$3,300 Or Offer: 1962 Studebaker Lark

Designer, Brooks Stevens, not only designed vehicles like this 1962 Studebaker Lark wagon, he designed some of the coolest appliances of all time. And, aren’t cars, especially station wagons, really just appliances for driving? Albeit, very cool ones when they’re Studebakers. This good looking car can be found here on eBay in beautiful El Paso, Texas with a $3,300 buy it now price or you can make an offer.

A quick internet search will turn up some surprisingly cool designs that Brooks Stevens and his team came up with. Almost soup to nuts, from fantastical dreams like the Gondola Terrace to the super cool 1958 Jeep FC Van, to the lowly toaster.

And, then there is the 1962 Lark. Brooks Stevens was called upon to add some zip and/or zing to lagging Studebaker sales by tweaking the design of the Lark and he did it on a shoestring budget. It was lengthened and tightened and generally updated. Unfortunately, the two-door wagon was dropped just before the 1962 models came out, now that was a unique design. This example looks good but it has rust in several places according to the seller, but the frame is solid.

The interior needs help but parts of it look good, and it sounds like it may be an Arizona car –  not that El Paso is any colder or less sunny. There is some cracking of the soft parts and the weatherstripping is in need of help and it has the usual hot, sunny weather problems on top of some rust. I’m always surprised to see cars in this area being rusty but I guess rainwater can pool up and cause trouble even in the desert.

The engine looks better than I thought it would and that’s always a nice surprise. This should be a 170 cubic-inch inline-six which would have had around 110 hp. The seller says that it’s a smooth runner and the 3-on-the-tree manual works well as do the brakes, but they don’t recommend driving it home. This looks like a nice project, are there any Lark wagon fans out there?

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Comments

  1. Al

    I wonder if this has the sliding roof panel, it doesn’t look like it, but it has been a long-time since I saw one.
    I remember one of my friends, carried his double bass standing upright through that sliding panel.
    It rode there easily.

    7
    • That AMC Guy

      I think ’63 was the first year for the Wagonaire with the sliding roof panel.

      6
    • chuck

      No, this is not a sliding roof.

      1
    • waynard

      No sliding roof panel on this.

  2. Andy

    Stevens freshened it up, but let’s give some credit to Bob Bourke, for a design that only needed freshening even ten years later, and is still an all-time great 66 years on.

    2
  3. j michael Member

    Handsome little car and it looks all there and all original (paint?). Wouldn’t take much to make it a fun tripper for anything from groceries to car shows. And yes That AMC Guy, ’63 was the 1st year for the sliding roof Wagonaire and ’64 was the last (I have a ’64, 259ci). Whoever winds up with it will love it!!!j

    1
    • WayneC Member

      1966 was the last year for the sliding roof

  4. PDXBryan

    Scotty
    I have to call you out on the “appliance” thing. Car guys are always using that word in a derogatory way. Seriously though, what things in life give you more pleasure and utility than your appliances? Clean cloths, cold beer, hot food, a place to hide dirty dishes! Yes, my ’95 Corolla wagon is very much like a really good appliance and that’s why I love it!

    6
    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      You’re right, PDXBryan! The station wagon was basically created for utility which made me think of an appliance – something used for a specific purpose like a washing machine or toaster – but in a station wagon, it’s made for hauling more things than a person can haul in a sedan. But, boring appliance? No way, I’m a wicked huge Studebaker fan. And in the spirit of full disclosure, and also being too old to care if anyone hates my vehicles, and speaking of “car guys”, 99.9% of them (other than me) hate this one: I drive a Prius in the summer as my business car! If ever there was an appliance-for-driving-while-you’re-charging-$0.50-per-mile, that’s the car.

      I totally agree with you on appliances! I’ve rebuilt our washer and dryer (both easily 30 years old) two or there times now and that’s half the fun, keeping them going. But, when a client hires me to go to San Diego or New Hampshire or Miami, I’m not taking a classic car that’ll break down along the way which will possibly cause me to miss a deadline and lose that client – I’m taking the appliance that I can count on. That doesn’t mean that I’m not just as passionate about cars as the next person is. Wait, ’95 Corolla wagon?! That’s a rare ride, mister!

