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  • Is this a true statement

    This statement appears in the Wikipedia article on the Lark. Is this a true statement?

    Although Studebaker phased out the Lark name in 1964, Studebaker collectors and enthusiasts refer to all 1964-66 Studebaker sedans and station wagons as "Lark-types", since the cars are still as much Larks as the 1959-63 models, despite the name changes.

  • #2
    The name part (Lark-type) is correct. The "as much as" part is a matter of opinion. My opinion is yes- and no.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, the "as much as" is clumsy wording and should be worded differently.

      Besides, if the writer would look at a 1964 full-line brochure, he would see the two lower lines distinctly described as Lark Challenger and Lark Commander. The name Lark was downplayed dramatically for 1964, but not phased out, which means eliminated.

      It was eliminated for the 1965 model year.
      We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

      Ayn Rand:
      "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

      G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well if the shoe fits...call it a Lark! But does it?

        Roof -Different

        Hood -Different

        Rear Glass -Different

        1/4 Windows -Different

        Rear Doors -Different

        Front Fenders -Different

        Rear fenders -Different, but only slightly, but not bolt-on interchangeable

        Grille and headlight Doors -Different

        Decklid -Different

        Windshield -Different except Conv. & Wagon

        Wheel Covers -Different

        Tail Lights -Different

        Interior & Exterior COLORS -Different

        Yes, many of the things you do not notice/see ie: frame, engine, Trans., suspension, steering, rear axle are the same or very much the same. But so was the Avanti, and unless you are a Automotive Magazine Writer, you would not call an Avanti a Lark!

        But the idea was to change the Corp. image to STUDEBAKER CORP. : Cruiser, Daytona, Commander, Challenger, Hawk, Champ, Transtar, Onan, STP, Mercedes Benz, Clarke, Paxton Products Div. Gravely, etc, etc. NOT Lark.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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        • #5
          You know Rich, all of those differences could apply to 61 and 62 LARKS as well.

          Comment


          • #6
            Not a chance Matt! The '61 to '62 change was a very mild change, I would call the '62 to '63 a fairly major facelift!
            Getting rid of that obsolete wraparound windshield was a BIG one, effecting doors, roof and a lot more.

            But none compare to the TOTAL re-design of the '64 Lark Types.

            Anyway, just enjoy them all as I know you do!
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

            Comment


            • #7
              What makes the Lark name de-emphasis even more complex is the revival of the Hawk emblem and it's prominent placement on center grille in 1966. My OPINION was that the company was trying to pull the only product they had upscale. Away from the Lark economy image.

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              • #8
                Rich raises some good technical points on the species. However, for all practical purposes to me the 64-66s looked like a Lark back in the day and they still look like a Lark today (confession: I am a Lark nerd).
                Dean




                CLEM

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 556063 View Post
                  What makes the Lark name de-emphasis even more complex is the revival of the Hawk emblem and it's prominent placement on center grille in 1966. My OPINION was that the company was trying to pull the only product they had upscale. Away from the Lark economy image.
                  Don't forget the full wheelcovers, too...
                  However, they would have thrown it all at the Avanti and the actual Hawk, if that theory were true. They didn't. They sure didn't fit what they had with upscale leathers and bling to look upscale. I think they just were giving up and using up. There were plenty of people buying economy cars and many of those marques are still flourishing.
                  I'm not sure how many people bought the Lark in the 1959 model year just because they went with the Hawk emblems on those, either. I doubt anyone was mesmerized that it was a C/K in disguise. It was the fresh look that won that year. Fresh out of that in '65 and '66!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by StudeRich View Post

                    But the idea was to change the Corp. image to STUDEBAKER CORP. : Cruiser, Daytona, Commander, Challenger, Hawk, Champ, Transtar, Onan, STP, Mercedes Benz, Clarke, Paxton Products Div. Gravely, etc, etc. NOT Lark.
                    Studebaker actually started the de-emphasis of the Lark name in 1963. The Cruiser was marketed as a standalone make, as was the Standard when it came out later that year. Popular Science accurately predicted in late 1962 the Lark name was going to be further de-emphasized for 1964. ( http://www.popsci.com/archive-viewer...tudebaker+1963 October 1962, pg 80.)

