V8 Powered Wagon: 1965 Studebaker Daytona Wagonaire

Financially-strapped Studebaker was not one to sit on its laurels. Despite limited funds, they came out with two interesting cars for 1963. One was the now-iconic Avanti, the other the Wagonaire station wagon. That was the wagon that had the sliding roof to accommodate carrying tall items in the back (no giraffes, please). From the next-to-last year of production for any kind of Studebaker automobile is this 1965 Daytona Wagonaire, which has been nicely preserved and residing in Mullica Hill, New Jersey (not far from Philly) and available here on eBay. While the reserve has not been met, the bidding stands at $7,609.

I’ve always had respect for Studebaker during its last years. They made some attractive, reliable cars that they could never sell enough of to last past 1966. By 1964, the Lark had morphed into the Daytona and the Wagonaire was the station wagon of choice. The sliding roof feature was standard on all wagons, but they were not leak-proof in the beginning, so Studebaker began offering a delete option for buyers to take a fixed-roof wagon for a C-note less. In four model years, Studebaker sold 19,122 Wagonaires, with 1963 being its best year (11,195 units). 1964 sales were half that at 5,163, 1965 limped along at 1,824 and there were only 940 built in the swan song year. All Wagonaires built after December 1963 were assembled at Studebaker’s Hamilton, Ontario plant as they had closed the South Bend, Indiana facility. Thanks to How Stuff Works for production information. Also, Wikipedia.

The seller purchased this beautiful Wagonaire in 2012 with 56,000 miles on it and has added just 8,000 more. We’re told the vehicle has never had any rust and the Laurentian Green paint job is largely original and the bumpers have been re-chromed. While some of the pictures don’t show it, the wagon has a roof rack and that will be included with the sale. The upholstery (front and rear) and headliner are also original and looks pretty darn good. The cargo area looks a little dirty, but we can’t tell if that just an issue with the floor covering. The carpeting in the passenger compartment has been removed and the buyer will have to replace it.  Everything works on the dash except the radio and clock (fuses?).

In the time the seller has had the car, quite a bit of repairs have been made to keep it in top running condition. This list includes:

  • rebuilt engine (by 1965, Studebaker was getting their motors from Chevrolet, so this is a 283 V-8)
  • rebuilt automatic transmission (original and supplied by Borg Warner)
  • all new brakes, as well as power booster
  • new starter, fuel pump, steering pin and bushings, voltage regulator, gas tank and sending unit
  • rebuilt carburetor, water pump and alternator
  • new exhaust and rebuilt radiator

This is really a genuinely nice wagon. It doesn’t qualify as a survivor, but it is probably better than one. These don’t seem to trade very often, so pegging its value online isn’t easy. With a few things attended to (like the missing carpeting), perhaps this could be a $15,000 transport. I, for one, will be checking the auction when it closes to see what the reserve was.

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  1. Poppy

    Is that a “Rose Mist” interior? I’ve never seen one with a green exterior, but it doesn’t look bad at all.

    Like 5
    • Poppy

      These Lark types also had cleanable cabin air filters

  2. Miguel

    I am waiting for all the “I had the Matchbox version of this” comments.

    About the car, I hate yellow engines, but if that is the original color, I would have to live with it.

    Like 7
    • Phlathead Phil


      IMHO, Studebaker Should have stuck with wagons and buckboards.

      Maybe the Amish would Ha bought the company.

      Yellow is the color of my true love’s hair,

      In the morning when we rise,

      In the morning when we rise…

      ~ Donovan (The Great.)

      What’s wrong with yellow on an engine???

      Just decided my 239 phlathead for my “A” Roadster will be YELLOW!

  3. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Yellow is the correct color for the engine, and yes I had more than one example of the Matchbox version of this. Even came with a scale plastic dog and hunter to pose with it.

    Like 16
    • Vince H

      My 65 had black valve covers.

      Like 3
      • stillrunners stillrunners Member

        Black should be correct – yellow was the Studebaker motor’s color.

    • Johnny Cuda

      I still have the Matchbox version of this. I never had the dog and hunter though. I still have all my Matchbox cars – maybe a hundred or so. Some still with the original box!

      Like 4
      • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

        The box itself showed the gentleman with gun pointed, and the dog. I’m sure the little characters went missing after a couple hours of play. Matchbox later did a Mercury wagon with two stationary dogs molded into the cargo area with their heads sticking out the open tailgate window! They were not removeable however I did manage to take an X-Acto knife and chop their heads off when I was a young lad.

        Like 1
      • Johnny Cuda

        Little Cars, – I have that Mercury station wagon too.

