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Why Were So Few 1960s Studebakers Black in Color?

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  • Why Were So Few 1960s Studebakers Black in Color?

    It struck me in looking at many photos of 1960s era Studebakers that very few of them had black bodies from the factory. Was black not offered as an option on the '64-'66 model year cars, or was it just an unpopular choice?

  • #2
    'Always available through those years; just not that popular.

    Black wasn't popular on most "regular" cars during that time; specialty and luxury cars excepted, of course.

    Personally, I can't think of a colorful postwar period where Studebaker color percentages didn't follow the general industry trends de jour. White was incredibly popular in 1962-1965 model years, both on Studebakers and the balance of the industry. 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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    • #3
      From what I have seen, black was the most popular color for 1962 GT Hawks. I do agree that black is very seldom seen on the 1964 to '66 cars.
      sigpic
      In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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      • #4
        I had 65 commander 4dr I parted out a few years ago that was black with blue interer I belive it had 25000 miles that is what the odm had on it the seats had cover on them the ariganal were dirty but in great condition tell I tryed to clean them the cloth came apart.It had a lot of rust. VI#C516207 Doug M on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

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        • #5
          my first car 1961 hawk was black back then before clearcoat paint keeping a black car looking nice was a lot of work. since clear coat I think there are more black paint jobs as less work is involved in keeping them from looking gray and lots of little swirl marks present
          Last edited by acolds; 08-25-2012, 08:49 PM.

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          • #6
            Here's a swag...
            Since black is the hardest color to paint, because it shows flaws so easily.....(Like Al pointed out here)
            Betcha a donut someone in management said there was a higher re-work cost in the paint line when black was used, and with no budget for that, black was quietly not offered.



            Originally posted by TomB View Post
            It struck me in looking at many photos of 1960s era Studebakers that very few of them had black bodies from the factory. Was black not offered as an option on the '64-'66 model year cars, or was it just an unpopular choice?
            Last edited by DEEPNHOCK; 08-26-2012, 04:39 AM.
            HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

            Jeff


            Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



            Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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            • #7
              It could be as well that since air conditioning was not as common in the '60's as it is know white was favored way more than black, just because a black car can be so doggone hot in the summer time.
              Joe Roberts
              '61 R1 Champ
              '65 Cruiser
              Eastern North Carolina Chapter

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              • #8
                In the late '70's into the early '80's, there was a very clean-looking two door black Lark sedan parked at an old two-story home just off highway 221 between Spartanburg, SC and Woodruff SC. Back then, my only Studebaker was my truck, I didn't have a ton of money and owning a collection of Studebakers was not a high priority.

                Occasionally, I would see the retired school teacher driving her car. I never knew if it was a 1959 or '60... 6 or V8. It had full wheel covers and was always elegant, clean, with no obvious dents or scratches. Years later, when I began to build my stable of cars, I drove back down that stretch of road. The highway had been expanded to four lanes, the well-kept home had fallen into disrepair, abandoned and no Lark to be found. Sigh....and life goes on.

                I still think of that little black Lark. It was such an iconic landmark in that setting for so many years. I hope some family member has it to this day.
                John Clary
                Greer, SC

                SDC member since 1975

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the background. I own a '64 Studebaker Commander sedan that I am in the process of restoring. I had a local auto body shop take out the accumulated dings and scratches then repaint it with a clear coat in an ivory white that matched the original paint which was still visible in the trunk and engine compartment. It was originally built for a buyer in Arizona so the white original paint made sense.

                  Car colors seem so drab these days-grey, black, and silver are so common.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DEEPNHOCK View Post
                    Here's a swag...
                    Since black is the hardest color to paint, because it shows flaws so easily.....(Like Al pointed out here)
                    Betcha a donut someone in management said there was a higher re-work cost in the paint line when black was used, and with no budget for that, black was quietly not offered.
                    That was certainly true with the Avantis. Because of the extra work, Avanti Black was an extra cost option later in the year.

                    Craig

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                    • #11
                      At one time I owned a 64 Cruiser that had been ordered by the Secret Service and was assigned to the White House fleet for use by one of LBJ's daughters. Black with blue interior, air conditioning, disc brakes, loaded with everything except AM/FM.
                      Skip Lackie

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TomB View Post
                        Thanks for the background. I own a '64 Studebaker Commander sedan that I am in the process of restoring. I had a local auto body shop take out the accumulated dings and scratches then repaint it with a clear coat in an ivory white that matched the original paint which was still visible in the trunk and engine compartment. It was originally built for a buyer in Arizona so the white original paint made sense.

                        Car colors seem so drab these days-grey, black, and silver are so common.
                        Warning! This post may be influenced by prescription meds and caffeine.

                        If I might wax a little philosophical here...(still recovering from summer crud and staying out of church this Sunday)

                        Although, this is America...(Canada and our friends "down-under" included) our heritage includes what I believe is a genetic propensity to walk to the tune of a different drummer. Think about it, with some exceptions, our ancestors got here because they couldn't get along with the known civilized world! Motivated by persecution, escape, or a sense of adventure...it is a giant decision to jump off to the great unknown.

                        Even in this population, the pressure to conform, exerts itself into our lives. This, I believe, makes for some pretty entertaining societal and social conflicts as a result. I really think that, like catching a cold, entire populations can have fits and fads bordering on whimsically embarrassing episodes of conformity (Powder Blue Leisure Suits) to insanely supporting murderous despots (Adolph Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin).

                        For me, it is fun to look at some of these fads, that course through our society, filtered by time and 20/20 hindsight. Anybody remember "marbles?" Young boys with holes worn in their jeans at the knees, sore (and sometimes bleeding) thumb nails from endless hours of grinding away on the ground playing marbles "for keeps." Then came the YO YO...after that...the hula hoop.

                        I remember when nearly all auto upholstery looked like the striped suits worn by gangsters. Car colors are no different. One thing that has improved greatly is paint formulation. Back when most cars were thought of "worn out" at 50,000 miles, certain color paints wouldn't survive their first year without serious deterioration. These new paints offer an expanded opportunity for us to embarrass ourselves later in life when an old video surfaces. Let's hope that cars painted in bold plaid... and, pink kilts for men don't become the next big fads of our lifetime!

                        In historical terms, more established, homogenous societies may be more predictable...but...us folks of diverse, questionable, possible reprobate heritage...provide some pretty entertaining stuff.

                        Stay tuned...the drab cars of today may merely be a calm interlude 'till the next fad wave hits.
                        John Clary
                        Greer, SC

                        SDC member since 1975

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                        • #13
                          My '55 President Speedster was ordered from the factory by a doctor who lived in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He requested the car be painted solid Velvet Black. I've wondered if He did this simply because He liked black,
                          OR if He wanted to buy a new Speedster,...but felt He had to conform to the typical 'all black' doctors car. (Remember doctors making house calls and showing up in their big black Buicks? Oh oh.....come to think of it......
                          funeral directors did the same thing!!!!!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Milaca View Post
                            From what I have seen, black was the most popular color for 1962 GT Hawks. I do agree that black is very seldom seen on the 1964 to '66 cars.
                            In all the GT hawks that I have owner and there has been many I have only had one black 62, more whites than any and only 2 black 63 and of the 6 or 7 64's most were also white and no blacks the one black 62 I still own just altered.

                            Candbstudebakers
                            Castro Valley,
                            California


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Milaca View Post
                              From what I have seen, black was the most popular color for 1962 GT Hawks. I do agree that black is very seldom seen on the 1964 to '66 cars.
                              If anyone looking at 62 Hawks didn't know any better, they would think 3 in 4 was painted black...

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