1959 Studebaker Lark

Front Left Beige 1959 Studebaker Lark Car Picture

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In 1958 Studebaker-Packard was close to insolvency. James Nance had been replaced as President by Harold Churchill who had worked at Studebaker for over 20 years and who, spurred on by seeing the Nash Rambler hit the automotive market, felt that creating a small economy car for Studebaker might help offset their financial difficulties. At the time, Roy Hurley agreed too so Churchill had his engineers go to work on designing such a vehicle for introduction in the fall, 1959.

The real design work was done by Eugene Hardig. Thomas Bonsall writes of a Studebaker associate who recalled: "We'll never forget how Hardig, held back by lack of funds, designed the Lark with a blow torch and scrap metal. He's one of those real believers in the auto business. He burns with a bright blue flame."

The Lark was designed based on the body of the 1953 Studebaker with a couple of feet taken off. It had a wheel base of 108.5 inches and the station wagon models used a longer 113 inches. Two engines were available to power the units: the 169 cu. inch 90 HP L-head six and the 259 cu. inch V8 with 180 HP. The Lark performed well especially with the larger engine.

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