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My First Car

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  • My First Car

    Taking a break right now from working in the yard, taking advantage of the cool morning & thinking of my first car. The one Dad gave me. I still miss it. It was special more than that though. It was a 59 Studebaker Lark, deluxe 4 door sedan, Sea mist Green. It had been a trade in at the Pontiac dealer where dad was the body shop manager, so he got it for $150.00. The right rear fender was damaged so he straightened it before handing it to me as a surprise. That car served me well for the next 2+ years. I swapped the flathead 6 for an OHV 6. Dial in the bell housing? I didn't know what that was. I was a dumb kid that wanted more go. I was tired of a friend beating me with his Rambler American. A front sway bar helped the handling. It needed brakes & a guy at school had a 57 Hawk that he was going to scrap. I got the front & rear brakes from that to make mine with V-8 brakes. C/B radios were getting to be the big thing then so mine had to have one, with the big whip antenna on the back. Just like a cop car!

    That car was fun. One day after school I crawled underneath & loosened the muffler from the exhaust pipe. Boy did it sound strong! Rode around town for a few hours & then buttoned it back up. Until the day of dread. I was heading for Perth Amboy. As I got off Rt 9 I came to a stop at the traffic circle just south of the Victory bridge. Well, the stop was more abrupt than normal. The trans instead of downshifting into first, locked up. Refused to go forward but went in reverse. So I back up around the circle & into a body shop there. My dad had mentioned some time before that he knew the owner there, so I asked for Steve & pleaded to keep my car in front of the shop until Dad could help rescue it that night.

    We towed the car home & rolled it into the driveway with a for sale sign on it the next morning. A short time later a guy from Morgan agreed to buy it for $75.00 if we towed it to his house. Not a problem. A sadness fell upon me. What made it really bad was when we unhooked it in front of his house, he got in the car, put it in drive & off he went! Drats!! Why didn't I think of doing that!! Now I really felt bad.

    Dad & that car are gone now. So is the house where we lived. A victim of progress & the need of an overpass at Rt 9 & Ernston Road. But back when I was at Steve's body shop, I saw a 66 V.W. sitting in front. It was a total. Was it for sale? That story is for another time. Stove huggers maybe.
    59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
    60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
    61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
    62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
    62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
    62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
    63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
    63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
    64 Zip Van
    66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
    66 Cruiser V-8 auto

  • #2
    No replies yet. Huh? I've never owned my own car until this studebaker starlight. Granted we haven't had much fun together yet, as it awaits a heart transplant. But it is for all intents and purposes my first car. I love first car stories. Especially when they manage to keep it. It's sad you couldn't keep yours, would be awesome to see some pics if you and the car.