For 1960, Studebaker, added this cute convertible to its Lark lineup. The “VIII” designation referred to the number of cylinders, powered by Studebaker’s 259-cubic inch V8. This engine produced 180 hp in standard form, or 195 horsepower with the optional four-barrel carburetor and dual exhausts. This convertible weighed just under 3,000 lbs. at the curb. Don’t let the fender skirts and pastel shade fool you – this little marshmallow peep could move out for its day.
“Regal” denoted upper-scale models, over the standard “DeLuxe” range. The convertible and hardtop coupe were available only as Regals, and the two-door sedan could only be had as a DeLuxe. The other bodystyles, which included a four-door sedan and wagon, could be had in either state of trim. Lark sales for 1960 would drop only slightly from inaugural year 1959’s 131,000 figure to about 128,000. The ensuing sales onslaught from the Valiant-Falcon-Corvair trio would see to it that combined Lark sales would never break 100,000 after 1960.
It has been over six years since I’ve seen this car on the streets of my neighborhood. Still, I felt the time was right to recall its memory. Its bright-yellow hue reflects the cheer and optimism of both springtime and also that which Studebaker likely felt when the Lark’s success had continued for a second year. It might have seemed at the time in South Bend, Indiana that sunny days were here again.
Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois.
Sunday, October 11, 2009.