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Considering buying one....

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  • Considering buying one....

    Hey there,

    I joined here because I recently found a 3 speed lark for sale near me, as these dont come up for sale very often nor do I myself ever see them at car shows or driving around I figured I might come here and ask my questions. I became interested in the cars back when i was younger when I saw a Super Lark in a hemmings motor week. I would like to buy the car and possibly convert it and had two main questions. First off how hard is it to find parts for these cars? I googled around a little and didnt find very much which is a little off putting. Also how hard would it be to convert the car engine and transmission wise to a R3 car? I have looked it up online and it seems like the 4 speed for the car goes for between 1500-2500 bucks and the super charger goes for 1000-1500 bucks. Lastly is this a good buy? Im looking to get out of the LSX car thing and do something a little different and thought this might be a little more fun/interesting/different.

  • #2
    doesn't seem worth it for a 4 door Lark, unless it's completely rust free, and I don't believe you could clone an R3 from a 4 door...


    • #3
      A true, real R3 will run in the neighborhood of $25K. The link you posted shows a car with 2 many doors. Considering the gas tank, I wouldn't spend anymore than $2000. This doesn't mean you couldn't have fun with the car, but 4-doors are a dime a dozen. The car already has a 259...warm it up with a cam and a 4 barrel carb.

      A Super Lark was a full package 2-door Lark based off of the R2 engines. These are far more reasonable to find parts for.
      Tom - Bradenton, FL

      1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
      1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD


      • #4
        Regarding the availability of Studebaker parts in general. They are plentiful. If you go to the Studebaker Drivers Club website and find the links to vendors you will see plenty.
        Ed Sallia
        Dundee, OR

        Sol Lucet Omnibus


        • #5
          There were 4 dr. Super Larks also.
          Have on in my back yard R1 1963 4dr. Super Lark (junker)
          Robert Kapteyn


          • #6
            I suggest hanging out here for a while and learning before buying. Could save you a lot of money and help you find what you are looking for.
            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


            • #7
              I had one also 1963 R1 Cruiser that went from Bakersfield to Tucson to Pennsylvania. There also was a 1963 R1 4 Door Cruiser here in town one of two with a skytop. I would think that a clone car would not be as valuable as an original 4 door R1, but if that is what you want to do, go for it.

              As been stated many many times before, you do it for the enjoyment, not what money you can get out of it.

              Bob Miles
              Tucson AZ
              Home of Lazarus


              • #8
                Just because they weren't commonly ordered doesn't mean the R1 and R2 engines don't show up in 4-drs, wagons and Champ pickups. There will be those who want to make the correct distinction between an R1/R2 engined car and the "full-package Super Lark." Performance can be pretty much the same, differing only in the details. It is to be remembered, the most famous drag Larks of our time were not delivered as Super Larks, but built from the readily available parts.

                As to the 4-speed costing $1500-2000 bucks, it's more like $500-750 for a complete changeover. Just be aware there are two transmission bolt patterns; the '61-early'62 Chevy pattern and the late '62-64 Ford pattern. The 4-speeds haven't gone up in price because so many of us have gotten old and lazy and converted to automatics.

                jack vines

                Bottom line - Stude parts are dirt-common, just not as common or as cheap as SBC parts.


                • #9
                  The younger generation isn't as hung up on performance cars being only of the 2-door variety. With that in mind, I think this could be a great opportunity for you to build an "R" clone. Is still try to work the price down a bit, though. There is almost certainly more rust than the seller is aware of.
                  ~Matt Connor
                  '59 Lark 2-door


                  • #10
                    Honetly based on the article the orginal version of the super lark sounded like a fun car and sounded like a good fun replacement for what I have. Right now I own a 1999 30th Anniversary Trans Am that has me at the point that I am strongly considering sellling it, I sware the car is legitimately cursed. The stock numbers on the super lark looked pretty good. I still need to actually go drive the car but I would obviously try and get it as cheap as possible. When I looked at it this weekend the car didnt look like it had too much rust to be honest but I know thats probably not the case.


