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Goodbye factory mat

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  • Goodbye factory mat

    I promised myself that I’d keep as much original on this low-mileage 59 Lark 2-door as possible, but the brown factory rubber mat had long since died before the car came to me. And yet, it was still happily in service.

    Hopefully others like me keep all removed original parts for the next caretaker, but it’s pretty sad that they’ll be getting their old mat in a plastic garbage bag; it’s fascinating how 60+ year old rubber can completely lose all its elasticity. It’s like tree bark.

    A neat old flashlight from the “Krotter Yards” (beef stockyards) was found underneath the seat. This Lark was sold in McCook, NE but lived in Trenton, NE thru 2019 where some of these stockyards were.

    The jute padding was remarkably fresh, the floor is in terrific solid shape with a good sheen of the Tahiti Coral, but the sill plates are a bit rough.

    Not sure what can be done to “brighten” anodized and embossed aluminum??
    Last edited by NCDave51; 01-12-2021, 07:08 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by NCDave51 View Post
    The jute padding was remarkably fresh, the floor is in terrific solid shape with a good sheen of the Tahiti Coral, but the sill plates are a bit rough.

    Not sure what can be done to “brighten” anodized and embossed aluminum??
    Dave, I've used aluminum wheel cleaner on those sill plates if they are really grungy dirty and corroded. But I expect yours are not that bad, so you might try some Blue Magic polish: https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...0&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Work it in with a toothbrush to get into the embossing. If you have a polishing wheel you can put on a drill, you can use that but be very careful - these sill plates are easily bent/damaged.
    Paul
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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    • #3
      Perhaps a sub-thread of this one could be: "What have you found under the seat of your Studebaker?" In the mid 60's I bought a Power Hawk and found a police billy club under the front seat. The previous owner was a city cop in Harrisonburg, VA. (I don't mean to hilack this thread.)
      --Dwight

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      • #4
        I don’t think I’d feel too bad about throwing the rubber mat carcass in the trash. But what a nice solid car!

        Originally posted by Dwight FitzSimons View Post
        Perhaps a sub-thread of this one could be: "What have you found under the seat of your Studebaker?"
        I found a nice Zippo lighter under the seat of a ‘51 Land Cruiser. Found out it belonged to my coworker, it fell out of his pocket while he was driving the car some 15 years earlier.

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        • #5
          Are you sure that's a Studebaker? Where's the rust!

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          • #6
            I likely paid too much for this 59-F4, but yes, all the steel is still magnetic. It was a criterion I had in my search this time around.

            However, with its cousin the 62 Champ, well.......

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            • #7
              So is your plan to have a Carpet made as the Regal models used, or Make a New Rubber Mat out of a Ford E350 Cargo Van one or similar?
              StudeRich
              Second Generation Stude Driver,
              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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              • #8
                glad you are hard at work on your lark as i am with mine.... who needs carpet, rubber al the way

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                  So is your plan to have a Carpet made as the Regal models used, or Make a New Rubber Mat out of a Ford E350 Cargo Van one or similar?
                  Moving from DeLuxe to Regal I suppose. The folks at Automotive Interiors up in Mass have always done great work on previous cars and they have a Studebaker section specifically.

                  I went with a nylon loop in medium brown (AM610).

                  https://www.automotiveinteriors.com/...ode=stude-lark

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                  • #10
                    Good choice, they are THE BEST! I got one for my Bucket Seat Power Shift '64 Daytona Hardtop and they got the Shifter Box Cover, the Convertible/Hardtop only, "B" Pillar Stiffener Cover, everything perfect.

                    They DO know Studebakers very well.
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                    • #11
                      With bench and rear seats out, and the crumbling mat hauled off to the garbage (heck no, not keeping for next owners now) I managed to save one piece of the rear. See pic.

                      The part number here certainly matches the Body Parts Catalog, with the US (Rubber Co) and “59” code intact. I’ll save this for my show display board, whenever a cars-n-coffee ever materializes again....?

                      The two 1/4” rubber blocks around the heads of the rear body-to-frame bolts were a curiosity - the Catalog calls them “shims”, p/n: 311446X4. Just a rectangular chunk of conveyor belt!

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                      • #12
                        More Friday and Saturday fun and discoveries.

                        You’d think the factory could have allowed another 50 cents of paint when spraying the interior, and actually covered the rear interior panels? Remaining in primer and stenciled “2-20A” (from, I’m assuming my February build sequence) the panel may have resisted the surface rust it developed?

                        This and the localized floor pan areas have since been stabilized with a tannic acid converter, but won’t be painted.

                        The door and qtr panels had this odd sticky film to them that Windex wouldn’t cut, but a light scrub with paint thinner did nicely. Film and engrained dirt came off nicely, later wiped and passivated using rubbing alcohol. Note that the supplier used light pink vinyl and the brown sections were spray-dyed, as seen from scuffing at some lower portions.

                        Finally, the inside rear backrest is about as clean as I’ve had in a car. Love the blue textile scraps the upholsterer used from another pattern to hog tie; tag reads “Reynolds, 1333175”.
                        Last edited by NCDave51; 01-16-2021, 11:39 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Always fun and interesting , to go through a car that hasn't been molested, AND to me fun is where it's at.

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                          • #14
                            Dave,

                            Clearly this is a labor of love, priceless.

                            Bob Miles

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