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  • To restore or re-paint - that is the question

    I have owned a 60 Lark VIII convertible for several years. I enjoy driving it each summer in nice weather. The car is in good mechanical condition and runs OK. Probably could use valve guides as she smokes when first started after sitting for a while.

    But the time has come for new paint at the very least. The car has a fair amount of rust in the usual places including the undercarriage. But she looks good from far (but is far from good!).

    So, I face the usual dilemma as to go the inexpensive route and just repair the rust on the body and re-paint. Or to do an extensive frame off job to properly fix the undercarriage and do it up nice. I am sure the frame-to-body mounts are all rusted out. The interior is in decent condition, but all pot metal needs to be re-plated both in and out. The original 259 V8 has been replaced with a 289 from a 62. Has anyone done a frame off on one of these cars recently and what do you think it might cost if I go that route? I figure at least $30,000 and of course that is probably more than the car is worth once completed.

    Any and all opinions as to which way to go would be appreciated.



    Ready for trip to the beach!


  • #2
    If it was me and I had the $$$ and was willing to spend what it costs, I'd go ahead and do it right.

    __________________________________

    Matthew Burnette
    Hazlehurst, Georgia
    '59 Scotsman PU
    '63 Daytona HT


    http://mbstudebaker.blogspot.com/


    Comment


    • #3
      If it was me and I had the $$$ and was willing to spend what it costs, I'd go ahead and do it right.

      __________________________________

      Matthew Burnette
      Hazlehurst, Georgia
      '59 Scotsman PU
      '63 Daytona HT


      http://mbstudebaker.blogspot.com/


      Comment


      • #4
        Jeff, I own a similar car. I have the good fortune of it having been a California car - probably since new, but AT LEAST for the last 30 years for sure. It's had some rust issues nonetheless and I've addressed them thru the 27 years that I've owned it.
        This car was a 6 when I got it and I changed it to an 8 early on. In the process of that change, I redid everything in the suspension as well as the things that had to be changed to accomodate the switch to a V8. And at that, it's on it's second paint job and 2nd or 3rd top now.
        I marvel at the perfect examples that garner close to 400 points when judged. Truth is, the concensus here is that those cars are actually OVER-restored. That's to say, they surely didn't come out the factory doors that perfect![}]

        Our Lark? It's a nice shiny driver. It's gotten a 2nd and a 3rd in light competition and at that, the only reason it got judged at ALL was my desire to participate in everything that the sponsoring chapter went to great lenghts to provide. I really didn't care HOW it scored because I LIKE the car and it gives ME/US pleasure to drive it. On that point of consideration alone, it's fine just like it is - and it DOESN'T get pampered treatment by any means.
        If it were mine (your Lark), I'd make efforts to halt the rust, keep it running nice and enjoy it.
        On the other hand.... if trophies and high scoring judging sheets are what make your chest puff out, then strip that baby as far down as you feel comfortable with and build it back new.
        Of course, it SOUNDS like you're talking about a "checkbook restoration". One where the folks supplying the muscle and sweat will send you a monthly bill for resto progress ( a SCARY thought for me because I've heard of TOO many horror stories when you just hand off a car for a fountain-of-youth treatment!). If that's the case - given today's prices - your guesstimate of $30K is probably on the lean side. Meanwhile, your value when finished is probably selling your car short a bit. There was a Jonquil Yellow 60 ragtop that recently got snapped up on ebay for $19K! - and it was FAR from perfect althought it LOOKED right nice from 5 feet or so.
        With a little luck, my ragtop will outlive me. I'll leave it up to the next "guardian" to make it purrfect if he so desires.

        Miscreant adrift in
        the BerStuda Triangle


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

        No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

        Comment


        • #5
          Jeff, I own a similar car. I have the good fortune of it having been a California car - probably since new, but AT LEAST for the last 30 years for sure. It's had some rust issues nonetheless and I've addressed them thru the 27 years that I've owned it.
          This car was a 6 when I got it and I changed it to an 8 early on. In the process of that change, I redid everything in the suspension as well as the things that had to be changed to accomodate the switch to a V8. And at that, it's on it's second paint job and 2nd or 3rd top now.
          I marvel at the perfect examples that garner close to 400 points when judged. Truth is, the concensus here is that those cars are actually OVER-restored. That's to say, they surely didn't come out the factory doors that perfect![}]

          Our Lark? It's a nice shiny driver. It's gotten a 2nd and a 3rd in light competition and at that, the only reason it got judged at ALL was my desire to participate in everything that the sponsoring chapter went to great lenghts to provide. I really didn't care HOW it scored because I LIKE the car and it gives ME/US pleasure to drive it. On that point of consideration alone, it's fine just like it is - and it DOESN'T get pampered treatment by any means.
          If it were mine (your Lark), I'd make efforts to halt the rust, keep it running nice and enjoy it.
          On the other hand.... if trophies and high scoring judging sheets are what make your chest puff out, then strip that baby as far down as you feel comfortable with and build it back new.
          Of course, it SOUNDS like you're talking about a "checkbook restoration". One where the folks supplying the muscle and sweat will send you a monthly bill for resto progress ( a SCARY thought for me because I've heard of TOO many horror stories when you just hand off a car for a fountain-of-youth treatment!). If that's the case - given today's prices - your guesstimate of $30K is probably on the lean side. Meanwhile, your value when finished is probably selling your car short a bit. There was a Jonquil Yellow 60 ragtop that recently got snapped up on ebay for $19K! - and it was FAR from perfect althought it LOOKED right nice from 5 feet or so.
          With a little luck, my ragtop will outlive me. I'll leave it up to the next "guardian" to make it purrfect if he so desires.

