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  • 63 Lark

    Back in 2001, I bought a cheap car (an '88 Pontiac) for our daughter. On the lot the dealer had a 63 Lark which interested me much more than the Pontiac did. He sold be both cars for $450. The daughter's Pontiac blew up a while ago, but the Lark is about ready to hit the road again. The Lark had been sitting since 1997. I found this forum a few months ago, and because of this forum, I've learned a lot about my car plus I joined the SDC. I went to the York Swap meet too. I still have some questions: From what I've read here, my car must be a "Standard" model. It has a 6 cylinder engine and manual transmission with NO overdrive. It has rubber floor mats. It has a heater, but not much else.

    Question 1) The "glove box" is supposed to be one of those "vanity" style glove boxes, but all that was there when I got the car is what looked like a home made bin that was screwed into the spot where the vanity glove bow should have been. It did have blue vinyl on it that matched the rest of the dashboard. Was this the way it came? I don't see any evidence that anything else was ever there.

    Question 2) The dash light switch has three positions ..."off", middle and "on". Nothing happens in the middle position. There is a rheostat on the bottom of the dashboard (near the ignition key). Was this to dim the dash lights in the middle position?

    Question 3) The headlights are set up with the low beams towards the grill and the high beams on the outboard side of the car. This is the opposite of any other car I've seen. Is this the way Studebaker built them?

    Question 4) When I first got the car, I thought somebody took off all the chrome trim pieces to repaint the car and forgot to put them back on. The ONLY "trim" on the car was two "Studebaker" labels on the front fenders. There is nothing else. Is that ALL the trim they put on these cars?

    This is a beautifully simple car that is refreshingly easy to work on. I'm looking forward to driving it soon so I can see if I like driving it. I have several other (non-Stude) old cars (from 1937 to 1979) but it seems the Studebaker is one of the easiest to work on and get parts for! Amazing!

    Thanks.



    MARC
    Punxsutawney, PA

  • #2
    Hi Marc,

    Yeah, you've got a Studebaker Standard. These were pretty sparsely equipped cars. Studebaker's attempt at making a low-buck edition like they did with the '57-'58 Scotsmans. Alot of these were sold for fleet service, where basic transportation was the aim. That's why it's so devoid of glitzy trim stuff - including the Vanity glovebox of other '63s. That box you have on the dash is likely original. The parts book shows it as standard issue for the "Standard" models.There's also a "lid" that covers the top section of the box. Does yours have that? Both these pieces show up in a parts search of SASCO's search machine. They ain't cheap tho! $104 for the lower part (in blue BTW) and $75 for the upper section! In fact, they have them in 4 different colors.

    The inst lites are set up as you guessed. The rheostat is for the dimming when the selector switch is in the middle position. Also, the high beam bulbs ARE to the outside.

    Take it from me - these cars are pretty doggoned rare! I'm not intimating that this makes them highly valuable, but it IS neat to have a model that no one else has! That these things saw fleet service for the most part, means that they got used hard and sold for cheap once they were discarded. This low value at the time, surely had an influence on them going to the boneyards early on. Consequently, it's a rare day when you see one at a Stude meet or anywhere else, for that matter.
    If it were mine, I'd spend the extra money and get an overdrive tranny for it. They're still available NEW from SASCO. The Overdrive function will make it a much more tractable vehicle for town or country driving. Either way - drive that baby with PRIDE!

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow. That box that was stuck there in place of my glove box might have been factory? Geez ...they WERE cheap! But, no, it does not have a cover. There is, however, a metal bracket that tells me that there used to be one. Now I need to find a picture so I can make one. (or buy one if all else fails!)

      Originally, I was thinking that this glove box, actually a "glove bin", was made by the previous owner who did all kinds of botched up work on the car (like his dangerous screwed up wiring jobs). Now that I know it might be original, I guess I'll restore it that way, even though it looks stupid. I was trying to find a vanity glove box for it, but so far I haven't found one. I did find a dash cover from Studebaker International so I could make my own, but maybe I'll abondon that project now.

      Since I haven't driven it yet, I can't comment on it's need for overdrive, but there was a bus at the York Swap meet that had a whole pile of overdrive transmissions in the back corner, so I assumed they are available ...I didn't ask the price, however. The roads in this area are all 55 MPH or less. I can drive my '37 Dodge most places without overdrive, so I was hoping that the Studebaker might be drivable too, as is. I guess I'll find out as soon as I get it on the road. (I'm getting excited about that since the salt is off the road now and the car is almost done!)

      I have a collection of rare, unwanted, and CHEAP cars. They are cars I was practically given (and one that WAS given to me) because nobody else wanted them. 4 door cars, station wagons, Mopars, basket cases (even an Olds Diesel!)....all factors that keep car collectors away. Consequently, they are only valuable to me ....but that's what counts in my mind. Sure the car collectors laugh at me, but the "average Joe" on the street is still thrilled to see an old car go by! That said, this '63 Studebaker of mine ought to be GREAT! People have already commented that my Studebaker Standard would make a great hot-rod project! Unless the 6 cylinder engine turns out to be a gutless wimp (like my VW Bus was) I'll probably keep it that way since it's so simple and easy to work on.

