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60 Lark unrestored

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  • 60 Lark unrestored

    Hello, my name is Jurgen and I live in Germany. Last December I bought a 1960 Lark VIII Deluxe. Found it at a dealer in St. Louis when I was surfing in the Internet. I did not know anything about Studebakers but this one is the same age as me but in a much better condition. I could not resist buying it. Later I found out that the car belonged to the father of a member of this forum and now I would like to get hold of as much information about my car as possible.

    Over here the Lark is nearly unknown. As it seems mine is the only one in Germany. There is about half a dozen of Hawks around and maybe a few other Studebakers. My Lark is completely unrestored but in a terrific condition. It seems to be 100% original and the 13000 miles on the speedometer might well be real.

    For safety reasons I bought new tires, filled up gasoline and went for the first ride. Drives excellent and very smooth. Unfortunately is turns quite hot. I rinsed the cooling system which did help. But the Lark still turns hot when doing more than 60 miles for a longer period.

    In Germany there is no speed limit on the motorways. My car is equipped with the standard 3-speed gearbox. I'd love an overdrive but I want to keep the car original. Are overdrives easy to find? And is fitting one reversible? Maybe someone can help.


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  • #2
    Welcome to the SDC Forum!

    I do not have the latest SDC Roster, but my 2008 copy has another Lark in Eydelstedt.

    The overdrive transmission can be installed in place of the standard. It is reversible, but I do not know why you would want to do that.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    • #3
      Wow! It looks like brand new. That is a really fine looking car. Good for you!
      "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

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      • #4
        The overdrive is added to the back of the 3 spd trans. Maybe someone could send you just the parts needed. And not the whole transmission. The drive shaft would need to be shorten and balanced.

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        • #5
          That is one SHARP looking Lark!!!!! LOVE that dark green

          Anybody know which color that is? I would like to put it on the "canidate" list for when I get around to paint and body
          Charles

          1961 Lark Regal VIII 259/auto -- Lucy

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          • #6
            Another beautiful Studebaker Lark,these survivor Cars are in deed out there.
            Joseph R. Zeiger

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            • #7
              The V8 is powerful and has plenty of torque. And the Lark is compared to other cars a real lightweight. If there was another gear you would want to use it already at 50 mph. Ideal speed on German motorways is between 80 and 90 miles. There is no rev-counter in the Lark. But at this speed you can tell from the sound of the V8 that it desires another gear. Or an overdrive. The easiest way would be a different ratio on the rear axle. We call it "a longer axle". Maybe there is someone who has any experience with this matter?

              The color is "Williamsburg Green". I found the original tag under the glove-box and can provide the color code if you wish. I also love that color but it is not quite as dark as it seems on the pictures.

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              • #8
                Williamsburg green.... got it! Thanks Enyo! If you are able to get the color code that would be great, that way I can put it on my list of possibilities
                Charles

                1961 Lark Regal VIII 259/auto -- Lucy

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                • #9
                  Here is the original sticker with the color-code:Click image for larger version

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                  • #10
                    I believe this factory ad shows the same color.
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                    "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

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                    • #11
                      Cool thank you guys very much!
                      Charles

                      1961 Lark Regal VIII 259/auto -- Lucy

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                      • #12
                        Question for ones who have seen this color in person....Would you say that the Hawk below shows it well?

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                        Charles

                        1961 Lark Regal VIII 259/auto -- Lucy

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                        • #13
                          I will look in my archives of parts. I know I have a complete 3 speed with overdrive, cables, solenoids, and all from a 1961 Lark VIII that I am willing to sell. I pulled it as a kit to be able to sell as an add-on to someone's car. It has the 3 speed transmission still assembled, and I would prefer to sell it that way, so you could see exactly how it all goes together. I work in an industry that I can ship overseas with some assistance. Typically, these types of items are required to be crated to ship unless it is small enough to ship via UPS or FedEx package. This will take me some time to dig up and take pictures for you. PM me your information and we can converse that way.

                          I would also recommend that you get at LEAST (2) water pumps, (2) brake master cylinders, (2) sets of brake wheel cylinders, and some extra front and rear brake shoes as spare parts. The master cylinders are known to go out after 35K-40K (miles), and it would be good to replace the wheel cylinders in that time frame as well. The water pumps also go out regularly, especially after sitting for an extended period of time. The belt tension has a LOT to do with how quickly the water pump goes out if the car is driven regularly.

                          I just started my Lark after sitting for 15 years and the water pump lasted all of 30 seconds before the shaft started coming out of it. I caught it before it could do damage.

                          The water pumps and brake shoes must be sent in to be rebuilt, as "new" is no longer available. Some of the Studebaker vendors MAY have NOS on hand yet.
                          Wheel bearings, seals, axle seals are still "relatively" available.
                          Dis-Use on a Car is Worse Than Mis-Use...
                          1959 Studebaker Lark VIII 2DHTP

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                          • #14
                            Jurgen,
                            When you mentioned that your Lark is running hot, it may be the temperature sending unit on the side of the block. I had a similar problem a couple of years ago. The sending unit was the problem in my car. Studebaker International has new ones in stock. I bought one and that solved my problem. The temperature gauge now reads correctly.
                            Your Lark is beautiful. Best of luck with it.

                            Roger
                            '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
                            Smithtown,NY
                            Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club

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                            • #15
                              Thank you Marc and Roger for your information. Meanwhile, I've done a few hundred miles and up to 65 mph the lark is fine. I shall keep an eye on it. I've changed the mastercylinder already since it was leaking. Found a new one, cleaned the whole system and filled it up with silicone-brake fluid. It is expensive but not as aggressive and not hygroscopic. I use it on all my vehicles.

                              Last weekend we displayed our Lark at the Classic Gala Schwetzingen. They loved the car with its perfect interior. But the jury did not believe it was the first and original color. The problem were the painted door locks and the different color of the doors inside. People over here don't know much about Studebakers. At home I found a picture of a painted door lock in the sales brochure. It is unusual but seems to be part of the design as well as the pale green color on the inside of the doors and the dashboard that came in two colors as well. I now have to find more information to proof the originality.

                              Jurgen

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