                    Craig
                    Last edited by 8E45E; 06-30-2010, 07:33 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I know back in 1970 when I came across a 65 Daytona 2 door hardtop with the factory Chevy 283 V-8 in it. I wanted it really bad but it was over my price range $850. I can just image what the price tag would be today a car in the same shape. I found that year really appealing compared to the early Lark and the Chevy engine in it opposed to the 170 flathead ,will what more can I say.
                      Last edited by JunkYarDog; 06-30-2010, 08:08 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        All great points and valid reads of the 65-66 marketing efforts. 65's "Theme" was "The Common Sense Car". The ad putting a 65 Stude next to a VW Bug, promoting the fact the 65's were almost identical to the 64's on the outside, was the best they could do to justify that there was no money for any tooling changes (giving it up and using it up). The mild facelift for '66 was a concession to market realities. New and updated models came most every year in those days.

                        65's and 66's efforts were attempted without trying to capitalize on the identity the Lark name had with the public. Was that a harbinger of things to come done on purpose, or simply a huge error? We've seen other car companies abandon successful model names in what seemed to be horrid moves in hindsight. For Studebaker at that point in time though, changing the identity of your most successful volume nameplate makes little sense.

                        I've heard about the jokes in those days that all the Larks pecking the streets of South Bend caused our springtime potholes, but seriously, had the Lark name lost as much marketing punch by 1962-3 as Studebaker seems to have thought it did? Being two years old in 1965, I can't answer that from experience.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 556063 View Post
                          65's "Theme" was "The Common Sense Car". The mild facelift for '66 was a concession to market realities. New and updated models came most every year in those days.

                          65's and 66's efforts were attempted without trying to capitalize on the identity the Lark name had with the public. Was that a harbinger of things to come done on purpose, or simply a huge error? had the Lark name lost as much marketing punch by 1962-3 as Studebaker seems to have thought it did?
                          Agree. I've always thought they diluted what little identity they did have left by trying to play too many sides of the coin. They dump trucks, conceding the commercial market; then the Hawk and Avanti, going utilitarian/spartan ("Common Sense Car"); yet tout plush optional interiors. To this outsider, it appeared to be a company no longer interested in making/selling cars, letting competing underlings grasp at whatever straws they wanted till it was shut down- so long as they didn't spend anything. No trucks? No image cars? No American production? And, no meaningful styling change? Not to mention that huge, recently shuttered factory sitting there. Why would I bother? Honey, whatcha think of that all new Malibu?

                          Whether that was the case or not, it is the image the customer saw. Just a theory.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I guess in hindsight, Studebaker was caught during this time period between the huge push by Sherwood Egbert to redefine itself as a performance company, and the Board's sudden and intense desire to leave the business. The names put on what they were building was not a huge consideration by those in charge at that time. Egbert had pushed the company away from the Lark economy image. Lark had no performance meaning. 1964-5-6 was all reactionary. Egbert had initiated the move away from Lark. And, that push by Egbert lasted until the end in March 1966 because the direction of the Automotive Division was already determined. Model names had nothing to do with that direction.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 556063 View Post
                              All great points and valid reads of the 65-66 marketing efforts. 65's "Theme" was "The Common Sense Car". The ad putting a 65 Stude next to a VW Bug, promoting the fact the 65's were almost identical to the 64's on the outside, was the best they could do to justify that there was no money for any tooling changes (giving it up and using it up). The mild facelift for '66 was a concession to market realities. New and updated models came most every year in those days.
                              Had you been at that Insights seminar in Glendale, you would have learned the 'Common Sense Car' ad campaign with no changes was Studebaker's worst, misdirected theme ever, according to Bob Marcks. He was convinced what worked for Volkswagen was definitely NOT going to work for Studebaker, and got management to implement those changes he proposed for 1966.

                              Craig

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