      Thank you for your help!

      MARC
      Punxsutawney, PA

      Comment


      • #4
        Marc,

        In the spirit of your "cheap cars", I've got a vanity here you can have for shipping costs. Put your new cover on it and you'll be stylin'! [:0]

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

        Comment


        • #5
          The "standard" glovebox door is still available from SASCO.

          Does this car also have an unpainted gauge panel and a clock delete with no bezel?

          nate

          --
          55 Commander Starlight
          62 Daytona hardtop
          http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
          --
          55 Commander Starlight
          http://members.cox.net/njnagel

          Comment


          • #6
            WOW! A kindred spirit!

            I also have a collection of mostly unloved losers; got sick of Vettes and 57 Chevys and such...

            They call my place the IOMT

            (Island of Misfit Toys)

            Enjoy youd Stude!!

            Owner- IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)

            Comment


            • #7
              Following your leads, I found that glove box cover that's supposed to be on my car ($75 from SASCO).

              The gauge panel is a silver metal, but it looks pretty ugly since it's dirty and maybe corroded. The center "gauge" is a piece of sheet metal that says "Studebaker Corporation" on it (if I remember correctly). It looked to me like a good place for a tach, but it's supposed to be a clock, eh?

              I'm going to have to go look at the car again and see what I want to do about the glove box. I took the cheapo looking bin off of there, but now that I find out it was "stock", I might decide to put it back on ....mostly because like "Mr. Biggs" said, they are rare ....I haven't seen one in any of the numerous '63 Larks I've seen.

              Is there a good picture someplace of the "Standard"? In a sales brochure?

              MARC
              Punxsutawney, PA

              Comment


              • #8
                I think there's a good photo of a 63 Standard on the cover of one issue of Turning Wheels. I'll have to look and see.

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  I hope this being "April Fool's Day" is not an omen, but today I got to drive my 63 Lark for the first time since I bought it in 2001. (It's been up at the service garage for the last two weeks having a muffler system put in). After the drive, I was happy with the Lark for the most part. I put 205 75x15 radials on it with Chrysler wheels. I have non-power steering and I don't think it steers too heavy even when standing still. The non-power drum brakes seem to work pretty good too. The car was pretty easy to drive! The 6 cylinder engine wasn't exactly muscle car powerful, but it seemed adequate. I didn't have it up to 60 MPH yet ....in fact, I have no idea what speed I was going because the speedometer wasn't working ...the problem seems to be at the lower end of the cable or in the transmission.

                  Now that I have the car back, I looked at the "glove bin" we were talking about it the above posts. The plastic is about rotten and is cracking all over. I doubt it'll hold up with anything in it (heavier than the old "joint" I found in there when I got the car!). It really is pretty stupid looking too. If I go with the original, I'll have to buy the lid, at least....and that'll cost me $75. Mr. Biggs, I should take you up on your offer to sell me a vanity glove box.

                  As for " bams50" and the Island of Misfit Toys: I seem to be running an island like that also! Are you like me at a car show?: tripping all over myself to whiz by the line of vintage Corvettes to drool over some '66 Corvair, '48 Plymouth (4 door), or a '64 Wagonaire? Maybe I'm more like that misfit elf on the Island of Misfit Toys, than you know! Every aspect of my life seems to be becoming more misfit as time goes by ....but, as my sister says, "It's too boring to be normal". Anyway ....I sure got some weird looks when I was driving the Studebaker today! ...and that's a GOOD thing !!

                  Have a good day!
                  MARC
                  Punxsutawney, PA

                  MARC
                  Punxsutawney, PA

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That has been my experience using 205s as well, and on Studebaker rims for that matter. I did use Chrysler 5 1/2 inch wide rims on the rear of the 1966 Cruiser, as I thought the 235s there might be a bit much!

                    quote:Originally posted by LarkMark\
                    I put 205 75x15 radials on it with Chrysler wheels. I have non-power steering and I don't think it steers too heavy even when standing still.
                    Sam Roberts

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Are you like me at a car show?:

                      tripping all over myself to whiz by the line of vintage Corvettes to drool over some '66 Corvair,[xx(] '48 Plymouth (4 door),[8)] or a '64 Wagonaire? [8D]

                      Dave
                      sigpic
                      Dave Lester

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        MArc, that glove box is here if you need it.

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey Dave! Yep! That's why I have four wagonaires! I don't learn the first time I guess.[:I]

                          Lotsa Larks!
                          Studeclunker
                          A.K.A: out2lunch
                          Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                          K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                          Ron Smith
                          Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OOps! I forgot. Simple is good. Less to go wrong, as my mum used to put it.

                            Nice car, LarkMark![8D]

                            Lotsa Larks!
                            Studeclunker
                            A.K.A: out2lunch
                            Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                            K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                            Ron Smith
                            Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                            Comment

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