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Lark Omission in May Hemmings Classic Car

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  • Lark Omission in May Hemmings Classic Car

    Before anybody gets their panties too wadded up, here's the letter I just sent my "boss," Richard Lentinello, regarding the matter.

    Self-explanatory:

    **************************************************


    Hi, Richard;

    Kindly pass this along to Jeff Koch. Thanks.

    C'mon, Jeff;

    An entire article on domestic 1950-1971 compact cars in the May Hemmings Classic Car and no mention, much less a photo, of any Studebaker Lark? You've got to be kidding! You had room to mention English Fords, Simcas, Vauxhalls, and Opels (yawn....) as stop-gap Big Three import offerings, but no room to cite and illustrate the incredibly-successful, fully-domestic, Studebaker Lark?

    You rightly included the 1950 Nash Rambler, the 1951 Henry J, and the 1953 Hudson Jet, but the first-year 1959 Studebaker Lark, acknowledged as a compact car by every definition at the time, outsold all three of those first-year's models combined!

    And the Lark was a wonderful product that bought Studebaker at least five more years' survival, whereas the Henry J and the sturdy Jet are generally acknowledged to have shortened the lives of their parents by siphoning off money that would have been better spent developing those manufacturers' primary products.

    In all, Studebaker sold over 500,000 cars identified as Studebaker Larks from 1959 through the end of South Bend production in December, 1963. (That does not include 1964 Daytonas and Cruisers. They were not identified as Larks for the 1964 model year.) That's no small number, even by Big Three standards. The Studebaker Lark certainly warranted a place in your article.

    I call for a dozen lashes of the editorial wet noodle for this oversight. However, I request they be gentle because I know that sooner or later, I'll overlook something in my quarterly column and you'll be able to ask Richard to "reverse the charges," as we used to say about collect, long-distance telephone calls.

    Best.

    Bob Palma


    *********************************************

    (BTW, to ward off Gary Lindstrom's pointing out that 1963 Cruisers are also not identified as "Larks" -and, true; they were not- I could not find a 1963 Cruiser-specific production figure. Even so, the total figure I came up with was actually 517,143. So unless they made more than 17,143 1963 Cruisers, my cited "over 500,000" figure would hold.

    The figure I have for all 1963 4-door sedans, both sixes and eights, is 40,113. If we backed out 17,143, that would leave fewer than 22,000 for the total number of Lark Regal 6 and 8 4-doors and Lark Custom 6 and 8 4-doors, which sounds awfully small to me, as popular as are 4-door sedans in two trim levels and all engines combined. To clarify, the 40,113 figure does not include 1963 taxicabs.)


    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.

  • #2
    Bob:
    I just got the May issue of Hemmings Classic Car yesterday, and as I read the same article I had the very same thought regarding the omission of the Lark. Thanks for pointing it out; maybe they can do a "recovery from a mistake" article about the Lark!
    Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
    '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
    '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
    '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks BP, hopefully it will mean more coming from within. All this after placing a Lark on the COVER of the March 13 issue.

      It's bad enough to take abuse from "big 3" guys but to be "dissed" by a magazine like Hemmings is unforgivable.

      Maybe the author of this piece needs to review the comments on this thread. But wait a while before sending him a link as I'm sure more chastation is forthcoming.

      Oh yeah, send a link to Richard as well.
      Jon Stalnaker
      Karel Staple Chapter SDC

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, guys; I would plead for a little mercy toward fellow Hemmings Classic Car writer Jeff Koch.
        Criticism is valid, but let's not let the current CFS (Cabin Fever Syndrome) epidemic inspire words too harsh, OK?
        Thanks! 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.

        Comment


        • #5
          I was uset too by the omission.

          One possible defense for them...wasn't the Lark body based on the 53-on sedan bodies...and thus not really designed from the ground up as a compact?
          63 Avanti R1 2788
          1914 Stutz Bearcat
          (George Barris replica)

          Washington State

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JBOYLE View Post
            I was uset too by the omission.

