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Lot 349: Studebaker Lark Regal Sedan

Motorcycle and Motorcars, Bonhams & Butterfields (14 November 2009)

By the end 1950s, Studebaker had found itself in dire straits and was in need of a vehicle to save the company. To avoid the collapse of America's oldest vehicle manufacturer (Studebaker started building horse-drawn wagons in 1852), company president Harold Churchill put the gears in motion to move away from full-size vehicle production and build a compact car instead, which he felt would save the company. Drawing his inspiration from the 1939 Champion that had saved the company prior to WWII, Studebaker's team went to work shortening the overhangs and wheel base of their full-size cars to produce a vehicle with ample room for six, but in a smaller package.

Debuting in 1959, the sales of the new compact car were initially good. By the end of 1960 though, some freshening was needed and noted industrial designer Brooks Stevens was called in to work his magic. Stevens lengthened the body, modernized the interior, and introduced the Lark's distinctive, Mercedes-like grille (which was no coincidence as Studebaker had entered into a distribution agreement with Daimler-Benz in 1957). The changes resulted in a vastly improved car for 1962 and cost the company less than it had expected. Stevens improved the car further in '63 by lightening the 'greenhouse' by thinning the A, B and C-pillars and further modernizing the interior.

The 1963 Lark Regal offered here is presented in stunningly original condition. Finished in turquoise with blue and white cloth inside and the 170ci inline-6 under the hood, has been under the car of only one owner from new. It is complete with its original owner's manual, key, and key fob. The seats even have their original plastic covers on them! One of the features included with the car is the "Exclusive Beauty Vanity", which catered to female buyers with a mirror and makeup tray in the glove compartment. Offered on a Certificate of Title.

Lot Details
Auction Motorcycle and Motorcars
Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles
TypeCar
Lot Number349
Estimate$15000-$18000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$10000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$11700
Year1963
Condition rating0
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number63531470
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors