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What was Lark image back then?

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  • #16
    The Lark created quite a stir among competing auto dealers. Many, many of them got on board with 'dual' dealerships. Just like Craig said, most car buyers were over the Lark in a couple years, and so then were the new dealers.
    In the 'what-if' department; what if the OHV six had been intro'ed with the '59 Lark? (and hadn't experienced any head/valve problems)


    Dwain G.
    "Burning Bridges...Lost Forevermore"......

    Comment


    • #17
      The Lark created quite a stir among competing auto dealers. Many, many of them got on board with 'dual' dealerships. Just like Craig said, most car buyers were over the Lark in a couple years, and so then were the new dealers.
      In the 'what-if' department; what if the OHV six had been intro'ed with the '59 Lark? (and hadn't experienced any head/valve problems)


      Dwain G.
      "Burning Bridges...Lost Forevermore"......

      Comment


      • #18
        None of the cheap-shift 6-cylinder compacts which were introduced by the big three in 1960 survived very long. What if the 225hp 289" and four-speed and an Avanti-type suspension were introduced in the Lark in 1959 and they won the Daytona road race? What if the 275hp supercharged engine was continually improved? What if Studebaker went to Bonneville in 1959? What if the big-inch 340" V8 was available in the Hawk in 1959?

        thnx, jack vines

        PackardV8
        PackardV8

        Comment


        • #19
          None of the cheap-shift 6-cylinder compacts which were introduced by the big three in 1960 survived very long. What if the 225hp 289" and four-speed and an Avanti-type suspension were introduced in the Lark in 1959 and they won the Daytona road race? What if the 275hp supercharged engine was continually improved? What if Studebaker went to Bonneville in 1959? What if the big-inch 340" V8 was available in the Hawk in 1959?

          thnx, jack vines

          PackardV8
          PackardV8

          Comment


          • #20
            1957 and 1958 were recession years. Stude had not been able to sell cars any better than the other companies, with two exceptions - the Nash Rambler and the Studebaker Scotsman. With what looked like a risky move, Studebaker cut all the extra weight off the Scotsman and created the Lark in 1959. It was a great idea, and Studebaker was selling cars again! In 1959 and 1960, Studebaker made great gains and there was talk of recovery. Then the "Big Three" came out with the Corvair, the Falcon, and the Valiant and stole the market out from under little Studebaker. Later was the Monza, the Mustang, and the Barracuda, again following Studebaker's with the Avanti. After Stude created the market, the big three would waltz in and take over.

            Comment


            • #21
              1957 and 1958 were recession years. Stude had not been able to sell cars any better than the other companies, with two exceptions - the Nash Rambler and the Studebaker Scotsman. With what looked like a risky move, Studebaker cut all the extra weight off the Scotsman and created the Lark in 1959. It was a great idea, and Studebaker was selling cars again! In 1959 and 1960, Studebaker made great gains and there was talk of recovery. Then the "Big Three" came out with the Corvair, the Falcon, and the Valiant and stole the market out from under little Studebaker. Later was the Monza, the Mustang, and the Barracuda, again following Studebaker's with the Avanti. After Stude created the market, the big three would waltz in and take over.

              Comment


              • #22
                quote:Originally posted by PackardV8

                None of the cheap-shift 6-cylinder compacts which were introduced by the big three in 1960 survived very long.
                Wrong. The Chrysler A Body platform, introduced on the Valiant, lasted until 1976. Then, it was replaced by the F Body, which was essentially an updated A Body (Aspen/Volare). This was ill-fated due to idiotic cost cutting measures, and was eventually axed. In 1978 The M body Diplomat and LeBaron was introduced. Chryslers compact car line continued on as the M Body until 1989, though it cahnged from compact to full size in that period. So Chrysler's 1960 model year compact lasted 29 years, to the 1989 model year. There was so few changes that from '73 to '89 there is one service manual, and from '60 to '72 it's the same (though there were revisions all through it's history).

                I'd say it lasted pretty long. It outlasted the larger B and C body cars at Chrysler, as well as the replacement compacts, the FF Omni/Horizon. It lasted almost long enough to see the dying days of the K Car. Ford's Falcon died out, and was replace twice I believe, and of course Chevrolet's rear engined Corvair did very poorly, and was quickly gone, replaced, and replaced again. Studebaker, of course, went out of business. I'm not sure AMC ever even offered a compact until the '70's. I can't recall an earlier one at any rate, but then AMC's are not my forte. Neither is Studebaker. Mopars, however, are. I've owned two A bodies that were built after all other compacts that came out in '59 for 1960 were gone. Both were very fine cars, excellent handling, fairly economical, and quick enough to suit me. I regret either leaving the family.