      7
  5. Rex Kahrs Member

    Stevens also designed the Jeep Wagoneer and the Miller High Life logo. Cheers, Rex

    4
  6. Pete Phillips

    Do I see an overdrive lever under the left side of the dashboard, or is that the hood release and brake release?

    • Jeff DeWitt

      Yep, sure looks like it, and power brakes!

      • Gay Car Nut

        Not just power brakes, how about modernizing the entire braking system? Whatever that involves.

  7. Gay Car Nut

    Although 1962 isn’t my favourite year for the Studebaker Lark, this isn’t a bad looking example. Assuming all the parts are there, whoever purchases the car can either restore the car himself, or if he knows someone who can restore the car, he can have it done.

    2
  8. Pete Phillips

    How about that power brake booster sitting at an angle on driver’s inner fender? Never seen that before on a Lark.

  9. geezerglide85

    For ’62 the Lark sedan got an updated body, but the wagon used the ’61 body for another year. The 2dr wagon was dropped but I read somewhere that studebaker still had an order from the federal gov. for 50 2dr wagons. They made these with ’61 bodies and ’62 front ends. I always liked the ’59 to ’61 Larks and for a compact car I believe they had a full frame not a uni-body

  10. PDXBryan

    Scotty
    “Too old to care if anyone hates my vehicles”. Amen brother! I am a true “wagon guy” with (2) Volvo 245s, Datsun 510 wagon, the Corolla, and a BMW 318ti (hatchback ;^). This Lark would make a great addition to my collection and I’m sure there are “tens” of car guys out there that appreciate my taste!

    About the ’95 Corolla Wagon: You said “that’s a rare ride”. Really?
    This is the third one I’ve owned and they are amazing. Built like a Lexus (in Japan) good power, great mpg, surprisingly roomy, and super reliable. Downsides are mediocre handling, FWD (I’m RWD at heart), but there’s never been a better car for getting you and your stuff points A-B comfortably and cheaply!

    6
    • Gay Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. I like 4 door sedans, but my favourite car style has always been the station wagon.

      7
    • Gay Car Nut Tacoma

      My other favourite vehicles are SUVs. My first, and so far, only SUV, was a 1992 Toyota 4Runner.

  11. Willowen Member

    Wagons have always been my favorites, to ride in as a kid or to drive when I could do that. I’ve had three little ones – and Austin Mini Countryman and two Hillman Huskies – and my current smallish Subaru Forester (which we refuse to call an SUV!). That’s my camping car, though I’ve got my eyes open for a nice-yet-affordable Volvo, preferably a 145 … This wagon is I think the best-looking version of the Lark, except for the Wagonaire previously mentioned. The Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo has one of those in its collection, and I’d certainly like to take a ride in it some day.

    The fact that it and the other Larks are body-on-frame is of course due to their being simply the 1953-and-later car with its nose and tail trimmed off; there was no money available to engineer and build a unibody, nor anything requiring serious retooling. The Avanti was as radical as they could manage, with a semi-unit fiberglass body on the same old frame.

    5
  12. PDXBryan

    Gay Cat Nut Tacoma
    Willowen
    Yes-wagons are the best! Drive like a car, haul like a truck! I can’t help seeing a profound waste of space when I look at sedans and coupes.

    2
  13. Gay Car Nut Tacoma

    PDXBryan I agree. I find that you can do more with a wagon than you can with a sedan.

    3
  14. chrlsful

    i’m such a wagon guy I like the pacer wagon…

    2
    • Willowen Member

      That’s the only Pacer variant worth considering, from both the looks and utility standpoint.

    • Gay Car Nut

      Are you talking about the AMC Pacer wagon?

  15. TimM

    Six cylinder three on the tree!! With a little maintenance this thing will run forever!!!

    1
  16. Gay Car Nut

    I agree.

  17. karl

    I like these little compact Studes , but to me that dip in the rear doors and molding always makes it look like the car was sagging in the middle. I always wondered why they didn’t just make the trim go straight back and have the rear door glass be even with the front .

    • Willowen Member

      Same reason as all the other compromises in the Lark’s design: no money for changes. Anything that would require a new stamping die was out of the question. The only changes that made it into these were during the short-lived tie-in with Daimler-Benz, when the Lark got a Mercedes-ish grille … which actually looked pretty nice.

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