        Like 1
    • Kenny

      Maybe I’m splitting hairs here, but the engine is actually black. Only the valve covers were yellow.

      Like 1
    • Chuck

      That’s the time,
      I love her best.

  4. bone

    Its had some other paintwork , the right rear latch has some over spray

    Like 1
  5. Jack M.

    For anyone interested where the Hamilton assembly plant was, it is approximately 45 minutes west of Toronto. The locals call Hamilton “Hammer Town” or “The Hammer”.

    Like 4
  6. Joe

    Is that step on the tailgate original? And I thought Ford was clever to introduce that on a tailgate…

    Like 4
    • Vince H

      Yes it is.

      Like 4
  7. Wayne Thomas Member

    I have a Full set of these Hubcaps. I was sure they were for a Studebaker but unsure of the year. Nice Car.

    Like 2
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      Studebaker’s hubcaps had a S in the center – when International had them on their Travelall’s the S was removed.

  8. Karl

    I noticed nobody has commented on how beautiful this car is? I agree!

    Like 4
  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    This gets my attention, I really like these wagons because they’re just different.

    Like 5
  10. Bob Roller

    GM was glad to sell Chevrolet engines to the dying Studebaker Company because they (GM) was about to get hit with an anti trust suit from Big Brother in DC for getting too much of the market.I saw a picture recently of a prototype Studebaker for 1967 and it never came out because Studebaker was done for by then.Studebaker had a good run beginning with the Conestoga Wagons on thru the gasoline era and lived for over 1/2 of the 20th Century.Packard was from 1899 until 1956 and the dressed up Studebakers marketed as Packards were not what was wanted by quality buyers but then neither were the 55 and 56 Detroit Packards,

    Like 2
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Have been obsessed with cars from 1961 onward and read everything I can get my hands on. Never heard about the Fed going after General Motors for “getting too much of the market.” What year was this? Seems quaint to think of the suits in DC doing this today….they want to stay on the good side of the auto industry.

      Like 2
      • Steve Cook

        Just watched a Jay Leno Video about his 55 Packard and he talks about this GM Lawsuit In the video.

        Like 1
      • 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

        Seems to me I remember an issue of Motor Trend from 1965 that had a blurb on the cover about separating at least Chevrolet from General Motors because of questions on antitrust and monopoly. My brother subscribed to Motor Trend, Hot Rod and Rod & Custom in those years. When he went into the Air Force in 1965 my folks knew I (at 9 years old) read them from cover to cover so they continued the subscriptions.

        Like 2
      • 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

        Hemmings newsletter of June 4, 2020 has an interesting article about this.

        Like 1
  11. pixelpusher

    I have never seen one of these. Really interesting. Thanks!

    Like 1
  12. Luv2tinker

    Probably not a fuse to fix the clock. Those old clocks were fun to fix. They had a winding mechanism with a set of points on a spring loaded arm that would shoot out every time the points made contact. Usually the gears need a little cleaning and relubrication. Clean up the points and it might just take off running.

    Like 1
  13. CJM

    I love it when sellers rip floor carpet out of cars before selling them. It makes them so much more appealing,right?! Leave stuff alone, people! Buyers do not like things torn apart or cleaning up other people’s messes. How bad could that carpet have been given the condition of the rest of the interior? Aside from that, this is a hugely appealing wagon! Great design that offered a ton of space inside of a relatively compact, and well styled platform. It’s a shame they did not sell better.

  14. chillywind

    I live in Daytona, What made them call this a Daytona?

    Looks like something from a mad mad mad world! Love it

    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      They started naming their sports model 2 door Daytona in 1962 and a convertible was the pace car at Indy that year.

  15. Paul Bellefeuille

    I saw one of these on a closed down used truck lot in Plaistow NH about 5 years ago. Sitting next to it was a 1954 Willys Aero. The Wagonaire had an extra instrument cluster bezel on the floor . It had woodgrain trim on it. Both cars looked as if they were in running condition. They both disappeared after sitting there a couple of weeks. I was very tempted to find out who owned them but there weren’t any phone number around. Another used truck lot replaced it. I’ve always wondered where those two cars went.

  16. Mitchell Ross

    Lark morphed into the Cruiser, the Daytona was the sport version.

  17. Phlathead Phil 🚗

    They should have never stopped making wooden wagons and buggies.

    “Yellow is the color of my true love’s hair,
    In the morning, when we rise, when we rise…”


    Like 1
  18. wayneC Member

    Yellow valve covers were used in 65 but late in the production year, they changed to black. If the yellow was on the covers and were original, it was probably early in the production year. I have had one of each over the years, a 65 Cruiser 4 door and a 66 Commander 2 door I bought new.

    Like 3

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