Studebaker Lark

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Keywords: Studebaker Lark

Description: Back in 1958 Studebaker-Packard had just experienced a very poor year in vehicle sales and had to do much better in the 1959 to survive in the competitive American Automotive Industry. It was hard

Back in 1958 Studebaker-Packard had just experienced a very poor year in vehicle sales and had to do much better in the 1959 to survive in the competitive American Automotive Industry. It was hard to compete with the "Big Three" back then so Studebaker had to come up with something new and revolutionary to stay afloat. One of the Company's first casualties in 1959 production year was Packard as the decision was made to cease production of this Historic automotive brand. Models such as the Champion, Scotsman and President also were discontinued to make room for Studebaker's radical new model called the "Lark".

The Lark was going to be their main model and would come in the following versions:2 door Hardtop, 2 Door (post), 4 door, & Station wagon. The thing about the Lark was it was around 18 inches shorter then previous 1958 Models. Studebaker Packard had made the decision to go where the Big Three had not ventured and that was with a smaller, more economical car. Only Rambler was selling smaller cars and with the poor economic times it was felt that a bigger market for smaller cars was there. Studebaker Packard were correct in their assessment as 1959 was a turn-around year which saw them sell over 131 Thousand Cars. They were back in the black for a while In 1960 they sold over 127 Thousand Larks while introducing a Convertible. Gradually the "Big Three" caught on to this market and brought out their own models to compete with the Lark. Times got tough and after going into the "Red" it was decided to close the South Bend Factory in Late 1963. The Studebaker factory in Hamilton, Ontario Canada would hold the banner for the next two years but Studebaker Corporation decided to get out of the Automotive Making Industry in spring of 1966. It was a sad day indeed as Studebaker had been in the business of making vehicles for over 114 years.

Back in 2005 we were informed by Bill Foy, a fellow SDC member, that three Studebakers were for sale in Verona, Ontario which is only afew miles down the road from us. Bill Foy and I went down to view them and see if we could be of any assistance. We were greeted by Donna who had inherited three Studebakers and alot of parts from her brother Darrell who sadly passed away in a Auto Accident. He had been a real Studebaker man for many years and I remember meeting him back in the early 90s in a 1962 GT Hawk at the Inverary annual Fair. The three Studebakers that were for sale were a 1964 GT Hawk, 1950 Land Cruiser and 1959 Lark. The GT Hawk was his favorite car and it was a beauty. The Land Cruiser needed abit of work but was all there and the Lark had been off the road for 18 years and the front end was dented along with a blown motor. All of the body parts were included to fix it but a new motor would be needed if it was ever going to get back on the road.



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