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What was Lark image back then?

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  • jnormanh
    replied
    As I remember, the Lark was seen as a car only someone's Mom would drive. Stodgy, slow and not cool. Even the Hawks weren't seen as being cool by very many, and, true or not, everyone I knew just KNEW that a 271 HP '57 Chev would outrun any Hawk ever built.

    Leave a comment:


  • Swifster
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Swifster
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Skip Lackie
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Skip Lackie
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • PlainBrownR2
    replied
    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]

    Leave a comment:


  • PlainBrownR2
    replied
    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]

    Leave a comment:


  • 8E45E
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • 8E45E
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • azrael4h
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • azrael4h
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • whacker
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • whacker
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • PackardV8
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • PackardV8
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:

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