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  • Straight windshield 1959 Larks?

    'Anybody else notice the significant item in the August 2013 Turning Wheels Pennington/Churchill installment?

    Harold Churchill said conclusively that if the dies had not been destroyed, they would have reverted to the 1953-early 1955 "straight" windshield and cowl for the 1959 Lark and saved $6 per car by doing so. That's a chunk of dough for a car in which they were trying to keep costs low.

    I've always thought it was interesting how the industry backed off wrap-around windshields after the 8-year-or-so romance with them that began circa 1955 (with earlier examples, to be sure, but not mainstream).

    Had Studebaker done that and kept that cowl and straight windshield through 1962, the 1963 cowl and windshield would have been more evolutionary and not so dramatically different.

    Interesting stuff. 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.

  • #2
    I always thought that the wrap around wind shield looked good on the 59-60 Lark. Not so much on the 61-62. I also thought that the late 55 with the wrap around windshield helped the look of the 53-55 sedan body, which in my opinion needed some help in the looks department.... So, cheaper or not, I like the 59-60 Lark styling. However, I can understand wanting to save cost, and "modernize" the new body style. As for the romance ending, probably too many owners got tired of bumping their heads and knees getting in and out of those "stylish" cars with that panoramic view....
    1962 Champ

    51 Commander 4 door

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    • #3
      Hi Bob

      That detail occurred to a few of us:
      http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...shield-picture

      Here's the prior thread with the picture:
      http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...ight=starlight

      Indeed, returning to the straight windshield would have been a step taken sooner than other makers who had their go with the GM lead wrap-around windshield fad. It could have made the Lark look more modern by '60-'61 as others returned to the rearward raked A-pillar.

      Steve

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      • #4
        I like the wraparound windshield, and knock wood, haven't hit a knee yet, but looking at the left side of the mockup, I don't mind the straight windshield.

        I do NOT like the rear roof quarter concept on the left that either is sloped in, or at least looks like it's sloped into the cabin. I much prefer the square lines it ended up having, both aesthetically and as a practical consideration.

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        • #5
          Thanks, guys. One of my pet peeves is multiple threads on the same topic, so I would delete this if I could. 'Don't know how I missed the earlier one; I just didn't see it!

          Unfortunately, you cannot delete your own thread once someone has posted to it. 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


          • #6
            Well, I don't feel so stupid, now. The earlier thread only references the Pennington/Churchill straight-windshield Lark once you read it.

            The earlier topic's title, while accurate, doesn't indicate it is discussing something from the Pennington/Churchill interview. It just sounds like the poster was trying to locate an earlier picture.

            That's not to say there is anything wrong with the title, you understand, because the title does indicate what the poster is trying to find. 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
              I've really enjoyed the Pennington interviews of Mr. Churchill. I found it interesting to read about the desire to put straight windshields on the '59 Larks. Actually, I love the wraparound windshield on my '59 Lark Hardtop.
              I appreciate the fact that the dogleg is much less intrusive than the wraparound windshields that GM and Ford cars had. Chrysler windshields were very similar to Studebaker's.
              Rog
              '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
              Smithtown,NY
              Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club

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              • #8
                I guess this would have required the use of an earlier model dash. It would have been interesting to see how they would have updated the 1953-55 dash design for the Lark.

                Chris.

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                • #9
                  When I read that, it was news to me. I was thinking about the cost savings. Assuming the $6 per car carried on through the '62 model, that would have been what, around $2,000,000 cash saved? That's a lot of cash to a little independent car company.

                  Who knows what that change could have led to? Maybe between the cost savings, and the "advanced" flat glass which was just about to come back into style, the Lark would have sold more units as well, further increasing profit. Perhaps a few million extra dollars would have been the difference maker in '65 When Grundy went to get the '67 approved. From there, the sky's the limit. Were it not for the scrapping of those dies, maybe we'd be able to go out to our nearest Studebaker dealership next month for a sneak peak at the 2014 models. All over a $6 per car savings. Who knows?
                  '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

                  "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

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                  • #10
                    Its interesting to note that a die used in production up to mid 1955 had already been scrapped by the time Lark development began in late 1956.

                    Chris.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by raprice View Post
                      I've really enjoyed the Pennington interviews of Mr. Churchill. I found it interesting to read about the desire to put straight windshields on the '59 Larks. Actually, I love the wraparound windshield on my '59 Lark Hardtop.
                      I appreciate the fact that the dogleg is much less intrusive than the wraparound windshields that GM and Ford cars had. Chrysler windshields were very similar to Studebaker's.
                      Rog
                      The Ford and GM wraparound windshields I never cared for since I did hit my knee getting out of a 1956 Ford sedan after aligning it about 20 years ago. My 1962 Lark; OTOH, didn't have that ergonomic drawback as raprice pointed out.
                      --------------------------------------

                      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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