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Within the Lark range the Four-Door Sedan was the biggest seller: 48459 cars of this type were sold in 1959. If you compare that figure to the total of 18850 four-door sedans built by Studebaker in 1958, you can imagine the success of this car. But compared to the production of Chevrolet for example, which was more than a million cars in 1959 of which 60000 were big and sluggish Impalas, it was less impressive and certainly not enough to survive.

sedan1.JPG (39106 bytes)The total production of Studebaker in 1959 was 150000 cars, three times as much as in 1958. But it proved to be a temporarily change for the better. Studebaker had been without profit for too long and funds to develop and update the Lark were limited.
In a time where the car-market boomed and the big three offered new or restyled cars each year, the same Lark was offered for too long (four years). The restyles that were made, were unsuccessful and sales dropped each year. In 1963 the range was renamed to Lark Daytona to change its somewhat dull image; it didn't help. In 1964 the Lark name was dropped in favor of the Daytona name and production was transferred to Hamilton, Ontario in Canada. The old 6 cylinder and the more recent V8 were replaced by Chevrolet engines and a last restyle made the cars even more boxy and rather ugly.
Potential customers were reluctant to buy cars from a manufacturer that was close to bankruptcy and so production ceased in 1966.

Lark_Pastoral.jpg (32594 bytes)In 1961 the Lark was restyled and it now offered twin headlights. Also the bodyside trim was relocated to make the Lark look lower. The car on the picture is the 1961 Lark Cruiser of Jeff DeWitt from the USA; he thinks the Lark is a wonderful little car and sent in this photo to prove it.
He also suggests to try the alt.autos.studebaker newsgroup for more info about Studebaker cars.

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

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