Monday, 7 April 2014

Studebaker Lark Daytona 500

Words & pictures - Daniel Bevis

The Studebaker Lark was, for the most part, rather a staid and functional thing. Its inception was led by the Studebaker-Packard Corporation's financial woes, and the decision to move out of the full-size car market and into the compact sector - this was the model that the company pinned every last hope on. To keep costs low, they actually reworked a full-size platform to make the Lark, reducing overhangs at both ends and slightly shortening the wheelbase. So it was comparatively small (in the context of Detroit's land-barges, at least), but could still take six people plus luggage. And it stayed in production over three evolutions from 1959-66, although that was the point at which the company finally folded.

They weren't all staid and functional though - just look at this aggressive thing! Racing at Goodwood's 72nd Members' Meeting, this is a Lark Daytona 500. As you can see, it's pure thunderous mayhem - sodding great V8, buckets, harnesses & cage, and I love the little hook the snap-off steering wheel hangs from - but in addition to that, it's jaw-droppingly gorgeous. So, so beautiful... and that's not often something you can say about a Studebaker.

Click here for more 72MM photos.

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