1962 Studebaker Lark V8 (original) - in detail
At the time the Lark was conceived, Studebaker-Packard Corporation was under a management contract with Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Company. Studebaker-Packard had been losing money for years when company president Harold Churchill came up with the idea of abandoning the full-size car market in favor of building a new compact car that he hoped would save the company.
The Lark was ingeniously designed around the core bodyshell of the full-sized 1953-1958 Studebakers. By reducing the front and rear overhangs and shortening the wheelbase, the car could still seat six people comfortably and hold a surprising amount of luggage. It was hoped that the vehicle would save America's oldest vehicle manufacturer when it was launched in the fall of 1958 as a 1959 model, much like the 1939 Studebaker Champion had saved the company in the years prior to World War II. In fact, it was the Champion which Churchill specifically took as his inspiration for the Lark.
With its simple grille, minimal and tasteful use of chrome and clean lines, the Lark "flew" in the face of most of the established "longer, lower and wider" styling norms fostered by Detroit's "Big Three" automakers (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler). Studebaker's 1957-58 Scotsman had proved the existence of a demand for a less-flashy automobile, and while the Lark was not nearly so undecorated as the Scotsman, it was unmistakably purer of line than anything Detroit would offer for 1959.
Omni GLH Running the 1/4 Mile..13.12
Big Block Camaro
1/8 ET 8.1795
1/8 MPH 85.95
1/4 ET 12.76
1/4 MPH 106.94
1/8 ET 8.5350
1/8 MPH 86.05
1/4 ET 13.12
1/4 MPH 108.54
Studebaker 61 Lark TV Commercial
Sure, it's beautiful, and it's big new feature is an oval wheel, for greater leg clearance.
If you enjoy it, send a dollar to the Studebaker National Museum, http://www.studebakermuseum... I visited there in July... check out my online story at http://www.weekenddriver.com/ and look for the "Great Car Museum Tour Blog" button.
And if you're touring in Southern California, check out my book and the rest of the web site at http://www.weekenddriver.com.
Robin Judd 1959 Studebaker - 6.01 second drag race
Robin Judd and his hard working crew achieved their personal best time at the Perth Motorplex this afternoon when they ran a great 6.01 second personal best ET over the ¼ mile reaching 240.00 mph (386 kmh). Judd's popular 1959 Studebaker literally catapulted from one end of the racetrack to the other on the pass, and it is a credit to him and his team for all of their dedicated work, late nights, and hard efforts to achieve the result.
Judd has become a serious threat and competitor in the popular Australian Top Doorslammer bracket for many years now, and has eliminated some of the biggest players in the game with his Studebaker. The car is powered by a 511 cubic inch Keith Black engine and produces around 3500 horsepower, and today at the Perth Motorplex, everything just came together for the team making the "perfect run". The clutch settings were 100%, the fuel and ignition tune-ups were perfect, and the correct suspension settings helped everything to just come together to help the car to "squat", and perform to its best pass ever.
Judd ran 1.028 seconds to the 60 ft timers, 2.67 to the 330 ft, 3.971 to the 660 ft half-track at 190.85 mph (307 kmh), and 5.076 to the 1000 ft mark, before finally stopping the quarter mile timers in 6.015 seconds.
Judd receives support from William Buck Chartered Accountants, Melville Panel and Paint, Myaree Trimmers, Applied Automotives, Genie Exhausts, Automotive Sports Engineering, Westnet, WA Diffs, Stripemaster, Australian Drag Racing Magazine and Crane Cams. Judd would also like to thank his hard working crew and Crew Chief Lee Brailsford, James and Stuart Rowland, Eric and Frank Gauderi, Andrew Fowler, Les Davenport, his reverse gear, his family, the race-fans for their continued support, and the Perth Motorplex.