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Color schemes for a 59/60 Lark dash

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  • Color schemes for a 59/60 Lark dash

    Hey all,

    I'm still eons away from painting my Lark, but over the weekend I removed the dash, and started thinking about the interior. I'm not planning on doing a stock color for the exterior, and so I considered painting the dash to match that. On the flip side, I love the red metal/black vinyl combo on my dash, so maybe I'll just clean it up and keep it stock.

    Either way, I wanted to know what other members have done with their dashes as far as paint options go. Pics would be especially helpful.

    '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

    "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

  • #2
    The '60 Lark Regal dashes were so beautiful that 98% of them are still original or Original Colors.

    Actually, if I had anything except Oasis Green or Tan/Brown, I would leave it alone.


    • #3
      You can see my Dash condition (sort of) on the video in this blog post. It's in extremely good shape, though the vinyl is a bit faded. I actually am strongly considering leaving it stock as homage to how well it's stood the test of time (well, mostly - I've considered a few subtle modifications, but nothing crazy)

      One of my concerns is that if I do a custom interior, there's virtually no way I'm going to find vinyl with an exact match to the dash color.

      Last question: is there a modern paint formula that matches that deep red color my dash came in? Even if I keep it to a stock color, I'm strongly considering repainting it as it has some rust on the undersides of the dash.
      '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

      "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"


      • #4
        Looks like you're ready to get going! That's great. I can see that you have a nice White Sand Hardtop. Your interior probably would have been red vinyl (RDV5) judging by your dash color. Or... it may have had a cloth interior. The entire interior would not have been a matching black vinyl to that dash pad, though. Do you have the original production order from the SDC Museum to know how it originally came equipped? The red interiors in the Hardtops had the Regal black vinyl dash pads with white stitching. The rest of the interior would have been red if ordered with vinyl.

        If your dash pad is still in great condition, I'd keep it. Make sure you save that thick chrome beading at the bottom of it, if you do plan on replacing the vinyl. Phantom Interiors may have the matching black vinyl now, or darn close to it. Rene Harger may have it at his new shop, too. Both ads are in TW. Make sure they use that original chrome beading from your dash if you go that route. The last time that I saw a repro dash pad, it had a plastic covered chrome beading. I found the perfect grain on a black vinyl in Canada that I used on my last convertible. They are still out there. Fear not.

        Anyway, in 1960, Studebaker usually matched the metal dash color to the interior color. Some with two tones. Black interiors had a black dash, Red interiors had a red dash and so on for one tone interiors, regardless of the exterior color. I painted my exterior the same color that my original dash was, which was Colonial Red. With the black interior the dash really sets the color of the entire car off in my opinion, especially when the sun hits it from the rear of the car. Since you aren't going stock, you can go any direction that you wish with this project. That makes it easier. Keep us posted.

        You can have a paint store computer match your red dash by taking in the glove box door, or the ash tray. If you want another 1960 dash to paint, I have one already taken out and it is in near perfect condition. Are you going to South Bend for the Crossroads Zone & Swap Meet?
        Last edited by barnlark; 04-14-2011, 04:34 AM.


        • #5
          great advice, thanks guys!


          you hit the nail on the head for the original interior. I haven't ordered a build sheet yet (though I probably will on our next payday), but as a young child, this was my grandpa's car, and I vividly remember the interior. But even if my memory was shot, I actually have the entire vehicle's interior in storage right now (except for the seats, which are still in the garage), waiting to be reverse-engineered and used as patterns for new panels and seats. Mice totally destroyed the interior, so aside from using it as a basis for making new pieces they're worthless and would never go back on the car. That's where my concern for the dash comes in. I plan on buying all new vinyl and carpet for the interior, but I'd like them to match the dash metal if I keep it original. I did go looking for vinyl today. Here's a new video link.

          I wish I could make it to the swap meet, or I'd be very interested in that dash. However my wife and I started working as 24/7 live in "parents" for a group home last year, and we rarely get enough time off for me to get out of town. We love the job, so that's a bonus, but it means that I'll be lucky to make local chapter events, let alone national stuff that's going on.
          '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

          "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"


          • #6
            My '59 Lark is Tahiti Coral with a red & black interior. The dash is red with black vinyl cover and black "A" pillar and windshield molding. The vinyl upholstery is red. I never get tired of it and love the elegant looks of the dash.
            '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
            Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club


            • #7
              My frumpy little four door does not have a regal interior. My dash is the two-tone brown over tan painted metal, so I can't be of much help. Just keep in mind that not all vinyl is created equal. Do your best to get a good quality vinyl that is durable and UV protected if possible. If you can, see if you can find a shop that supplies vinyl for the boat and marine builders. I once restored an old 1960's era boat that had a vinyl covered wooden dash.

              The old vinyl had been painted over with a brush and had several colors of who knows what kind of paint. The boat had been built in such a manner that to remove the dash to recover it would have involved destroying the dash to get it out. I used a harsh paint stripper, and to my surprise, the vinyl was unharmed by the stripper and looked absolutely new once I removed all that old paint.

              I sold that boat years later and the vinyl still looked good with no cracks! If only the vinyl in my Hawk or '63 Ford had been made of that quality.
              John Clary
              Greer, SC

              SDC member since 1975


              • #8

                Its my choice that the Red and Black combination is the best look Studebaker ever had. We took the ash tray in and made the color to repaint the steering wheel. The red is all orginal on the instument panel. The Steering wheel had faded to a not nice orange.
                Husband of Lark VIII girl