Overdrive Orphan: 1962 Studebaker Lark Regal Convertible – SOLD!
January 7th, 2021 Update: We just confirmed the private seller of this ride deleted their Craigslist ad, so we’re now able to call this one “Sold!” While this one got away, 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.
Orphan brands such as Studebaker continue to offer great value as classics today as their limited popularity continues to keep their asking prices relatively low even though they are great cars. Our latest example is this freshly restored, white-over-black, 259 cubic inch V8-powered 1962 Lark Convertible originally offered in December 2020 on Craigslist near Knoxville, Tennesee equipped with a three-on-the-tree-shifted overdrive for $18,000. While the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the private seller has their vintage Lark priced between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $14,600 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $22,450, interestingly the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool indicates the price is two thousand more than their #1 “Concours” estimate of $16,000.
In an effort to reverse the downward sales trend created when Detroit rolled out its own compacts in 1960 and 1961, new Studebaker-Packard president Sherwood Egbert called upon his friend, noted industrial designer Brooks Stevens, to effect a striking yet cost-effective 1962 update. Stevens lengthened the car body, especially at the rear, and modernized the interior. Studebaker’s board of directors were reportedly pleased with the extent of the changes Stevens was able to make. They could not believe he could do so much for so little money.
In addition to the new styling, Studebaker joined the increasing popularity of front bucket seats and center console models of the early 1960s with the introduction of the Daytona. In the same way that the Cruiser had become the top-of-the-line four-door for 1961, the new Daytona replaced the Regal as the top-trim convertible and hardtop, although Regal versions of these body styles remained available. The only model that was deleted from the 1962 lineup was the Deluxe series two-door wagon, which had slipped in popularity since the four-door wagon’s debut in 1960.
The immediate effect of Stevens’ restyle was improved sales. Indeed, had it not been for a strike called by the United Auto Workers Local 5 in early 1962 at Studebaker’s South Bend home plant, writers then and now expressed confidence that the company could have easily sold more than 100,000 of the new cars. Despite the strike, which halted production for 38 days, the company sold over 90,000, far more than had been sold in 1961.
Here’s a 1962 vintage Studebaker Lark commercial:
Freshly restored classic cars priced under $20,000 are becoming increasingly rare, so this is a very nice way to get into the collector car hobby with a nice V8-powered convertible that fits in most garages. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1962 Studebaker Lark Convertible. Recently restored 259 V8, 3 on the tree with OD.
Everything runs and works as it should. Great car just making room for the new purchase.“
Do you have a Studebaker Lark story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!