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  • Need some lark education

    I am going to go look at a 1960 Lark 2dr, hardtop this weekend , unrestored with a running 259 ,auto. , Questions are what to look for, how hard are body parts to find( in Ohio rust belt), Is the automatic a Studebaker trans, and anything else I should be asking . price is $1950 and its been in storage 25 years ( but could have been in a barn so take it for whats its worth. Have not seen car or photos of car.do rear fenders unbolt?
    Randy Wilkin
    1946 M5 Streetrod
    Hillsboro,Ohio 45133

  • #2
    Rear fenders DO unbolt. The trans is essentially a Ford-o-Matic. A 3-spd configured to start in 2nd gear (and hence, cause the unwashed masses to conclude it's really a 2-spd unit). Rust is it's biggest enemy. Floorboards in the front and also the floor of the trunk. Replacement fenders shouldn't be too hard to find (I have a solid pair here in CA that I'd ship via Greyhound for the right price. I even have an NOS pair of rears as well. Price sounds good for a true hardtop (J-body) - if it isn't a rust belt rust bucket.
    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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    • #3
      1. Rear fenders unbolt.

      2. Transmission is the "regular" Studebaker Flightomatic; no big deal.

      3. Look for structural rust everywhere...or evidence of earlier repairs to same.

      4. Check the frame carefully for salt-expanded pinchwelds along the bottom plate, which may even be rusted away entirely in places if the car is real bad.

      5. As a hardtop, the rear window regulators are weak. Carefully, repeat CAREFULLY try to roll them down, but do not force anything. You may have to push the window(s) rearward the first inch or so to help them along, before they actually start to descend. The "thing" you are checking for is to see if they are already broken.

      6. See if you can drive it, even if just around the yard if the brakes are flat (and they probably are).

      Those are cute Larks. (I drove a 1959 Tahiti Coral Regal Hardtop with Power Kit 259 and Flightomatic to Purdue in 1968 and 1969. Even though it was a ten-year-old central Indiana car, it was in very nice condition.)

      'Hope "yours" checks out OK.

      Let us know! BP
      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.

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      • #4
        Thanks for quick answers and the info. I plan to go see it saturday. Will update then
        Randy Wilkin
        1946 M5 Streetrod
        Hillsboro,Ohio 45133

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        • #5
          If you get some pictures post them. Always enjoy seeing new Stude finds. I hope it works out for you.

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          • #6
            Hopefully, it is a really a hardtop. Lately, I have run into a lot of younger people that think that any car with a steel roof is a hardtop. You will know soon. I say this because a two door hardtop is more desireable and therefore worth more than a two door sedan (1960 Lark).

            They are a nice car to drive. I sold my 1959 259 AT hardtop with 27K miles on it. Every year, the guy that I sold it to says that he is going to sell it. It hasn't happened yet. Probably the only real chance of getting it back is to buy it from his estate.
            Gary L.
            Wappinger, NY

            SDC member since 1968
            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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            • #7
              To add to Roscomacaws post :
              If you want 1st gear, shift into and start out in 1st gear then manually shift into drive. Gives full use of the 3 speed auto trans.
              South Lompoc Studebaker

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              • #8
                Or - if it's set up right, you can tromp the long pedal to the floor when taking off from a stand still and that'll get you a first gear start.
                No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My first Studebaker was a 1959 Lark hardtop. Rust is a problem check as advised in earlier posts. I believe rear fenders, doors and door regulators are the same as '59-'60 convertibles. These are really nice looking cars. Good luck with yours.
                  Joe Roberts
                  '61 R1 Champ
                  '65 Cruiser
                  Eastern North Carolina Chapter

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JRoberts View Post
                    My first Studebaker was a 1959 Lark hardtop. Rust is a problem check as advised in earlier posts. I believe rear fenders, doors and door regulators are the same as '59-'60 convertibles. These are really nice looking cars. Good luck with yours.
                    For Larks: The hardtops were first for 1959. Convertibles didn't come out until the 1960 model year.
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                    • #11
                      Ok , I went and looked at the Lark, car is in decent shape ,but does need front fenders, and rocker panels, plus drivers floor is badly rusted. Interior is toast, but dash is good . Is a Lark vIII. with running 259 Auto. It is a 2 Dr hardtop. But just looks like more work than I want to tackle. One taillight lens missing, but trunk looks good, hood bent by froze up hinges. Man came down to $1800 ,but I am going to pass. Told all gauges work .It comes with 2 new rocker panels. If anyone else is interested ,contact me or go to Cincinnati Craigs list .
                      Randy Wilkin
                      1946 M5 Streetrod
                      Hillsboro,Ohio 45133

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rodnutrandy View Post
                        Ok , I went and looked at the Lark, car is in decent shape ,but does need front fenders, and rocker panels, plus drivers floor is badly rusted. Interior is toast, but dash is good . Is a Lark vIII. with running 259 Auto. It is a 2 Dr hardtop. But just looks like more work than I want to tackle. One taillight lens missing, but trunk looks good, hood bent by froze up hinges. Man came down to $1800 ,but I am going to pass. Told all gauges work .It comes with 2 new rocker panels. If anyone else is interested ,contact me or go to Cincinnati Craigs list .
                        I don't blame you for passing at that price ($1,800). You would be better off IMHO getting a rustfree body (even if missing its motor/tranny) and paying some $$ to have it shipped to you. Mechanical bits are still relatively to find for Studes but tin..........
                        --------------------------------------

                        Sold my 1962; Studeless at the moment

                        Borrowed Bams50's sigline here:

                        "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

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