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  • Lark development?

    Are there any surviving concept sketches, photos of clay models, etc., of the stages of development of the original Lark from the "Champion with its ends sawed off" to what actually came off the production line?
    1963 Champ "Stu Bludebaker"- sometimes driver
    1957 Silver Hawk "Josie"- picking up the pieces after an unreliable body man let it rot for 11 years from an almost driver to a basket case
    1951 Land Cruiser "Bunnie Ketcher" only 47M miles!
    1951 Commander Starlight "Dale"- basket case
    1947 Champion "Sally"- basket case
    1941 Commander Land Cruiser "Ursula"- basket case

  • #2
    Lots of '65-'66 Proposals and concept Cars were done but the '59 was a slam dunk with early deadlines, so not so much was done proposal wise, other than the Model "X" Name and a different Grille than Production.

    Who has a Pic of the Model "X" with the Packard looking Brooks Stevens Hexagon Grille Emblem with a lazy "S" in it on a
    pre-production Grille?

    59 Lark Grille Ad.jpg NOT like this Production one. 1960 Car Show.jpg This one Floats in a Fountain!
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner



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    • #3
      The only one I've seen.
      Attached Files
      Scott Rodgers
      Los Angeles
      SDC Member since 1989
      \'60 Lark HT
      \'63 Wagonaire
      \'66 Frankenbaker

      Comment


      • #4
        There's a factory promo film, "Model X" which shows some experimental stuff.
        The SNM has a 1/4 scale clay model of an early Lark however they don't display it.
        Chris Dresbach

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        • #5
          I have seen photos somewhere of the "X" Lark with grille, wheel cover and horn button from the 58 or earlier cars on it.

          Len

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          • #6
            Originally posted by scott.rodgers View Post
            The only one I've seen.
            That 2 door hardtop behind the Lark prototype looks like it's been fitted with a Hawk fin.
            That's an interesting Lark prototype design. I'm glad they decided on the one that was launched.
            Rog
            '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
            Smithtown,NY
            Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by raprice View Post
              That 2 door hardtop behind the Lark prototype looks like it's been fitted with a Hawk fin.
              That's an interesting Lark prototype design. I'm glad they decided on the one that was launched.
              Rog
              Isn't that a 58 hardtop?
              Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

              40 Champion 4 door*
              50 Champion 2 door*
              53 Commander K Auto*
              53 Commander K overdrive*
              55 President Speedster
              62 GT 4Speed*
              63 Avanti R1*
              64 Champ 1/2 ton

              * Formerly owned

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              • #8
                Originally posted by scott.rodgers View Post
                The only one I've seen.
                The photo illustrates what the Lark would have looked like with the non wrap around windshield.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by qsanford View Post
                  The photo illustrates what the Lark would have looked like with the non wrap around windshield.
                  I believe the windshield wraps around in that photo, but the angle does not show it well. Look at the relationship of the dashboard to the A pillar. It looks just like the 59 that was produced with a wrap-around windshield.
                  Dis-Use on a Car is Worse Than Mis-Use...
                  1959 Studebaker Lark VIII 2DHTP

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BILT4ME View Post
                    I believe the windshield wraps around in that photo, but the angle does not show it well. Look at the relationship of the dashboard to the A pillar. It looks just like the 59 that was produced with a wrap-around windshield.
                    No way is that a Wraparound Windshield at least not on the Left side, note the Triangular '53 to early '55 Sedan Vent Windows for a Straight W/S.

                    Notice that the Right side of that Prototype (actually only a design Study) has the Tail Light and Fender Design chosen, so the right side is different and may have a wraparound W/S or opening for one on the RIGHT.
                    Last edited by StudeRich; 10-28-2015, 07:58 PM.
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Not to change the subject of this thread, but that HT behind the Lark seems to be the stillborn '59 prototype seen in the middle of the shot below. These are the only shots I've seen of these other '59 prototypes and I'd like to know more about them. They seemed to be pretty for into the design before they were dropped for consideration. They even eliminated those awful headlight pods from the '58s!
                      Attached Files
                      Scott Rodgers
                      Los Angeles
                      SDC Member since 1989
                      \'60 Lark HT
                      \'63 Wagonaire
                      \'66 Frankenbaker

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The front Ends all look like Pontiacs or Russian Cars. Looks like they were trying to copy that '57 Plymouth "Example" at the far right.
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner



                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                          Looks like they were trying to copy that '57 Plymouth "Example" at the far right.
                          That IS a Plymouth, Rich!! Most likely it was bought from a dealer anonymously, later to tear down and evaluate.

                          Craig

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by scott.rodgers View Post
                            Not to change the subject of this thread, but that HT behind the Lark seems to be the stillborn '59 prototype seen in the middle of the shot below. These are the only shots I've seen of these other '59 prototypes and I'd like to know more about them. They seemed to be pretty for into the design before they were dropped for consideration. They even eliminated those awful headlight pods from the '58s!
                            Those prototypes in the picture, to me, look like they're Chrysleresque. Did I coin a new word? The tail lamps on that rear view aren't too bad.
                            Rog
                            '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
                            Smithtown,NY
                            Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi

                              Until Churchill decided to scuttle the full-sized lines and concentrate on a compact, further restyles were planned for the 1959 as seen in the photos in post #11. New front fenders which included the dual headlights incorporated in the grille were fully consistent with industry styling direction. Various taillight configurations were about all they could afford once the major funds were spent on a new front clip.

                              Late in 1957/early 1958, Churchill realized that continuing with their direct competition with Big Three full-sized models was futile. The '57 Scotsman and AMC Rambler sales, as well as import sales, were demonstrating a growing market for compact cars. It was a roll of the dice but he made the difficult decision to drop the full-size cars completely, place all their chips on a compact ginned-up from major components of their current products. As much as their less-than-industry-standard width had been a product deficit heretofore, it turned out to be spot-on for a compact. The crash program took place mostly throughout the first nine months of 1958, $5.8M budgeted to cover the costs.

                              As we all know, it was a fortuitous decision, bought a few years of profits which were plowed into diversification.......but that allowed the board to lead away from automobiles. Not what Churchill had in mind.

                              Steve

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