Optimistic Oasis: 1960 Studebaker Lark Wagon – Sold?

Sep 2020 | Classifinds, Wagon Wednesday

December 8th Update – We just confirmed the Craigslist ad for this ride expired and with no replacement listing found, we’re assuming this car sold.  This one may have got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330.

Research classic car listings enough each day and over time you obtain a sense of what color was popular for a particular year, make, and model of car.  A prime example is the pretty shade of Oasis Green used by Studebaker on its 1960 Lark model lineup. We’ve seen this shade on past examples ranging from this low mileage original still for sale to a restomod to this hot rod originally listed in September 2020 on Craigslist in Peekskill, New York.   Unfortunately, the seller’s optimistic asking price of $22,500 is $5,000 higher than the current Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool estimate of $17,500 for a #1 “Concours” level example. Similarly, a check of the Collector Car Market Review’s Online Tool confirms the asking price is some $10,000 higher than that guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal.  The only thing stopping us from giving the seller our latest “NEW!” (short for “No Effin Way!”) Award is the fact the NADA Guides Classic Car Online Valuation Tool oddly lists their “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail value range for these cars at $15,600, $31,000, $50,100, respectively.  Further not helping this seller’s cause if the aforementioned 1960, 11K original mile example we linked above remains unsold in Rhode Island despite the price lowered to $21,000.

Studebaker produced the compact Lark from 1959 through 1966.    Sales of the Lark were good for the 1959 and 1960 model year, thanks to the fact that Studebaker had obtained “dual” dealerships with dealers of the Big Three manufacturers that did not as yet have their own compacts to sell. Initial models included two- and four-door sedans, a two-door hardtop coupe and a two-door station wagon, with two levels of trim (Deluxe and Regal) offered on most.  The lineup grew for 1960, when the company introduced a convertible (Studebaker’s first since 1952) and a four-door station wagon. Two-door wagons were fast falling from favor throughout the industry, despite a minor redesign which made the two-door Lark wagon’s tailgate and rear side windows more user-friendly, and indeed the four-door quickly proved the more popular of the two available wagons from Studebaker.

For 1959 and 1960, Larks were available with either an L-head (flathead) 170 cu in (2.8 L) six-cylinder engine or the company’s 259 cu in (4.2 L) V8. Testers at the time gave high marks to the V8’s performance. A V8 Lark could turn out a 0 to 60 mph time of around 10 seconds, which was on par with much larger cars. By comparison, among the early Big Three compacts (Ford Falcon, Mercury Comet, Chevrolet Corvair, and Plymouth Valiant) that arrived on the scene in 1960, only the Valiant could break the 20-second mark from 0-60 mph.

The YouTube Channel Cars & Stripes currently has this great one-minute commercial providing an overview of Stubebaker’s big compact Lark line for 1960:

While we love the Rat Rod vibe this Lark emanates and the fact the current caretaker relies on the original Studebaker 289 V8 for power,  we predict this car will languish as this asking optimistic asking price unless the seller proves flexible in accepting an offer much more in line with market reality.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Rare 2 Door with 289 R1 V8

Forged internals, solid cam, gear drive, new water pump, belt, hoses, etc.

Hurst shifted T-10 4 speed

Mated to dana 44 rear

New wide whites

Glass pack exhaust

Car is super solid, stainless trim, and glass excellent

Have new Stude seat belts, new complete weatherstrips, new black interior on order, extra body parts, seats and trim pieces.

This vehicle is one of a kind, great patina and draws a crowd at shows.

Drive as is or continue to modify.

Will be only one at show!

Asking $22,500″

Do you have a Studebaker Lark story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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