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Teal Steal: 1959 Studebaker Lark Wagon

Teal and original, this Studebaker Lark wagon is solid and drivable. Barn found with a possible 60,000 original miles, this 2 door wagon looks like a solid driving project. With some mild updates, and minimal rust, this Studebaker is currently bid up to $813.00 with the reserve unmet. Depending on the reserve, this Studebaker may wind up being a steal for the price! Find it here on ebay out of Santa Barbara, California. Thanks to Jamie for the submission!

Simple, yet original, the 170 cubic inch inline 6 and automatic transmission are in good health. The engine bay is lightly peppered with surface rust, with no rot concerns. The carburetor has been rebuilt, and a one wire GM alternator has been added. The brake system needs some further attention as this Studebaker is reported as stopping poorly.

Inside of this original 2 door wagon is a very original interior. Despite its originality, this Studebaker is lacking carpet, but some of the floor padding is still present. The bench seat is ripped, but is still in good enough shape to add a seat cover, or blanket. The dash and steering wheel are clean, representing a lot of potential for the interior of this Lark. Sadly there are no pictures of the rear portion of the interior, but from what we can see this wagon looks decent.

Bright, with shiny chrome and trim, this Lark looks fair in its current state. The paint is a bit dry showing a matte finish, but the paint still looks to be thick showing very little rust of any sort. Rust can be seen in the rear quarter, and around to the edge of the tail gate. From what we can see the rockers look great, and the body looks straight as an arrow. There is a piece of trim missing from the passenger side front fender, but otherwise the rest of the trim appears to be there. The only potential downfall we really see with this Studebaker is that there is no title. Now, if you live in a state that does not require a title, than you are “in like Flint”, otherwise you may be saddled with a “can of worms” trying to acquire a title.  We think this wagon would make a great affordable classic, shop wagon, or perhaps even daily driver. With a lot of potential, would you bring home this Lark wagon?


  1. Scotty Staff

    I really, really (really!) like this car; nice find and write up!
    Nice “In Like Flint” usage, too!

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  2. motoring mo

    What’s not to like? GREAT!

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  3. Joe Haska

    Same for me Scotty! This car could be so much fun, I have seen them modified with small block Chevy’s etc., and the possibilities are endless. The bidding is now pushing 2K. Who ever gets it won’t steal it, but they are going to get a very unique piece.

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    • 68 custom

      forget the SBC this sweet ride deserves a Stude 289 and either a T-10 or maybe a T-5 swap for the overdrive. rarely do these survive the march of time without serious rust problems. I love this car!

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      • Tony L

        Agreed. The Stude 289 matched up with a 4 speed would be an easy build and won’t be like the kazillion sbc’s swaps out there. Parts are easy to get!

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  4. DrinkinGasoline

    I would gut the interior, fix any floor issues, apply rust reformer then roll in some bed liner material. Re-upholster the seats with period correct fabric then drive, drive and drive some more. Exterior would be no sweat. Fix any minor issues, wet sand it, mask, then off to Maaco for single stage paint in the original (closest) color. Hunt down that missing trim piece later. After purchase price I’d have about $600 in it. Very cool little Lark !

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  5. earl

    I see it raised up,9 in ford rear,pie cutter slicks,straight axle up front,428 with tunnel ram 2 4’s,and a top loader. what a gas

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  6. Terry Johnson

    Always liked the Stud Bakers. Sad story of always being ahead of their time. The Golden Hawk in 1956 with a small car mated to a powerful V8 engine was almost a decade ahead of the muscle cars and pony cars that followed. This Lark in 1959 beat the Ford Falcon and Chevy 2 to the marketplace by 2-3 years. Knew a guy that had a Lark wagon with the sliding roof panel back in the late 60’s. I had a ’66 Daytona 2 door for a couple of years. It had the Canadian Studebaker 283 V8 (GM) with an automatic ( Ford o Matic) and was a quick little car much like my V8 Nova of earlier years. I’d love to have this 2 door wagon. :-) Terry J

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    • Vince Habel

      Transmissions in Studebakers were Borg Warner similar to what Ford used.

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      • Blyndgesser

        Wasn’t the old Fordomatic a Borg-Warner design?

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  7. BeeMoe

    No title. Too bad.

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  8. Terry Johnson

    Here in Oregon if you are buying from the person who is in the DMV computer as the registered owner, there is a “Lost Title and Title Transfer” form you can use. I think there are other “abandoned vehicle” routes you can take, but I don’t think that’s a simple task. I’m building a RaTT Rod from a zillion pieces, and I’ll get a “Constructed Title” as long as I take in lots of documentation on the parts. I did that successfully with my old ’41 Dodge truck and got a Title as a “1941 Dodge Replica” pretty easily. :-) Terry J

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    • M/K

      oregon only needs a bill of sale from registered owner to change ownership.

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  9. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    I can really dig this car, and I like DrinkingGasoline’s idea…fix the brakes, Maaco paint job, and drive it. It is interesting to compare this 1959 model with the ultra-blingy offerings of GM and Virgil Exner of that same era. No fins…maybe the only ’59 that didn’t have ’em.

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  10. Vince Habel

    I doubt that this Lark ever had carpet. Rubber mat Probably. These 2 door wagons are very desirable with Studebaker club members

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  11. Russell

    I’ve owned two of these. Both were V-8’s, one was 3 on the tree and the other was an automatic. The automatic was one of the first produced and was a “drive away special” where the dealer or buyer picked it up at the factory and drove it away. It was loaded with A/C, auto, 4 barrel, roof rack etc. Virtually every option if not every option available. It also had a trailer hitch from the first owner and I used the car to tow a small Airstream and loved that car. Sold it 15 years ago to someone in So Cal and often wonder if it still exists and is being used as it should.

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  12. Chebby

    Back in the day, my dad and I used Bon Ami to bring back the paint on my ’70 Skylark, that method would probably work with this Lark too.

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  13. ben

    kind of neat I live it org and drive it ben in fl buy the way Vermont is one state just pay sales text and tag and they will reg it send tags then go to your dmv and transfer it to your state and your state will issue a title ive done it a few times on no title vech look up Vermont dmv ben in fla

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  14. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    in high school one of my Stude buddies dropped a 289 Stude motor in a 2 door wagon….man that was a fun little sleeper…..

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  15. Terry J

    Wiki: Ford-O-Matic was the first automatic transmission widely used by Ford Motor Company. It was designed by Borg Warner Corporation and introduced in 1951 model year cars. The three-speed Ford-O-Matic evolved into the “MX” and “FX” or Cruise-O-Matic transmissions in 1958 and the FMX in 1968. This line continued in production until 1980, when the AOD was introduced. Like Ford, variations of this same Borg Warner design were used by other automobile manufacturers as well, such as AMC, International Harvester, Studebaker, Volvo and Jaguar, each of them having the necessary unique adaptations required for the individual applications. Terry J

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    • Poppy

      Most of the Studebaker “Flight-o-Matic” BW autos fitted to V8s had 2nd gear start (first gear could be forced through shift lever or flooring it). Being a 6-cylinder, the stock automatic should start out in first gear.

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      • Jeff DeWitt

        That could actually be fun. From a stop put it on low and take off. When you want to shift into second put it in drive. The transmission will shift, then put it back in low and that will lock it into second until you are ready to shift again, then put it in drive.

        I had a 60 Hawk with a 259 and got in a friendly little race with a guy who had a new Caprice with a 350. He lost…

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