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  • Lark wagon production

    Hello. I'm new to Studebakers, I have a 59 Lark 2 door wagon. It has a 259 with a 3 speed manual. The serial number is 59V33925. My question is, is this a factory V8 car? Also, how many of these cars were made? Thanks for any help or information, I know very little about Studebakers.

  • #2
    The V after the 59 in that serial number proves it to be a V8 car from the factory.
    There was a total of 7,797 V8 Lark wagons built. The bulk of them (7,419) were of the D6 "Regal" trim level (which is what yours probably is) and the other 378 were D4 "Deluxe" trim level for export.

    There were 18,912 6cylinder wagons built. 13,227 Deluxe trim and 5,685 Regal trim.[^]
    The '59 Lark put Studebaker back in the black after a string of red-ink years. But they doomed to fail even WITH the momentary success of the Lark.[V]

    Miscreant at large.

    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
    1960 Larkvertible V8
    1958 Provincial wagon
    1953 Commander coupe
    1957 President 2-dr
    1955 President State
    1951 Champion Biz cpe
    1963 Daytona project FS
    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

    Comment


    • #3
      Great information Mr. Biggs, thank you very much!

      Comment


      • #4
        Not much wonder they still failed,it certainly wasn't that there was anything wrong with the Lark.
        They failed cause the whole industry saw what a great idea a small on the outside/big on the inside car was and jumped on the bandwagon.
        Thus the Falcon,Valiant,Corvair.....and the big boys had the finances to get into price wars that Studebaker just couldn't match.

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        • #5
          The thing about the Falcon, Corvair, Valiant, etc, was they were really not big cars on the inside. I mean, the Lark was the same inside as Studebaker's big cars, just with some length lopped off. Sit inside a Falcon then a Lark and you'll see how much difference that makes.

          quote:Originally posted by Transtar56

          Not much wonder they still failed,it certainly wasn't that there was anything wrong with the Lark.
          They failed cause the whole industry saw what a great idea a small on the outside/big on the inside car was and jumped on the bandwagon.
          Thus the Falcon,Valiant,Corvair.....and the big boys had the finances to get into price wars that Studebaker just couldn't match.
          ________________________
          Mark Anderson
          1965 Cruiser
          http://home.alltel.net/anderm

          Comment


          • #6
            I've read that the Lark's creation was inspired by Rambler's "compact", the American. This niche offering was doing very well and Chruchill figured there was room for two in the market. The Lark was concieved in record time because (as 65 Cruiser observed) it was simply a physical exterior shrinking of Stude's full-sized sedans. Thus they presented a roomy interior as compacts went.
            I believe tho that the Big Three already had their compacts - arguably, mostly NEW creations - under development before the Lark debuted in late '58.
            Lotsa big three dealers had taken on Studebaker just so they could offer the popular Lark. Heck, even some Rambler dealers got in on the rush that the Lark inspired.
            But these dealers quickly dumped their Studebaker franchises once their primary marques started delivering their OWN compacts to sell.

            Miscreant at large.

            1957 Transtar 1/2ton
            1960 Larkvertible V8
            1958 Provincial wagon
            1953 Commander coupe
            1957 President 2-dr
            1955 President State
            1951 Champion Biz cpe
            1963 Daytona project FS
            No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

            Comment


            • #7
              Whilst on vacation last month I stumbled across a September 1959 Edition of Motor Trend where they did a side-by-side comparison of the Studebaker Lark and Rambler American. Both cars compared favorably (but then again, I don't think Motor Trend back then would say anything bad--there was also a glowing review of the Edsel in the same magazine).

              Still, the Lark was hands-down a better looking car, at least in my opinion.[]

              quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

              I've read that the Lark's creation was inspired by Rambler's "compact", the American. This niche offering was doing very well and Chruchill figured there was room for two in the market. The Lark was concieved in record time because (as 65 Cruiser observed) it was simply a physical exterior shrinking of Stude's full-sized sedans. Thus they presented a roomy interior as compacts went.
              ________________________
              Mark Anderson
              1965 Cruiser
              http://home.alltel.net/anderm

              Comment


              • #8
                Wow...I didn't realize that few 59 V-8 2dr wagons were built.
                I believe even fewer 60 2dr V-8 wagons were built.
                So that means I've got three cars that under 8,000 (max. each) were ever built. Cool...for what ever that's worth!

                54, I-6, 2dr wagon...soon to be a proper V-8 (dash conversion on the way!) Early hot rod. Lotsa miles.

                59, V-8, 2dr wagon. Everyday car. Lotsa miles

                60, V-8, 2dr wagon. Street legal race car. 22,000 verified miles.

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                • #9
                  In 1960 or so Tom McCahill was asked what he thought of the new compct car phenom.
                  He said that withen a few years they would all be big cars again.
                  Right away the manufactures started adding more power,more leg room,more overhang.
                  As usual,the old guy was right on the money again.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Right on Transtar. In 1962 the Lark grew when it was facelifted and several inches were added on to the rear quarters. Dealers complained that the original 1959-1961 Lark was too stubby. Designer Brooks Stevens fixed that in 1962, again by adding several inches to the rear. Compare the last 'Lark-type' 1964-1966 with the original 1959 Lark design and you'll see that Studebaker followed the field by introducing larger compacts as the 1960s wore on.

                    Studedude1961
                    --1963 Cruiser

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