The Studeblogger

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What I'm starting with.

Before I dive into any more narrative, here's some pix of our Lark. (Sorry for the photo quality - these were taken with my cell phone on a very sunny day, actually at the PO's house just after purchase. Clix on the pix for bigger views).

As you can see, it's white. I've yet to decode the trim tag to see if white is its original color; it sure looks to have been repainted but it was a very competent job - no orange peel or other paint-booth incompetence. I can tell it's a repaint thanks to the slightly errant masking job around the serial tag on the driver's door post, and due to the painted rear fender seams (these cars had bolt-on fenders at all four corners).

From the side you can see the total lack of stainless side trim that helps identify the car as a Standard, and the Cragar S/S rims (a nice look on this car, I think). The rims are kluged on; whoever mounted them didn't want to spring for proper acorn lug nuts, so there are flat washers between the nuts and rims... gawd.

There are some things that aren't stock about the exterior. Standards had chrome die-cast "Studebaker" script on the front fenders (in the space occupied by "LARK" ident on more upscale models) which has been removed and the holes filled (I found the masking tape on the inner fenders!), and those crossed-flag "V8" emblems on the c-pillar actually belong on a '64 Daytona.

From the back you can see another Standard hallmark: the lack of the individual chrome STUDEBAKER letters that are normally found across the trunk lid. Upper trim Larks also had a wide chrome band across the lower lip of the trunk lid, and a 4" round Lark emblem on top.

The taillights at first look like '62 units. I thought that maybe Standards used the previous year's taillights, but I've since found out different. It looks like the PO who dechromed what little trim there was also removed the bright "spiderweb" moldings that fit onto the taillight lenses.

If you look closely you'll see there's no trunk lock (I have to order a new one) and that there's a couple of "bullet holes" on the left edge of the trunk lid. That's where the Twin Traction emblem originally went; the PO mounted it on the grille instead... Dunno why! I'll be reinstalling the TT in its proper location, and removing the V8 banner from the other side of the grille - I'm told that Standards didn't have the 8 or 6 badging on the grille like other Larks. Gotta confirm this.

I don't have interior pix yet, but the car has been reupholstered in black cloth. It's actually a pretty nice job except for the headliner, which droops a bunch in the front - I've found out that to properly install the headliner in a Lark, you actually have to pull the front and rear glass! Obviously whoever did the job didn't know that, or didn't want to do the extra work. The door panels have been recovered and aren't bad, but I'd like to find some originals. The steering wheel has been replaced with the obligatory Grant 10" steel cheapie, and - strangest of all - the dashboard has been completely recovered with a custom fitted "tuck 'n roll" pad. Of course I can't leave this alone - at some point I'm going to have to pull it off, if only to gain access to the glove box, which I can feel the outline of behind the cover...

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