          Miscreant adrift in
          the BerStuda Triangle


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

          No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

          Comment


          • #6
            quote:Originally posted by Lark289

            I am sure the frame-to-body mounts are all rusted out.
            If the rust is as bad as you say it , I would have to repair that section of the car if for nothing else than the saftey issue's that arise in the case of a fender bender. I guess the question is how much do you want to spend. [V]

            Randy_G
            South Bend or Bust 2007!
            God I miss chrome on cars.
            www.AutomotiveHistoryOnline.com

            Comment


            • #7
              quote:Originally posted by Lark289

              I am sure the frame-to-body mounts are all rusted out.
              If the rust is as bad as you say it , I would have to repair that section of the car if for nothing else than the saftey issue's that arise in the case of a fender bender. I guess the question is how much do you want to spend. [V]

              Randy_G
              South Bend or Bust 2007!
              God I miss chrome on cars.
              www.AutomotiveHistoryOnline.com

              Comment


              • #8
                They come apart LOT quicker, easier, and cheaper, than they ever go back together! <G> I presently own 5 Studes that the owners had disassembled to varying degrees, with the thought of restoring, but eventually ended up giving up on, and sold to me as "parts cars" for a small fraction of what they would have brought if they had been left together as running vehicles.
                I'd advise that you tackle just one project at a time, fix the bad spots in the floors one by one, just don't disassemble it all into what will only be a "parts car".
                When you get all those minor restoration issues taken care of one by one, you will be in much better control the quality of work on each individual project, and you will be able to continue to use and enjoy it as you progress, a final total restoration will then cost you less, likely be of better quality, and will proceed at a much faster pace.

                Comment


                • #9
                  They come apart LOT quicker, easier, and cheaper, than they ever go back together! <G> I presently own 5 Studes that the owners had disassembled to varying degrees, with the thought of restoring, but eventually ended up giving up on, and sold to me as "parts cars" for a small fraction of what they would have brought if they had been left together as running vehicles.
                  I'd advise that you tackle just one project at a time, fix the bad spots in the floors one by one, just don't disassemble it all into what will only be a "parts car".
                  When you get all those minor restoration issues taken care of one by one, you will be in much better control the quality of work on each individual project, and you will be able to continue to use and enjoy it as you progress, a final total restoration will then cost you less, likely be of better quality, and will proceed at a much faster pace.

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have the same dilemma with my 64 convertible. It doesn't have any rust through, but it is getting surface rust.

                        I am scarred to start on it, because once I start, it is very hard not to keep going. You tend to say, while it is apart, I'll just do this and do that, until you end up doing a complete restoration. I enjoy driving it now because it already has dents and dings, and I don't have to worry about getting more, because I plan to repaint it. It is more fun that way. I know when I restored my 62 convertible back in the 80s, I was always worried when I drove it, that something would happen to it.


                        Leonard Shepherd, editor, The Commanding Leader, Central Virginia Chapter, http://centralvirginiachapter.org/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have the same dilemma with my 64 convertible. It doesn't have any rust through, but it is getting surface rust.

                          I am scarred to start on it, because once I start, it is very hard not to keep going. You tend to say, while it is apart, I'll just do this and do that, until you end up doing a complete restoration. I enjoy driving it now because it already has dents and dings, and I don't have to worry about getting more, because I plan to repaint it. It is more fun that way. I know when I restored my 62 convertible back in the 80s, I was always worried when I drove it, that something would happen to it.


                          Leonard Shepherd, editor, The Commanding Leader, Central Virginia Chapter, http://centralvirginiachapter.org/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That's another thing, Leonard! You get one PERFECT and then you sweat every moment it's out of the safety of it's garage and cor cover. Phooey on that![xx(] Like I say - they were built to DRIVE, not embalm![}]

                            Jeff, your idea about buying a nice one that drives good is a great idea. Sure beats whatever you'd pay to have yours redone and then sweating every stone chip.[:0]

                            Miscreant adrift in
                            the BerStuda Triangle


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

                            No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That's another thing, Leonard! You get one PERFECT and then you sweat every moment it's out of the safety of it's garage and cor cover. Phooey on that![xx(] Like I say - they were built to DRIVE, not embalm![}]

                              Jeff, your idea about buying a nice one that drives good is a great idea. Sure beats whatever you'd pay to have yours redone and then sweating every stone chip.[:0]

                              Miscreant adrift in
                              the BerStuda Triangle


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

                              No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                              Comment

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