                    • #11
                      This is the site Commander Eddie mentioned. Parts are basically no problem for the most part. Vendors parts as well as a good variety of mechanical parts still available at a good local parts store.
                      You can find much other information by clicking on the SDC Home page at the top of this page. Roam around the pages there and get a quick education.
                      Strongly consider ddubs advise, spend time here and save yourself a lot of time and money
                      South Lompoc Studebaker


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ddub View Post
                        I suggest hanging out here for a while and learning before buying. Could save you a lot of money and help you find what you are looking for.
                        Very good advice.....
                        Lou Van Anne
                        62 Champ
                        64 R2 GT Hawk
                        79 Avanti II


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Peanut View Post
                          The younger generation isn't as hung up on performance cars being only of the 2-door variety.... .
                          Some of the older cars though just don't look good in a four door version. In my opinion the four door 57 Chevy just doesn't look right with the dipped body line at the rear/side glass and the fins. But, with four door cars sometimes selling for as little as 25% of their two door versions, and working on a budget, they are not necessarily an unworthy option. Sometimes - removing the rear exterior door handle (using a remote release) can lessen the look. My similar to the stated car, '64 Lark (type) is a four door. It is my opinion that it falls to the middle ground on appearance over a two door. It neither looks awful nor great. The extra 4" don't do anything to enhance the look nor do the stubbier front doors. But, from the front, back and moving down the road from a stationary perspective it is a mote point. In the case of this car being black I think it helps with the four door look. It sort of has that "former police car look."

                          I would agree about the younger generation. In part because a lot of modern cars are designed as four door cars from the beginning. The 1st gen. Ford Taurus comes to mind as well as some of the very stylish BMW's to mention a few. And, in some forms of racing the 4 door structural integrity is deemed an advantage. In Pro Stock drag racing the Gapp & Roush four door Maverick put a new twist on the two door only perspective. Of course in their case they did it because the longer wheelbase gave them a better weight break.

                          Regarding "Clone" cars, if you do it as a tribute to the original most see nothing wrong with that. If you are trying to pass it off as an original many find it dishonest. Nowhere is that more prevalent than in the Sunbeam Tiger community where trying to pass off a V-8 Alpine as a Tiger gets you tarred, feathered and run out of town.
                          Last edited by wittsend; 03-14-2016, 02:22 PM.
                          '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.


                          • #14
                            Actually the car you are considering looks like a very nice, original car. First, I would recommend just driving around with it till you're used to the Studebaker mechanicals. They are different from Ford and Chevy. Get the manuals available from several of our parts-houses and study them for a bit. If you are a gear-head (sounds like you are) it will be likely that you will love the simplicity of these cars. If you aren't a gear-head (like me), you will still likely love the simplicity of these cars. Even a mechanical ignoramus like me can work on them!

                            What to look for:
                            Studebakers are notorious for rusted-out floors. In fact, I often joke that if the car comes with good floors, it might not be a Studebaker! This has to do with how the doors are drained and the thresholds to the door. If the trunk was rusted out, it is highly likely the floors are rusted, most especially the Driver's side. Pull up the carpet to look, then get underneath it and look at both the floors and frame.
                            Find out why the car was converted to floor shift. This should be a column shift car. The parts for the proper shifting linkage can be a bit hard to find.
                            Look the wiring over carefully.
                            At the asking price, this car should be fully operational and current with registration.

                            There are likely very few parts for these available at the FLAPS. Then again, they aren't carrying as much for classic Fords and Chevies any more either. Still, Studebakers have had a very strong support network for many years. Because of this, most owners drive their cars daily. The car you are looking at looks to be a great candidate for this.

                            Welcome to the madness. Be forewarned! Studebakers are a lot like Lays potato chips. You won't be satisfied with just one!

                            Last edited by studeclunker; 03-14-2016, 01:46 PM.
                            Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                            K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                            Ron Smith
                            Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?


                            • #15
                              Great advice Ron.