The Studeblogger

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Interior.

I've been in Ohio all week, and Studes have been scarce. In fact, the only car I saw over 5 years old while in Cleveland was an orange '37 Plymouth 4-door that had been mildly rodded and was for sale on someone's lawn :^) But now I'm home and can post the interior pix of my Lark. First, the dash:

You'll probably notice a number of interesting things in this photo. First is the 10" cheapie Grant steering wheel. I hate these things and this one will be disappearing soon; I've already obtained a nearly NOS-condition black wheel from eBay; I'll substitute it after I re-do the wiring harness. Why re-do the wiring harness, you ask? Well, remember the burnt wires in my previous post? Plus, look at that bundle of wires hanging out of the dash just below the ignition switch. It consists of two unidentified reds, one with a bare spade connector, and a thick black that measures 14 volts with key off and is protected by a loop of electrical tape! Urrgh.

You can also see that the ignition lock bezel has, like so many of these cars, gone south. The entire ignition cylinder has been replaced with one that's held to the dash with a big ring nut and washer.

In this shot you can see the weird homebrew dash cover that the PO installed. I'm sure the factory dash pad was cracked, so they used some sort of foam to fill the space where the "glove box" was and fabricated this vinyl cover for the entire dash. It's actually fairly well done. They used one of the "Studebaker" scripts originally located on the front fenders as a dash ornament. Also note the CD player stuffed in the dash. This means a cut dash behind all of this :^(

You can see the open hole where the speedo was. I'll replace it when I do the harness. See that piece of duct-tape-wrapped hose lying on the floor? That's one of the original defroster duct hoses; when their coverings disintegrated, the PO simply wrapped the remaining wire substructure in duct tape and stuck 'em back up there...

Homebrew door panels on both sides. Not a bad job, but I'll be looking for some NOS panels. The cardboard backer is completely water-warped, and instead of using the proper trim clips to hold the panel to the door, they screwed it on with #1 chrome Philips screws and shoulder washers. This actually caused me a little grief: the driver's door could not be locked when I brought the car home; turned out that one of the screws was drilled into the door lock assembly and prevented the lock mech from operating. Sheesh...

The girl's hair bungee is holding the window crank in the "full up" position. The regulator spring has gone south and without this assist, the window shoots straight to the bottom of the door. Some Stude vendors offer rebuilt units, but they're expensive - $185.00 with exchange! - so I found one on eBay which came a couple days ago. I'll post pix of the changeout.

The front seat has been reupholstered using a mix of black vinyl and black short crushed velvet-like material. Not a bad job, actually.

Rear seat and quarter panels have been given the same treatment as the front seat and door panels. Seat belts all around. Note the red fire extinguisher peeking into the pic at bottom - good idea to always carry an extinguisher in any vintage car (especially one with wiring that looks like mine).

Headliner has also been re-done in black vinyl, although I wish it hadn't. It's really awful - not tight. Baggy everywhere, especially in front. To do the headliner properly in these Larks, the front and rear glass must be pulled; whoever did this job either didn't know that or didn't want to know. The visors are toast, but the mirror's good. Windlace around the doors is, naturally, shot; new will be coming from Phantom Auto Works, who I'm told do the best Studebaker interior repro in the business and have bolts of NOS cloth to work with.

So much to do and only 6 years to do it in :^>

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