            One possible defense for them...wasn't the Lark body based on the 53-on sedan bodies...and thus not really designed from the ground up as a compact?
            Not really, John. He discussed the first-generation Barracuda at length, and even included a picture of it, but it was simply a fancy Valiant, albeit a good one. He cites many similar adaptations of one car to another.

            Taken as a whole, the article is well-inclusive of every appropriate car of the era except the Studebaker Lark. I really think he just forgot about the Lark; nothing intentional. Jeff is a pretty good guy, from what I understand. 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.

            Comment


            • #7
              Without going to look at the article again.......I believe he also failed to mention the Willys Aero. This was a much better car than some of the other early 'compacts' he included (Henry J, Hudson Jet).
              Paul
              Winston-Salem, NC
              Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

              Comment


              • #8
                I was wondering about the March article about cars of the 1960s. There was a photo of a 1961 Hawk - but no mention of Studebaker, especially the Avanti...

                For the omissions that are there, I do not think there is a better magazine out there about antique/classic vehicles. I have actually heard a Big Three fan complain at a car show that he does not like the magazine because it focused too much on those "off brands."

                Keep plugging away BP - it is like I tell my history students - when people stop talking/writing about something from the past, it is essentially gone.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here's my two cents for Hemmings...

                  I've owned at one time or another a '62 Falcon, a '64 Dart, a '65 Corvair and--last, and most importantly--a '60 Lark. Just missed out on the Rambler. None of its competitors charmed me or fit me (I'm 6'4" and 230 lbs) as well as did the Studebaker. Ya messed up, guys.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    BP: you really need to ask Mr. L how much the subscription numbers went up since it's been discussed here since you have become a columnist! i rec'd my 1st copy, the March issue, at the first of the month quickly followed by the April, and now the May issue.

                    of course, TW goes to the top of my stack of my reading material in the "library", but i've really been enjoying HCC as a fill in until the next TW arrives!
                    Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

                    '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

                    '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Gee, my subscription is due for renewal.This issue (my last) with such a huge omission, makes me think twice about mailing that check. Hmmmm????
                      JS
                      I was STUDEBAKER, when STUDEBAKER wasn't "KOOL".

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have to wonder if someone who would include the short lived, unpopular "Foreign, Sub-Compact Cars" that NEVER made it here, in the mix may have an English Car fetish?
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well...being the incurable CASO...the omission didn't bother me at all...since my CASO subscription budget is completely consumed by my SDC membership and Turning Wheels!

                          If you guys hadn't made such a fuss...I would have never known.
                          John Clary
                          Greer, SC

                          SDC member since 1975

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I haven't read anything yet that sounds too harsh. I think the author could benefit from some honest feedback from the people in the hobby and the folks that subscribe to the magazine.

                            I still like my HCC subscription and intend to remain on the mailing list. There's a lot of love out there for what they publish and I still think sending those links would be a positive thing.

                            I was a subscriber even before BP was a columnist. But I think it got a little better when they put BP on the payroll.

                            I loved the comment about the "big 3" guy complaining about too much coverage of the "off brands".

                            We're not hatin here.
                            Jon Stalnaker
                            Karel Staple Chapter SDC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LarkTruck View Post
                              Gee, my subscription is due for renewal.This issue (my last) with such a huge omission, makes me think twice about mailing that check. Hmmmm????JS
                              Well, JS, the next issue you would get (June 2013) has my column in it and Studebaker is mentioned, although it is not a major part of the article. That column was submitted in February, as it was due March 11.

                              I can also tell you that I'm presently working on my September column (the next one I "do" after June), and it will have more "Studebaker" in it than any previous column I've written for Hemmings Classic Car...so you'd better re-up! (The little picture in the September column will also have two "equal" cars in it, one of which is a familiar Studebaker!) 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.

                              Comment

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