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1964 Super Lark 132 mph? Really?

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  • 1964 Super Lark 132 mph? Really?

    You've probably all seen this clip:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoDS2Vot_po

    The 1964 model year brochure states:

    "Super Series Studebakers with R/1 through R/4 engines are the newest of the really hot ones! Built for super performance! Factory equipped with rear axle radius rods, rear stabilizer bar, Twin Traction, disc brakes, HD springs and shocks all around, bucket seats, front seat belts, 4-ply tires, side and grill identification, floor carpeting. Require automatic Power Shift or 4-speed manual transmission."

    Also advertises: "130 m.p.h. / is merely incidental..."

    My question is, is that realistic? Has anyone ever driven that fast in a Super Lark (or Super Hawk for that matter) other than Andy Granatelli and his team? If a customer ordered that package (and we know a small number were so ordered), would their cars, as built, really hit 130 mph? Has it actually been confirmed on a drag strip anywhere?

  • #2
    No. Not realistic for a drag strip (1/4 mile) number.
    Land speed maybe...

    Use this calculator and plug in your real numbers. (example: 3,000# takes 515HP for a 1/4 mile trap speed of 130mph)

    http://www.1728.org/mtret.htm
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff


    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

    Comment


    • #3
      According to the Lamberti papers, it was factual: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...rs-6&styleid=1

      Craig

      Comment


      • #4
        YEP...certainly not the drag strip...but best tune performance with optimal weather conditions...flat out land speed run...possible. However, we often hear the expression "Whistling through the graveyard." Back in the day, regarding Studebaker's situation, the expression could have been better expressed as, "Whistling through I.C.U."

        What I'm wondering...did the people that got paid for these endorsement blurbs demand payment in CASH rather than accept any checks from the automotive division of Studebaker?
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes, and the article says those numbers were from Bonneville and were two way average numbers.. Not drag race numbers.


          Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
          According to the Lamberti papers, it was factual: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...rs-6&styleid=1

          Craig
          HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

          Jeff


          Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



          Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

          Comment


          • #6
            All of those record speeds were done in front of the USAC, at Bonnie, after Speed Week. It cost Studebaker $100,000 to do it. I gave Sonny the paper from the runs. He was going to put it up on the Racing Stude site.

            Comment


            • #7
              Okay, I phrased that badly. I wasn't referring to a drag strip so much as someone, somewhere getting one of these cars up to 132 mph besides Andy Granatelli's team and using a car ordered as a "super lark" or "super hawk". I'm sure the Studebaker-sponsored, Andy Granatelli team did what they say they did, probably in specially-tuned cars under ideal conditions at Bonneville Salt Flats. My question is did anyone in a car ordered as a "super X" do that or were even capable of that...not necessarily on a drag strip or in a quarter-mile?

              Comment


              • #8
                Sure, the numbers were real, no question. And the cars were "stock" right from South Bend with a minor detour through Granatelli's shop.

                Comment


                • #9
                  All you need to do is take any studebaker to a car show and you will hear all kinds of testimonials about how Studebakers were still pulling at 140...
                  How would you confirm this other than in a controlled run?
                  Rob

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by StoneDog View Post
                    You've probably all seen this clip:

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoDS2Vot_po

                    The 1964 model year brochure states:

                    "Super Series Studebakers with R/1 through R/4 engines are the newest of the really hot ones! Built for super performance! Factory equipped with rear axle radius rods, rear stabilizer bar, Twin Traction, disc brakes, HD springs and shocks all around, bucket seats, front seat belts, 4-ply tires, side and grill identification, floor carpeting. Require automatic Power Shift or 4-speed manual transmission."

                    Also advertises: "130 m.p.h. / is merely incidental..."

                    My question is, is that realistic? Has anyone ever driven that fast in a Super Lark (or Super Hawk for that matter) other than Andy Granatelli and his team? If a customer ordered that package (and we know a small number were so ordered), would their cars, as built, really hit 130 mph? Has it actually been confirmed on a drag strip anywhere?
                    My uncle bought vehicles for the State of Kansas. In 1963 he arranged for the State Police to test a supercharged Lark (R2) for possible use as a police car. The State Police clocked it at 132 mph on the Kansas Turnpike. They decided against it because it was too light to run those speeds in high wind conditions.
                    Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                    '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mapman View Post
                      All you need to do is take any studebaker to a car show and you will hear all kinds of testimonials about how Studebakers were still pulling at 140...

                      Rob
                      Yeah...I've heard those stories often through the years. Seems they usually occur in the shade, with a group occupying lawn chairs. I suspect that these are alcohol-fueled (the stories, not the cars), and when listening, if you allow the teller to notice you might be skeptical...the story is immediately retold...only louder! Sometimes it includes claims of doing unbelievable speeds in "2nd gear-overdrive"...and if you're still skeptical...a word or two about some fantastic gas mileage gets thrown in.
                      John Clary
                      Greer, SC

                      SDC member since 1975

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dang, jclary....you had to say that just as I was going to mention Daddy's 55 Champion running a little over 90 indicated in 2nd gear and slowing down when he shifted to high... Now I'm afraid to mention it, ha !

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 53k View Post
                          My uncle bought vehicles for the State of Kansas. In 1963 he arranged for the State Police to test a supercharged Lark (R2) for possible use as a police car. The State Police clocked it at 132 mph on the Kansas Turnpike. They decided against it because it was too light to run those speeds in high wind conditions.
                          Thanks, 53k, that's what I was looking for. I also find it interesting that they thought it too light to achieve that speed under non-optimal conditions. There wasn't much in the way of modern aerodynamic testing of cars in that era I suppose and the '64 Lark looked to have all the aerodynamic characteristics of a brick. Thanks for relating your information.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by StoneDog View Post
                            Thanks, 53k, that's what I was looking for. I also find it interesting that they thought it too light to achieve that speed under non-optimal conditions. There wasn't much in the way of modern aerodynamic testing of cars in that era I suppose and the '64 Lark looked to have all the aerodynamic characteristics of a brick. Thanks for relating your information.
                            Many years ago on MythBusters TV show, they were trying to attach a rocket to a car (old Plymouth Fury?) and were concerned with the car lifting off the ground at high speed. There was a clip on that show with them talking to Andy Granatelli talking about the Bonneville runs and the Avanti at a high speed becoming light but not airborne. I wish I could find that clip as it was brief but it did show some speed runs with the Avanti.

                            Bob Miles

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              IIRC, the R2 Lark was a convertible and the top balooned substantially at 132 MPH; maybe an aero benefit.

                              What I remember really difficult to believe was they ran an OHV6 up to 105 MPH.

                              jack vines
                              PackardV8

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