The Studeblogger

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Part deux.

Problem was, I couldn't get that car out of my mind. With all its flaws, it was still a great little car, and a very unique ride.

My wife and I went back for another test drive. She actually got behind the wheel and ran it around a parking lot, and told me "go for it." So I did.

Now for a little about the car. With the help of the great guys on the forums at the Studebaker Drivers Club, I found that the little 2-door is actually somewhat of a rara avis as Studebakers go. Its data plate reads "F2", which identifies it as a Lark Standard. The Standard is unique because it was only available for the latter half of the '63 model year. Initially conceived as a fleet model (government cars, company cars, stuff like that), it was the lowest-priced, most stripped model in the lineup. Studebaker was having a terrible year in '63 - their worst sales since 1956 - and thought that adding the Standard trim level to the lineup might boost sales to cheapwads and penny-pinchers.

Standards came without a lot of the little niceties and trim items found on even the formerly bottom-0f-the-line Regals - things like hood and deck lid ornaments, side trim, nameplates and stainless windshield surrounds. They even deleted the glovebox, going instead with a plastic bin that filled the hole where the glove box would have been.

A 2-door Lark Standard sedan was the cheapest model in the Studebaker line for '63, with a base price of $2,070 for a V-8 model. It was also the lightest in the lineup, with a curb weight of just under 3000 lbs. Not many were sold to the public.

All of which makes our Lark a little more rare, since it was ordered with several extra-cost options, like a 4-bbl carb, heater/defroster (Studebaker called it a "Climatizer"), an automatic transmission and a limited-slip Twin-Traction rear end (a locking Dana 44). I have the feeling that the original owner was attempting to build a budget hot rod!

Coming next: pictures and condition.

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