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Studebaker lark- gas mileage

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  • Studebaker lark- gas mileage

    Mom says I can have grandpa's Lark. I have always liked it . It ran a few years ago, before it was parked. It is a '58 with 50,000 miles. Grandpa took very good care of it. I always loved the feel of riding in it. It felt like a real car... not like sitting on the floor in my Ford Escort. I would like the Lark for my regular comute vehicle.

    I am afraid to get it. I would have to have amechanic do all the work. We do not know about cars.

    1) Am I in over my head to adopt such a old car?

    2) What kind of gas mileage can I expect?

    Lynsta

  • #2
    Hi, Lynesta,

    Glad to hear you are considering driving your grandfather's Lark. It would make him proud.

    My suggestion would be tell us where you are located. Maybe someone in the Studebaker Driver's Club network could help you get started. If no one is close by, suggest you ask around among the car guys in your friends and family network. Someone should be able to recommend a mechanic to check it out for you. If it has only 50,000 miles and not too much rust, it can be brought back to like. They are simple, dependable cars.

    The fuel mileage will depend upon whether it is a 6-cylinder or V8, automatic or manual shift. The general range is 16 to 18 miles-per-gallon in town and maybe 20 on the highway.

    jack vines



    PackardV8
    PackardV8

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    • #3
      Welcome to the board .

      While I love old cars, and some do use them as daily drivers, I think you'd be sorely disappointed. These older cars require a bit more maintainance to keep them on the road. Tune-ups are far more frequent, brakes require more attention and most other things require a bit of historical reading.

      Modern cars can go far longer without maintainance (tune ups at 100,000 miles instead of 10,000 or 15,000 miles), and they have electronic fuel injection that makes starting easy (vs a carb and choke). It will not get anywhere near the mileage that the Escort will either.

      This isn't to say that they are hard to work on. They're not. Compared to newer cars, they can usually be kept running with simple hand tools with no scanner required. But you'll need to invest in a shop manual and maybe an old auto shop book to understand how everything works.

      If you have a mechanic work on the car, you'll probably need to find an older guy who's been around awhile. I know quite a few 'technicians' who have never worked on a carburetor since leaving trade school.

      Parts are not difficult to get, but you won't find them at your local parts store. There are many vendors who sell the parts you'll need to keep the car purring like a kitten, but the prices can be a bit more expensive than those on your Escort. It'll also take time to ship them to you. This can keep your car tied up at the shop for a week or so just waiting on the guy from UPS.

      I'm not trying to turn you away from the Lark, as they are good cars. But there is a reason most of us have regular 'daily drivers' and our old car is a toy or 'hobby' car. I hope this helps.

      Jack, she's in Oregon...


      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Tom - Mulberry, FL

      1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2125.60)

      Tom - Bradenton, FL

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

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      • #4
        quote:Originally posted by lynsta

        Mom says I can have grandpa's Lark. I have always liked it . It ran a few years ago, before it was parked. It is a '58 with 50,000 miles. Grandpa took very good care of it. I always loved the feel of riding in it. It felt like a real car... not like sitting on the floor in my Ford Escort. I would like the Lark for my regular comute vehicle.

        I am afraid to get it. I would have to have amechanic do all the work. We do not know about cars.

        1) Am I in over my head to adopt such a old car?

        2) What kind of gas mileage can I expect?

        Lynsta
        Well, I am curious now... the first Lark was a '59 model, so this car is either not a Lark, or is a '59 not a '58. Any chance you could post some pictures, or provide the serial and body tag #'s?
        I will echo the comments of both Jack and Tom. You certainly don't have to be a licenced mechanic to do quite a few repairs to a Studebaker, but you definitely need some basic tools and the appropriate Shop Manual. I believe there are a few SDC members in your area as well as an active SDC Chapter, so help (advice) is not that far away!

        <h5>Mark
        '57 Transtar Deluxe
        Vancouver Island
        </h5>
        Mark Hayden
        '66 Commander
        Zone Coordinator
        Pacific Can-Am Zone

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        • #5
          Lynsta, after reading Swifster's post, I was a little depressed. BUT, what he said is pretty true. However, there is NO measuring the way you feel about the car. If you like (or love) that car, if it brings memories of your grandfather, and lastly, if it gets you around, you will be thrilled with it. And the maintenance work is not a brick wall. I'm only a shadetree mechanic, and I can do nearly all of the work on my '50. They are easy to actually work on, not like modern cars and their headaches.

          There are two solutions to make the mechanical aspect very easy to live with. One, like said, find an older mechanic (or the Studebaker loving descendant of a Studebaker lover) to work on it for you. And two, devour this forum. There is more knowledge on this forum than anywhere in the world. Trust me, I have used these guys (and girls) unmercifully to find problems and solutions.

          If you love it, it will drive.

          '50 Champion, 1 family owner

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          • #6
            Lynsta,

            When I got my first Studebaker Lark, all I knew how to do was check the oil and change a tire.

            That you do not know about cars doesn't mean you will not get great satisfaction out of learning.

            There are so many Studebaker lovers who would like to see a vehicle remain in a family, you will have no problem finding the assistance you need, through your local SDC Chapter, the national club's publication or members of this Forum.

            Let us first identify the model. The easiest way is to let us know what the body tag says. It is a metal tag attached to the body just under the hood on the passenger side. That will supply the most information.

            Brad Johnson
            Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
            '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight
            "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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