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'63 Lark dash cap options

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  • '63 Lark dash cap options

    With the hard cover dash caps no longer being offered (and with good reason, judging by how poorly the one on my car has held up), are there any original looking replacements (soft or hard) out there that won't cost you a fortune? I'd consider fabricating one myself, but my car has already had a cap put on it, so I don't have any idea if what's under there is good enough to serve as a template.

    Open to suggestion, or if anyone has a spare dash lying around, let me know.
    '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

    "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

  • #2
    I think "Just Dashes" is the only option right now and they are very expensive. http://www.justdashes.com/index.html

    Out of curiosity what happened to the hard cap? Did it get brittle? Even if you found a perfect NOS one I would not trust it. Ed Reynolds has mentioned reproducing them in the future but no news on this.

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    • #3
      Well, it's a black cap, and the car has been parked in the sun on several occasions. The thing's got more bubbles than a pot of boiling water. It's just sorta wavy everywhere. Then there's the canyon split running from the speaker grill to where the instrument panel rises up. Then there's the corner by the glove box which is curling up. It's truly the worst looking part of my car, and that says a lot, considering I've got some bubling bondo at the door corners and non-stock 30 year old seat covers.

      I saw a whole dash assembly for sale a while back, and I used to be pretty good with leather and vinyl, so I considered buying the dash to use as a platform to make a new one, but then I'd have a useless dash lying around my garage. I'd rather just buy one that I could put on. I was vaguely familiar with the Just Dashes option, but too expensive for a daily driver, IMHO.
      '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

      "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

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      • #4
        If the hard dash covers aren't too complex, I bet a local sign company with a vacuform could make one.
        63 Avanti R1 2788
        1914 Stutz Bearcat
        (George Barris replica)

        Washington State

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        • #5
          I am in the process of covering the original dash with fleece, resin then filler for the fine details. Mine was badly cracked. It is a slow process but the price is right. I will be starting the glove box door next. Just and idea.


          sigpic
          Tim Johnston
          Collierville TN

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          • #6
            The picture looks pretty good, but not "Fleecy" where is the FUZZ? I was expecting a "Carpet" look!
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #7
              The fleece will stretch and conform to the curves of the dash without wrinkling. The resin soaks into the fabric and makes it almost smooth. This is a old car stereo customizing trick. Depending on how much hardener you use, you can be sanding in just a few minutes. I'm not a expert, but necessity is the mother of invention.
              sigpic
              Tim Johnston
              Collierville TN

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              • #8
                Tim, can you take a few more close ups? I'd love to see how this is coming out for you. I may give that route a shot if I can't find anything better.

                Going back to '63 Larks in general, wasn't the original dash a soft padded vinyl? How was that shaped?
                '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

                "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

                Comment


                • #9
                  There was an older gentleman at the Co-Operator session in Colorado Springs who had a solution for fixing the original dashes. He explained it, but no one took notes, unfortunately.
                  RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                  17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                  10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                  10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                  4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                  5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                  56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                  60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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                  • #10
                    I imagine one could bondo or seam seal the cracks and paint the entire dash pad but how long will that hold up is what I wonder.

                    Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
                    There was an older gentleman at the Co-Operator session in Colorado Springs who had a solution for fixing the original dashes. He explained it, but no one took notes, unfortunately.

                    Comment


                    • #11
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                      34 Studebaker Street Rod (completed)
                      55 Speedster (in work)
                      63 Lark R2 (completed, 63K miles)
                      64 Daytona CNV (completed, 63K miles)
                      64 Avanti R2 (completed)
                      85 Avanti(blackout trim, 10K miles)
                      89 Avanti CNV (19K miles)

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                      • #12
                        Looks better than mine does Jackson. Like I said, mine is a bubbly, cracked, twisting mess.

                        I think I'm going to do some small scale experiments with the resin/fleece, and maybe some vinyl, to see what I like best.

                        I'd never have my car judged. It'd be the first Studebaker to break into the negative numbers on the 400 point scale!
                        '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

                        "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          JimC, please keep in mind I have never seen another Lark dash. I thought the curled up corners were normal. In retrospect , if I had done some research, I would have removed the dash and ground the curled up areas flat. I am still working on the dash but this is what I have so far. It is a hard fiberglass version of the soft padded original. I have been side tracked by engine issues. Since this is a daily driver, running has to take priority over looking better. I think for my budget and skill level this method is going to work for me. Jackson, I would love to meet you some time since we are in the same city. looks like you have some REAL beauties.

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                          sigpic
                          Tim Johnston
                          Collierville TN

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                          • #14
                            JimC, I forgot to add, I tried the vinyl route. I could not get the compound curves to lay flat around the instrument cluster. I tried glue and a heat gun. I would have preferred to use it, but just could not get it to work.

                            Tim
                            sigpic
                            Tim Johnston
                            Collierville TN

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                            • #15
                              Jackson, I would love to meet you some time since we are in the same city.
                              Timj check your PM's, I failied to notice that we live in the same city.

                              34 Studebaker Street Rod (completed)
                              55 Speedster (in work)
                              63 Lark R2 (completed, 63K miles)
                              64 Daytona CNV (completed, 63K miles)
                              64 Avanti R2 (completed)
                              85 Avanti(blackout trim, 10K miles)
                              89 Avanti CNV (19K miles)

                              Comment

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