Car Shop Classics: So Far Away From South Bend – Save A Studebaker!

During my recent adventures-in-dog-sitting weekend, I stumbled across one of the most interesting graveyards I’ve ever seen: A repair shop dedicated to Studebakers–an array of disheveled, decaying birds from Indiana, and in Hayward, California, of all places.

The majority of the castrated crop were Hawks of every vintage, most of which seemed to be just a thrown rod or only slightly more extraordinary reason away from being roadworthy. That I had two Dachshunds in tow, neither of which could care less about this crop of curiosities, hindered me from spending more time with these faded stars.

This 1964 Daytona was there too. One interesting thing, at least in the Bay Area, is that of all the cult compacts, Larks are the lowest on the totem pole in terms of desirability and value (not surprisingly, Falcons are at the top). I’ve seen many a nice, passable Lark-derived vehicle listed on my area’s Craigslist for months at a time. Once an orphan, always an orphan? When viewed in that context, it’s easy to see why this particular and seemingly clean example sits in this vehicular orphanage.

I felt a strong pull to go find a piece of paper and get some answers to the many whens, wheres and whys I had about the car. My best hope is that this is a Studebaker resto-repair place specializing in bringing these prides of South Bend back to life, much as Mel’s ‘Vair Mart, in San Jose, brings into the present a bit of the Bay Area’s eccentric taste in vehicles past.

Could it all have been a mirage? Hopefully I can return soon on a weekday, with no dogs in tow, and ask a few questions. Each of these Studly Studes must have a fantastic story.