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Where did all the studebakers on the east coast vanish too?

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  • Where did all the studebakers on the east coast vanish too?

    So I've been trying to find a parts car for my 61 lark project but have come up short.... So my question is where did they all go ? Did they just all rust away in yards and barns ?
    "trying to save them from the crusher one at a time"

  • #2
    I'm thinking that the years of bad weather and salt took their toll on most of the old cars on the east coast. I remember when I was a kid and living on Long Island, N.Y. cars started to deteriorate in 4 or 5 years due to the weather and rock salt. There are parts cars in the western states, but the people that have them want too much money for them because they are old cars and must be worth a bunch of money. Bud

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    • #3
      My neigbor in New Jersey purchased a new 1957 Ford Fairlane 500, beautiful car. By 1960 the headlights were falling out beacause of rust.
      sigpic1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

      "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
      Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
      "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan

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      • #4
        I don't think they were ever here. I was in high school in 1972 when my dad, who would not let me get a car, relented when his friend offered 2 Studebakers that did not run for $15 apiece. I had never heard of or seen a Studebaker, but I was happy to be able to have a car. None of my friends at the time had ever seen one either, but everyone's parents remembered them. I soon found some in the local salvage yards. One yard that specialized in antique cars had some C cab trucks. There were only Larks in the other yards. All were blue, white, or gray. I did not know that they made other models. I saw another one on the road back then - a green one - the only one I saw back then in a color different from the three noted above. It was ahead of me and appeared to be a 1963 or up. It was obviously a V8, 3 speed, and it was being dogged. The back squatted and smoke poured as it accelerated from a stop light. The squatting and smoking stopped between shifts then quickly resumed. I was not able to catch up to it. That was before 1980, so they have been gone from here a long time. There are some here in the club and at car shows, but to this day I have never seen another one driving on the road, except my own that I have now. I bought it in California in 1980.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Restobaker View Post
          So I've been trying to find a parts car for my 61 lark project but have come up short.... So my question is where did they all go ? Did they just all rust away in yards and barns ?
          Nope- in the 70's they got junked-too hard to get parts as they litterly fell apart, in the 80's they got sold as scrap to Japan, the left overs went in the 90's to China. Then, in comes the EPA or state and wants the wrecking yard's "hazardous waste" removed so out went the rest of the rusted hulks, to make room for something they could sell and make a profit. There weren't that many to start with. Go find a 61 Chevy for a parts car--probably the same problem. We, unlike the majority, still care about the old cars. So now it's up to the forum members to find you the parts you need, from warmer, drier, more friendly holding areas.

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          • #6
            The east coast doesn't end when you get south of DC . Still seem to be a number of them around in the Southeast.
            Paul
            Winston-Salem, NC
            Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 57pack View Post
              My neigbor in New Jersey purchased a new 1957 Ford Fairlane 500, beautiful car. By 1960 the headlights were falling out beacause of rust.
              You are so right Bill! Back then I helped my dad welding in patch panels on a family friends 58 Ford with it's, common to the time, rusted out fenders above the headlamps. Patch panels for that were common & easy to find. Fords seemed to rust the worst there followed by Plymouths & Dodges of that similar era.
              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

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Restobaker View Post
                So I've been trying to find a parts car for my 61 lark project but have come up short.... So my question is where did they all go ? Did they just all rust away in yards and barns ?
                It's not so much that boneyard Studebakers have disappeared here in the northeast,...it's more that the older boneyards, which always contained a good stock of these earlier vehicles, have disappeared!

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                • #9
                  In some states (Maryland for example) junk yards must pay a fee for every vehicle they keep for more than a certain number of days. Cars are stripped of anything valuable, kept for another 30 days or so, then scrapped.
                  Skip Lackie

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                  • #10
                    I'm starting to consider parting this car out and just calling it a day. I've come to the conclusion that It will be best if me and the lark parts ways. I'm not in a situation financially to continue this project(having a place to live is more important). After losing my job last mouth I realized that there are more important things then this car.

                    I'm going to miss the lark but I know what best for the car and I'm not that....
                    "trying to save them from the crusher one at a time"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Restobaker View Post
                      I'm starting to consider parting this car out and just calling it a day. I've come to the conclusion that It will be best if me and the lark parts ways. I'm not in a situation financially to continue this project(having a place to live is more important). After losing my job last mouth I realized that there are more important things then this car.

                      I'm going to miss the lark but I know what best for the car and I'm not that....

                      That's a shame about losing your job....they're not so easy to come by these days....Best of luck to you!

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                      • #12
                        The northeast is a cauldron of Studebaker enthusiasts. The lack of parts cars in this area is because we fix them, drive them and keep them!
                        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                        sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rockne10 View Post
                          The northeast is a cauldron of Studebaker enthusiasts. The lack of parts cars in this area is because we fix them, drive them and keep them!
                          It's true!....we do DRIVE them here in New England!! .....Still, it's nice to have a parts car (or two) tucked away to 'fall back on'!

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                          • #14
                            Dad's '62 GT that he bot new, needed, and got a minor body job and re-paint by '66 and needed more body work again by the fall of '68 when it was "retired" to an Aunt's barn. And it only had 56,000 miles on it.

                            It was sold, but because of it's completeness and low mileage it got a restoration in the late 70's and is actually still being driven in the hobby!

                            Rocker panels commonly rusted out in 3 or 4 years here. Fenders very shortly followed.
                            the only ones that survived here were the ones that were seldom driven.
                            Roger Hill


                            60 Lark Vlll, hardtop, black/red, Power Kit, 3 spd. - "Juliette"
                            61 Champ Deluxe, 6, black/red, o/d, long box. - "Jeri"
                            Junior Wagon - "Junior"

                            "In the end, dear undertaker,
                            Ride me in a Studebaker"

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                            • #15
                              Hi

                              By the early 1970's, what with the heavy use of road salt, finding a Studebaker (or most any other older make of car) without serious rust damage was quite a task. Add to that when Studebakers became orphans their resale value went to virtual zero. Dealers, whether new or used, didn't want and frequently wouldn't take them in trade. I recall seeing them for sale next to the road with near scrap prices.

                              Fast forward 40 to 50 years, the natural attrition of all used cars has cleared all but a few away, maybe a 1% survival rate. Finding any cars older than 30-35 years is rare in junkyards as active recyclers only keep cars from which to sell parts that are in demand, don't have time or space for dozens of old cars with low parts demand. Some keep a motley collection of whatever shows up, as long as they not too numerous, otherwise they get scrapped.

                              As far as trying to restore a rusty, run-down, weathered post WWII car, some advice: find the best one you can, even if its a financial stretch and even if it has to be shipped from regions of the country where old cars have survived in better condition. Unless you really enjoy the project i.e. repairing or replacing rusted sheet metal, paying for chrome plating, paint and upholstery in addition to all the mechanical rebuilding required, start with a car that simply doesn't need as much, hasn't been allowed to deteriorate. I remind myself of this all the time when some rough car comes along available, keeps me from getting 'underwater' on a project.

                              Good luck, not only with your job search but also finding another Studebaker that will prove an easier, but still satisfying project.

                              Steve

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