                Guard: Where are you going in such a hurry?
                Gorrak the ranger: Uhhh...Gorrak have quiche in oven!!
                Guard: well hurry along.

                1953 Champion 2 door Sedan
                2006 Chevrolet Cobalt LS Coupe

                Comment


                • #23
                  quote:Originally posted by PackardV8

                  None of the cheap-shift 6-cylinder compacts which were introduced by the big three in 1960 survived very long.
                  Wrong. The Chrysler A Body platform, introduced on the Valiant, lasted until 1976. Then, it was replaced by the F Body, which was essentially an updated A Body (Aspen/Volare). This was ill-fated due to idiotic cost cutting measures, and was eventually axed. In 1978 The M body Diplomat and LeBaron was introduced. Chryslers compact car line continued on as the M Body until 1989, though it cahnged from compact to full size in that period. So Chrysler's 1960 model year compact lasted 29 years, to the 1989 model year. There was so few changes that from '73 to '89 there is one service manual, and from '60 to '72 it's the same (though there were revisions all through it's history).

                  I'd say it lasted pretty long. It outlasted the larger B and C body cars at Chrysler, as well as the replacement compacts, the FF Omni/Horizon. It lasted almost long enough to see the dying days of the K Car. Ford's Falcon died out, and was replace twice I believe, and of course Chevrolet's rear engined Corvair did very poorly, and was quickly gone, replaced, and replaced again. Studebaker, of course, went out of business. I'm not sure AMC ever even offered a compact until the '70's. I can't recall an earlier one at any rate, but then AMC's are not my forte. Neither is Studebaker. Mopars, however, are. I've owned two A bodies that were built after all other compacts that came out in '59 for 1960 were gone. Both were very fine cars, excellent handling, fairly economical, and quick enough to suit me. I regret either leaving the family.

                  Guard: Where are you going in such a hurry?
                  Gorrak the ranger: Uhhh...Gorrak have quiche in oven!!
                  Guard: well hurry along.

                  1953 Champion 2 door Sedan
                  2006 Chevrolet Cobalt LS Coupe

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I'm not sure AMC ever even offered a compact until the '70's. I can't recall an earlier one at any rate, but then AMC's are not my forte.

                    Where have you been all these years[?][?][:0] Nash was considered the 'first' with its compact Rambler model starting in 1950! Even after the merger with Hudson in 1954, AMC realized the compact was way to go as the big-three had the full size market already well covered, and discontinued the Nash and Hudson lines after 1957. The Rambler's success was probably the main reason Studebaker went with the compact Lark. In the 1960's and '70's AMC did try to match the big-three with medium and full size offerings, but most often contributed a loss for them. But the mainstay for AMC was always the compact American/Hornet/Concord and 4wd Eagle. And you better start paying attention to AMC~they've been a part of Mopar since 1987!!

                    Craig

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I'm not sure AMC ever even offered a compact until the '70's. I can't recall an earlier one at any rate, but then AMC's are not my forte.

                      Where have you been all these years[?][?][:0] Nash was considered the 'first' with its compact Rambler model starting in 1950! Even after the merger with Hudson in 1954, AMC realized the compact was way to go as the big-three had the full size market already well covered, and discontinued the Nash and Hudson lines after 1957. The Rambler's success was probably the main reason Studebaker went with the compact Lark. In the 1960's and '70's AMC did try to match the big-three with medium and full size offerings, but most often contributed a loss for them. But the mainstay for AMC was always the compact American/Hornet/Concord and 4wd Eagle. And you better start paying attention to AMC~they've been a part of Mopar since 1987!!

                      Craig

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Aye, who could also forget the late 50's Nash Metropolitan, now thats a compact!! [:P]


                        1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
                        1950 Studebaker 2R5 with 170 turbocharged
                        [img=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/DSC00003.jpg?t=1171152673[/img=left]
                        [img=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/DSC00009.jpg?t=1171153019[/img=right]
                        [img=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/DSC00002.jpg?t=1171153180[/img=left]
                        [img=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/DSC00005.jpg?t=1171153370[/img=right]
                        1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
                        1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
                        1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
                        1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Aye, who could also forget the late 50's Nash Metropolitan, now thats a compact!! [:P]


