join the Studebaker Drivers Club (SDC).
                              Already done

                              Originally posted by Pat Dilling View Post
                              Speaking of which, the International Meet is in South Bend, IN May 3-6. This will be a great opportunity to see hundreds of Studebakers (no doubt several similar to yours), meet lots of Stude Folks, and wander a great swap meet to find the things you need for your car.
                              I will try to make it up there, it's only about 300 miles from me.
                              Lee
                              1959 Lark VIII

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