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Buying a 1959 Studebaker Lark

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  • Buying a 1959 Studebaker Lark

    I'm going down to pick up a 59 lark in 2 weeks.

    Is there a decent availability for parts for that car yet?

    From the pictures I've received from the seller and info it shouldn't need much.... He mentioned a power steering leak from the resoivoir and that I will need to re attach the door panels so I'm assuming I will need clips or however they are attached.

    Plans are to have it up and going well to make my wedding and then the 6 hr trip in 2017 for the south bend international meet.

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  • #2
    Most everything mechanical is available, as well as exterior trim parts. Exterior body parts will be a combination of NOS and good used, as far as availability. Interior soft trim/upholstery will be more difficult. The ps reservoir is similar to a Ford unit. Start by getting SI's catalog.

    Is this the car that has been discussed at length on another thread on this Forum?

    If the car has not been regularly used for awhile, be sure to go over it (particularly brakes) and change all of the fluids before you try to drive it anywhere. By "pick up", I hope that you mean truck or trailer, not drive it.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer


    • #3
      Hey, yes it was mentioned on another thread: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...-for-only-4500

      I was able to get in contact with the current owner and came to a deal on it, all pending a final inspection when I arrive. It's a 6.5 hour drive so it will be towed home.

      The car hasn't been sitting too long but I still plan to change the oil and lnspect the rest of the fluids before driving.

      From the info I received the car was nearing the end of a restoration. Has newer paint, brake system and motor have been gone through.
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      • #4
        Good luck with that nice '59 Lark VIII, Regal Top of the Line 4 Door, it is a very nice looking one quite well equipped with Options like Front and Rear Bumper Guards, Backup Lights, Climatizer, Oil Filter, Power Steering, etc.

        The Door Panel Clips are usually on the Panels, but are Standard Parts available from Automotive Hardware Suppliers and Studebaker Vendors at:

        Here is the Older Post:

        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner


        • #5
          Congratulations. I'm glad you were finally able to connect with the seller. It looks like a great deal.
          Mark L


          • #6
            That was an unusually nice car. Congratulations, and 'glad to hear it is going to an appreciative home. 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.


            • #7
              '59-'60 Larks are some of my favorites. Yours looks great. Good luck with it.
              Joe Roberts
              '61 R1 Champ
              '65 Cruiser
              Eastern North Carolina Chapter


              • #8
                Congratulations on your '59 Lark. From the photos, it looks like it's in good condition. I've owned my '59 Lark Regal Hardtop for over 25 years and love every minute I'm driving it. It's been a great car.
                '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
                Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club


                • #9
                  Congratulations! I'm jealous! Like I said in the other thread, if I had the space, I would own it. I think you made a great choice! I love my 59 Lark 2DHTP, and both are the BEST color of all Studebakers....... enjoy it as much as you can!

                  I get the majority of my stuff from Studebaker International, with a few odds and ends from NAPA. I also have a local guys with about 45 cars on 40 acres scattered about, so we go "fishing" for parts, and help him organize his flock.
                  Dis-Use on a Car is Worse Than Mis-Use...
                  1959 Studebaker Lark VIII 2DHTP


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the nice and encouraging comments guys. I will post more pictures and info on May 1st when I get it home.


                    • #11
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                      Got the car back home about 2am yesterday. The 13 hour trip went well and fairly uneventful besides breaking the passenger side exhaust manifold unloading the car and finding out the car has been sitting for 3 years which was never mentioned in our conversations.

                      the body is in great shape. Paint is presentable and I would feel comfortable taking it to local car shows once I address some issues.

                      *The car is missing all the weather stripping around the windows.
                      *The power steering system has numerous leaks.
                      *There is a large oil leak on the backside of the motor/almost looks to be dripping from inside the trans case where it connects to the motor... Possibly the rear main seal?
                      *Has a brake pull, the lf hose is twisted and Rubbing on the frame.
                      *The only key for the ignition is severely bent and almost un-useable.
                      *The floors have been patched in areas but they do the job for now.
                      *Needs new exhaust and passenger manifold. (Are the manifolds off a 62 lark wagon with the 259 the same as my 59 lark?). A friend in California has one he is willing to send me if I pay shipping.

                      Beyond that I'm proud to be a studebaker owner again. I have a lot ahead of me in the next 1-2 months here as I get it ready to go back on the road and for my wedding come September.

                      Any guidance in my new ownership is appreciated. Especially hints to part searching or common knowledge.


                      • #12
                        Still a decent looking car: I'd MUCH rather do mechanical work vs paint/body..........

                        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?"


                        • #13
                          Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.
                          Mark L


                          • #14
                            Great to see you got the car home! How did you break the exhaust manifold? Did it somehow catch on the trailer as it transitioned down the ramp? On the window seals, do you mean the "cat whiskers?" If so, you will need to be careful closing the doors until they are replaced. Easiest way I know to crack a window by slamming a door with those worn out or missing.

                            I've never owned a Studebaker with power steering, so I can't address that with any credibility. As for the oil leak. It could be anything from your front felt timing cover seal, fuel pump, oil pan gasket, rear main seal, valve covers, valley cover, and draft tube. Of course, some of these are easier to fix than others. It's just that the cooling fan will blow that oil toward the back of the engine and make you think it is only coming from there.

                            I have a 1960 four door V8 Lark. It now needs lots of work, and has been sitting for years. I have thought about selling it, but every time I crank it up, pay it a little attention, I can't bring myself to part with it. I used it in business, made money with it, and had some of my greatest adventures with it. I've also taken my longest (and fastest) Studebaker journeys in it. As long as you never expect more of the car than it was designed for, know the realities/limitations of the technology of its era, and enjoy the tinkering it will have a blast.

                            All those grease fittings, and oil change at two to three thousand miles, more steering wheel motion, braking effort for the drum brakes, keeping them adjusted, and the occasional "vapor lock"...keeping up with that is part of the vintage experience. If your "dream" of having this classic is in tune with the "reality" of having will do just fine.
                            John Clary
                            Greer, SC

                            SDC member since 1975


                            • #15
                              Since the Oil is coming from the Torque Converter Housing, It sounds very much like the Front Pump Seal on the Flight-O-Matic is bad.

                              There is also an "O" Ring on the Front Pump that will leak when hardened from being around for 57 Years.

                              Is it Red fluid?

                              All of the Exhaust Manifolds from 1955 to 1964 Std. 259 and 289 are identical except the interchangeable Alternator Bracket that is bolted onto the Right side on '63 & '64 instead of the Generator one.
                              Second Generation Stude Driver,
                              Proud '54 Starliner Owner