STUDEBAKER LARK: CONVERTIBLE - 1960
Front view of the Lark Convertible with its distinctive radiator grill
decorated with the elegant flying bird emblem. Although the car looked new and innovative
part of the used body panels and other components were actually from older models. This
type of economic design was necessary because Studebaker's funds were very limited.
Strange photo, this. You'll think it had no rear window judging by the looks
of it. But the car was described as a "foul weather friend" so it must have had,
otherwise there was not much point in putting the top up. The top "seales the Lark
from the vagaries of wind and weather" and had a "large rear window that
provides excellent visibility". Of course, if there was no actual pane in the window
like the picture shows, visibility would be excellent indeed...
Putting the top up should be easy, but really couldn't be done sitting down
in the drivers seat. Notice there's still no pane in the rear window?
The upholstery of the seats in the car was pleated vinyl and washable. The dash panel was padded. Five persons could be seated and front headrests and reclining divided seats were optional.
RitzSite visitor Ted from Pasadena, California, USA offered the following explanation for
the "missing" rear window in the convertible: "Many American convertibles
of the '40s through the '70s had removable rear windows. This was to prevent the top from
inflating while you were on the freeway. With the windows down and the top up, the top
itself would catch air, and, being plastic, would tend to blow up like a balloon. The
removable rear window (they had zippers along the top, and would simply drop into the top
well) let the air pressure escape with no damage to the top itself (namely stretching).
Removable rear windows are also available on smaller convertibles of the present.
Nowadays, it is usually to prevent the bending of the plastic rear windows. Bending them
over and over tends to make them develop stress marks and decrease visibility. I believe
the Lark pictured had a removable rear window, and that it was in the lowered position for
the publicity shot. It's neat to ride like that (with the rear window down), because the
wind doesn't mess your hair up."
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