Last One Sold: 1966 Studebaker Cruiser

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It may not look like it, but this 1966 Studebaker Cruiser here on eBay was the upscale choice in Studebaker’s lineup back in the day. Essentially a more luxurious version of the Lark, the Cruiser featured in this listing is said to have some historical significance as being the last new model sold in Oregon and equipped with some features that help it stand out even more. It’s for sale in Oregon in a reserve auction, which is currently unmet. 

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The seller claims to have done some homework on this Cruiser to verify its attributes as one of the last ones off the line. Unfortunately, being a late-production model did not include seating surfaces that  can withstand multiple years of exposure and abuse. I can’t even tell what’s going on near the pedal box (Rust? Mouse nest? Fire?), but suffice to say, a gut of the interior will be on your list of things to do. Surprisingly, the door panels and dashboard look to be in much better condition that the seats and floors.

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The other way this Cruiser stands out is for being one of 315 vehicles sold with the GM 230 6-cylinder installed by the company’s Canadian plant. As one of only 2,901 Cruisers built that year, the shift of manufacturing operations to Canada signaled the beginning of the end for Studebaker. As sales continued to fall and operating costs continued to rise, manufacturing Studebakers in Ontario came to a halt in March of 1966. As a ’66 Cruiser model, it indeed could be one of the last ones built.

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The seller says the high point to this vehicle is the fortitude of its sheet metal. He has not found any major rust, despite the interior looking the way it does. Frankly, that wear and tear could just be due to use: the Cruiser had one original owner who used it as a daily driver up until five years ago. The car does run, but it has some vacuum issues that appear once the Cruiser is warmed up, and must be addressed before any long-distance driving is attempted. Do you think this Cruiser deserves to be saved as a testament to Studebaker’s final days as a manufacturer?

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  1. Steven C

    Always thought the grills/lights on these last ones looked like an Opel.

    Like 1
  2. glenn

    it has the rambler front end the buick back end and the dodge dart c pillar so i am confused. they must have taken parts from several different carmakesto finish the studebaker lifeline.,

    Like 0
  3. Poppy

    Did the Cruisers have a longer wheelbase than the standard 4 doors? The leg room in the back is exceptional and many were used as taxis.

    Like 1
  4. Texas Tea

    I’ve made this observation before and will do it again here.

    I’ve always thought these cars looked like something from the old U.S.S.R.

    Even as a kid I thought that, and I’m sixty years old and still see the same body style that just didn’t fit the American mold.

    Like 0
  5. Greg S

    Okay, but with a SALVAGE TITLE?

    Like 0
  6. David G

    To its interior’s defense, the tattered (and assumed to be original) seat-covers appear to have been a VERY delicate fabric. Redo those with a more-robust color-coded material then add a new color-coded carpet and its interior would look lots better.

    So i guess the Canada-built cars were immune to the PRNDL shift quadrant standard requirement mandated here in the US for 65-66?

    Seems like a Studebaker special enough to preserve somehow, hope someone will…

    Like 0
  7. Eric

    Those seats stand up fairly well….I have a 66 Cruiser with the GM 283, and yes the 66 still has the old 3 speed automatic with the PNDLR, and still has the original seats….aside from a few tears they are pretty good for a 50 year old car that has been driven daily in the summer months for the past eight years….and there are three other 66 Studebaker’s locally around here that also still have the original interiors, and they don’t even have any tears.

    Like 1

    The 1966 model Studebaker’s had very high quality and durable interior materials so this car must have had some serious use and exposure. Its not unusual to see one like this with a nice original interior. And the exterior color is ‘Plum’, an attractive color introduced late in production so the seller may be correct about it being the last one sold in the area. And the 230 six is rarely seen in the top of the range Cruiser so its a rare and interesting combination or color/trim/options and worth saving.

    Like 0

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