Worthy Candidate: 1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona

Just this week I passed on buying a car that I have wanted for several years because when the seller sent me a few detail photos it had much more rust than they let on in the listing. This 1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona convertible supposedly only has surface rust and hopefully it can be saved. This rare, desirable, and valuable car is listed on eBay in Princeton, Illinois with a current bid of just over $1,100 and a buy it now price of $3,000. This is a very worthy restoration candidate, let’s check it out.

I have an immensely different definition of the word “cool” then most people do. I think this is a cool car. No, it’s super cool. I’m a huge Studebaker Lark fan anyway, but a Daytona? And, then a convertible? With a V8? If all goes according to plan, the Powerball ticket that I bought this afternoon will come in handy for giving this car the nut-and-bolt restoration that it deserves. These are rare cars, but not as rare as winning the Powerball is.

The Lark was updated in 1963 with slender pillars, but since this is a ragtop that’s of no consequence here. Still, the more modern look carried through even on convertibles. This would be the last year of what I consider the classic Lark look before the much more modern cars arrived for their final couple of years in 1964. Along with that modern look came a new name, there would be no more Lark. Also, the cars were now made in Canada for their last two years of production.

It’s always disappointing to not have any engine photos, especially when this one should have a very photogenic 210-hp, 289 cubic-inch V8 with yellow valve covers. The interior photos and photos overall are hit or miss here, mainly miss. The interior is in rough shape but hopefully this car can be restored to its former glory. It’s an important piece of history being a last year of the “classic” Lark and also being a Daytona convertible to boot. With Hagerty listing a #2 excellent condition example as being valued at $31,500, this could be a nice project for someone without being too far upside down if they did a lot of the work him/herself.

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    My neighbor has one from 1960. Unrestored…and looking fabulous.Has the 289 V-8..and will probably have the car buried with him.It’s a gorgeous little art-deco car that
    you’d be surprised to know is carrying that much punch under the hood.Yes…restore this puppy.And make it even classier with some rear fender skirts while you’re at it.


  2. RicK

    The Mecum auction that was on last week sold a twin to this car that was a strong number two driver and it was a Factory 4 speed. Only went for 17 grand what a bargain.

  3. cyclemikey

    I had one of these, a ’63 Daytona convertible in triple black, condition between #2 and #3. It was a nice enough little car but being a Studie, it didn’t have a particularly “all of a piece” feel to it; more like a collection of parts. That wasn’t really the issue though, I sold it a few years ago because it just didn’t really do much for me. Just a wee bit too ‘meh’.

    • Hairrip Member

      You would have to be familiar with the 59-61, then transition to the 62. The 63 was so much better refined as the earlier Larks, by the improvements body wise and then the completely redesigned interior, especially the new dash. Also the elimination of the curved windshield, improved the look and feel immensly. The 63’s were also available with all Avanti engines and transmissions. A friend had a sliding roof Wagonaire with the supercharged Avanti R-2 engines and transmissions.

  4. Maestro1

    It’s a worthy project even at the asking price. Then join the Studebaker’s Owners Club and you’ll get help, find the parts you need and all the rest of it. Good luck.

  5. chad

    looks just like my ’64 American (white vert, blk top) a Rambler. A ‘big box’.
    No bent8 tho. That rambler hada an i6 so nice I’d pull up to a stop’n the pedestrians (this wuz ’70) would laugh @ me (not a ‘cool car’ 4 that era) as they though I’d stalled out it wuz so quiet’n smooth running.

  6. charlie Member

    College friend, college in New England, had a ’60 convertible with A/C which the dealer had trouble understanding, but ordered it anyway. Friend explained that in Texas, where he lived, in the summer, it was much to hot to drive with the top down, and so A/C made good sense. It was a very solid, and fast car, no faster than other friend’s ’60 Chevy convertible with the big engine, but far more solid feeling – that Chevy, smooth and quiet as it was, had body flex and creaking beyond anything else I had ever driven at the time.

  7. C. Jay

    Looks similar to this 1961 Rambler conv on Phoenix Craigslist.

  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    No….don’t say it looks like a ^^^^^^!!! A 1962 Lark Daytona convert paced the Indy 500. Saw it when it was first posted – like we say – more pictures….AND CAN YOU CLEAN THE CRAP OUT OF IT…..for a nicer pic….just saying – hitting a buy it now might not be the best thing to do.

    One of the few cars – I DIDN’T – drag out of a salvage yard on Jefferson waaaay back in the day for a $100 bucks…..

  9. Carey Hill

    great cars- convertible would be the holy grail…. pity I am in New Zealand

  10. AGarcia

    Ended buying this car and it’s now in BROOKINGS South Dakota still waiting inside for the “winter” to be over.

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