1959 Studebaker LarkSOLD

1959 Studebaker Lark

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The Studebaker Lark was a vehicle ahead of its time. Built at a time when everything was getting bigger and flashier, the idea of a compact sedan was practically unheard-of in American car showrooms. Those who took a chance on the Lark, however, found that it was a comfortable, practical cruiser, and when equipped with the 259 cubic inch V8 engine, a surprising performer as well. For many historians, it is credited with saving Studebaker from early bankruptcy, perhaps not permanently but at least long enough to create the legendary Avanti. Today, with the interest in the Studebaker brand enjoying considerable popularity, the Lark is always a charming addition to any event and a great deal of fun to take on the road. This handsome first-year 1959 Lark sedan has been treated to a cosmetic restoration about four years ago, and still presents nicely today in its original Bermuda Blue color combination. The styling was new and fresh in 1959, and its earnest looks are enhanced by an authentic patina to the restoration, which is only just now starting to show some age. Four new door panels were installed during the restoration, which explains their excellent shut lines and ripple-free surfaces. The rest of the body was finished to a similar standard, with acceptable gaps that appear factory correct. Bright Bermuda Blue paint gives the car an optimistic disposition, and it's rare for people who see it driving down the road not to smile at its pleasant, friendly look. The chrome, including the grille and bumpers, is in good condition, while the stainless trim that defines the body lines surrounding the car has been polished and straightened. A new windshield and fresh taillight lenses were installed when the car was painted, and correct Studebaker Lark VIII badges were fitted out back. The interior of the Lark was purported to be as large and spacious as that of a full-sized Ford Galaxie, causing one enthusiastic magazine writer to proclaim it as the only small car to offer "genuine, comfortable seating for six adults." This Lark's interior has been restored to factory specifications, with wide bench seats front and rear serving up the accommodations. With fresh seat covers, new foam underneath, and correct dark blue carpets, it looks surprisingly upscale considering the Lark's humble mission. The door panels merge with the stylish dashboard, drawing the eye to smartly arranged panels that allowed the Lark to be built easily in left- or right-hand drive. The gauges are arrayed in an oval ahead of the driver which mirrors the glove box lid on the passenger's side, with an AM radio in between, which still works great today. With a matching blue steering wheel and a column-shifted automatic, it's easy to find your way around the inside of the Lark, and you'll find yourself right at home with only a little familiarization. That tall trunk offers surprising space, although this car lacks a spare tire, which would surely take up some of it. Mechanically, the 259 cubic inch V8 was a popular option making 180 horsepower, which was enough to move the lightweight Lark with surprising gusto and sounds powerful with the recently installed dual exhaust system with Flowmasters. The engine also enjoyed a reputation for being tough, reliable, and remarkably economical, particularly when mated to the Flight-O-Matic transmission found in this example-a 3-speed automatic built by Borg-Warner. The engine bay is original and authentic, showing signs of regular maintenance and gentle use. Larks are wonderful cars on the road, due to their robust frames, which were stiffer than those used in the larger Studebakers, and stiffer springs which allow them to hold the road better than most other cars of the era. And thanks to sharing a parts bin with much larger, heavier vehicles, the Lark's brakes are huge relative to the size of the car, and this one features fresh wheel cylinders, brake shoes, and a new master cylinder. This one rides on the original 15-inch steel wheels with new Studebaker hubcaps and a set of fresh 205/75/15 Bridgestone whitewall radials. Thanks to an enthusiastic owner community, Studebakers enjoy considerable popularity among collectors. They were reliably engineered and the Lark in particular was a ground-breaking vehicle and an important footnote in the brand's history. This little Lark VIII sedan is a superb entry-level hobby car that you can drive at modern highway speeds. Parts availability is still excellent, and the rugged nature of the car makes it an ideal tour vehicle. Still inexpensive after all these years, its eight cylinders and dramatic styling will serve you well at car shows anywhere in the country. Call today!

Reference Number 127801

as of 12/17/2011

Overview
Car 1959 Studebaker Lark
VIN 59V20686 
Mileage 57,259 miles 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
Transmission Automatic 
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