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1963 Studebaker Lark

The Lark proved to be a big hit in its introduction in 1959, securing the survival of Studebaker for a few more years. But in 1963 it started to age rapidly. The cars inner structure dated back to as far as 1953 and the available engines had their roots firmly stuck in the mid 1950s.
Since its appearance the Lark formed the mainstay of the Studebaker line-up, and for 1963 the Lark range consisted of the entry level Standard, the Regal, the Custom, the Daytona and the top-of-the-line Cruiser. On this picture you see the Lark Regal 2-door sedan.

This is the Lark Custom 4-door sedan, a bit more upmarket from the Lark Regal. The Lark was available with 6-cylinder in-line or V8 engines (referred to as Lark 6 or 8) in all trim levels, except from the Cruiser which had a V8 as standard. Standard body shapes were 2-door sedan, 4-door sedan and wagon.
Improvements to the preceding 1962 models were largely cosmetic. Industrial designer Brooks Stevens improved his original 1962 makeover by fitting raked A-pillars and new windshields, thinner door-window frames, a checked grille and a sporty Hawk-style dashboard. The prominent Lark grille reminded of that of the Mercedes cars; this was no coincidence but a result of Studebaker's involvement with the import of these German luxury cars in the US.

The interior of the Lark Custom ...and the interior of the Lark Daytona

The Lark Daytona as depicted here was meant as the sporty Lark and only available as 2-door hardtop, convertible and... wagon. Optional bucket or reclining seats and head rests were available, including carpeting and center storage console. From March 1963 Studebaker started installing front seatbelts as one of the first US manufacturers. Another luxury option was the 4-speed automatic transmission for V8 Larks, a Studebaker novelty for 1963.
Most remarkable option was the "Super" Lark: independent from trim level a Lark 8 could be fitted with the 290 hp R2 engine of the Avanti, including its suspension and disc brakes. It made for a very potent car.

The Lark Daytona dashboard ...and sunroof

A nice extra for the Lark Daytona was the Skytop Sunroof. Its well equipped interior featured round gauges, rocker switches and a "vanity" glove box with pop-up mirror. A very attractive version of the Lark Daytona was the convertible. If you click the link you'll see a wonderful image of it submitted by Mr. Fred Young.
Two-door Larks (sedans and hardtops) had a 277 cm (109 inch) wheelbase, all others had 287 cm (113 inch). The Lark 6 was fitted with a 2779 cc (169.6 cid) "Skybolt Six" engine that produced 112 hp @ 4500 rpm as standard. Standard motorization for the Lark 8 was the 4247 cc (259 cid) V8 offering 180 hp @ 4500 rpm in basic trim. Optional on this engine was a 4-barrel carburetor instead of the basic 2-barrel version, this increased its power output to 195 hp @ 4500 rpm.

Continue the tour by clicking the arrows pointing right....

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