                          1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
                          1950 Studebaker 2R5 with 170 turbocharged
                          [img=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/DSC00003.jpg?t=1171152673[/img=left]
                          [img=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/DSC00009.jpg?t=1171153019[/img=right]
                          [img=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/DSC00002.jpg?t=1171153180[/img=left]
                          [img=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/DSC00005.jpg?t=1171153370[/img=right]
                          1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
                          1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
                          1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
                          1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Concur completely with the views expressed by Packard V8 and JDP. Studebaker didn't have much of an image one way or the other, and the Lark did not add to the lustre. I was a car-crazy teenager when the Golden Hawk was introduced in 1956, and though I was very impressed with it, the only thing I could afford at the time was a $60 '36 DeSoto -- so new cars of any kind were only of academic interest. When the GHawk was dropped in 59, Studebaker dropped from sight again. I don't even remember noticing when the Lark was introduced -- but I guess it wasn't intended to appeal to my "demographic group" anyway. The fact that it sold well and the corporation made money on it proves that it was a good idea -- but small cars do not exude sex appeal. As PackardV8 noted, the Lark with a V8 was actually pretty quick -- but you would never have known it from Stude's advertising.

                            Some contributors to this Forum come from families that were regular Studebaker customers, so their recollections may be different. My family tended toward used GM cars, with an occasional Ford thrown in. I don't recall my parents ever discussing a Stude product, despite the fact that our next-door neighbor worked for the advertising agency that handled the S-P account in 55 and 56. (He did provide me with a very impressive collection of S-P sales literature, but my mother threw it all out when I went away to school. Sigh.) Like JDP, my big interest was in cubic inches displacement -- 327, 409, 421, 406, 426, 427, etc. S-P wasn't on that list after 1956. The GT Hawk did renew my interest in Stude, and I actually considered buying one. But your question was about the Lark, wasn't it?

                            Skip Lackie
                            Washington DC
                            Skip Lackie

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Concur completely with the views expressed by Packard V8 and JDP. Studebaker didn't have much of an image one way or the other, and the Lark did not add to the lustre. I was a car-crazy teenager when the Golden Hawk was introduced in 1956, and though I was very impressed with it, the only thing I could afford at the time was a $60 '36 DeSoto -- so new cars of any kind were only of academic interest. When the GHawk was dropped in 59, Studebaker dropped from sight again. I don't even remember noticing when the Lark was introduced -- but I guess it wasn't intended to appeal to my "demographic group" anyway. The fact that it sold well and the corporation made money on it proves that it was a good idea -- but small cars do not exude sex appeal. As PackardV8 noted, the Lark with a V8 was actually pretty quick -- but you would never have known it from Stude's advertising.

                              Some contributors to this Forum come from families that were regular Studebaker customers, so their recollections may be different. My family tended toward used GM cars, with an occasional Ford thrown in. I don't recall my parents ever discussing a Stude product, despite the fact that our next-door neighbor worked for the advertising agency that handled the S-P account in 55 and 56. (He did provide me with a very impressive collection of S-P sales literature, but my mother threw it all out when I went away to school. Sigh.) Like JDP, my big interest was in cubic inches displacement -- 327, 409, 421, 406, 426, 427, etc. S-P wasn't on that list after 1956. The GT Hawk did renew my interest in Stude, and I actually considered buying one. But your question was about the Lark, wasn't it?

                              Skip Lackie
                              Washington DC
                              Skip Lackie

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                quote:Originally posted by PackardV8

                                None of the cheap-shift 6-cylinder compacts which were introduced by the big three in 1960 survived very long.
                                Every compact that was introduced by the other domestic manufacturers outlasted the Lark in production.

                                (1959-1966) Studebaker Lark - 8 years
                                (1961-1969) AMC Rambler American - 9 years
                                (1960-1969) Chevrolet Corvair - 10 years
                                (1960-1970) Ford Falcon - 11 years
                                (1961-1976) Dodge Lancer/Dart - 16 years
                                (1960-1976) Plymouth Valiant - 17 years
                                (1962-1979) Chevrolet Chevy II/Nova - 18 years

                                I think all of the domestic compacts did pretty well for themselves. All lasted at least 10 years except the AMC offering, but when you consider the Hornet was a restyled American, even that lasted until 1977. Other cars that came out in 1960 or 1961 (Mercury Comet, Buick Special, Olds F-85, and Pontiac Tempest) stayed in production but moved upmarket as the '60's progresses. The larger '66 Comet was the Pace Car at Indy that year.

                                Studebaker's size was a benefit in being able to turn out a compact in a years time instead of 3 at the other companies. Being small can allow a company to be a little bit more nimble than your competition.

                                ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Tom - Valrico, FL

                                1964 Studebaker Daytona

                                Tom - Bradenton, FL

                                1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
                                1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

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