Studebaker for 1959


This is what Studebaker offered in 1959.


1959 Studebaker Lark VIII 2 door hardtop coupe

The 1959 Lark from Studebaker was designed by Duncan McRae. He applied simple, clean, well formed styling announced by a Hawk-like grille and the return to dual headlamps. The 169.6 cui inline 6 used in 1954 and before also returned, now making 90 hp (up 5) in the Lark VI. The Lark also came with a V-8 (259 cui making 180 hp) and was named Lark VIII.
The Lark VI came in DeLuxe and Regal trim while Lark VIII only was offered in the more pricy Regal trim (DeLuxe Lark VIIIs could be ordered though on special order). Some of the differences between DeLuxe and Regal trim level were: Headlight rims were painted on DeLuxe while they were chrome on Regal. Wide bright metal trim was put around the Regal grille while DeLuxe just had thin trim. Regal had plastic chrome rings around the tail lights. Regal 4-doors had stainless trim around the side windows while DeLuxe 4-door had not. Other items the Regal had Standard while on DeLuxe you had to pay extra for them were: dual horns, electric windshied wipers, rear ash tray, padded dash, automatic dome light, dual sun visors, rear armrest on 4-doors.
Lark VI was offered as 2 and 4 door sedans, 2 door wagon and 2 door hardtop coupe. Lark VIII offered the same except for the 2 door sedan. Sedan and coupe Larks rode the 108.5 inch wheelbase chassis and the wagon had a longer 113 inch wheelbase chassis. The Lark was quite fast with the V-8 (0-60 under 10 seconds) and yet economical and roomy. Since Lark prices also started below $2000 it was considered a smash hit (131.178 sold in '59).

The only Loewy designed sports-car Studebaker had left was the pillared Silver Hawk. The hardtop Golden Hawk and the export hardtop Silver Hawk were gone. Actually, the Silver Hawk would also have been scrapped if it hadn't been for the dealers. Even as they were slow sellers, dealers wanted to keep the Hawk as a crowd pleaser, to get more people into the dealerships to take a look at the Hawk. They thought many of those then would settle for the cheaper Lark, which were Studebakers bread & butter models. To help reduce cost, the Hawk-line was available with the same engines as the Lark, a 169,6 cui six and a 259 cui V-8. The 289 used in 1956 to 1958 was not available (Although it made a comeback in 1960).
The mecanical changes over the 1958s were small. The finned brake drums were lost, no tachometer was available as an option and in 1959 all Silver Hawks got 15-inch weels as standard. All other options were still available. Exterial changes were more notable. Since there were no Golden Hawk available, the 1959 Silver Hawk was kind of a mix between the 1958 GH and SH with a few improvements. The taifin moldings were restyled and the parking lights were moved from the top of the front fenders to within the side grilles. The fins on the parking lights, which were introduced in 1958 were removed. Chrome moldings under the side windows and under the windshield returned. Those had earlier been used on Golden Hawks and the more expensive 1953 to 1955 2-dr post coupes.
The "Silver Hawk" script was moved from the trunk lid to the fins. Between "Silver" and "Hawk" (on the fins) was a newly designed "Hawk badge", which was round in shape and had a chrome hawk in center with a black background (red in 1960 and 1961). The same badge was also put in the lower left side on the grille. Individual block letters "STUDEBAKER" were placed on the trunk lid.
The only visual difference between the 6-cylinder Silver Hawk version and the V-8 version is the stainless steel wheel opening moldings and the stainless steel roof drip moldings. The V-8 Silver Hawk has them while the 6-cyl doesn't. Also, the taillight housing is chrome plated (similar to the 1958 Packard Hawks) on the V-8 while on the 6-cylinder Silver Hawks they are body colored. The chassis is all the same, although a little thicker on all the export Silver Hawks.
Two-tone paint jobs were discontinued on all domestic Silver Hawks. It was still available on trucks though, and on Silver Hawks destined for other countries. The metal panels on the side grilles (where the parking light sits) and the air scoop under the front bumper were painted a silver-gray color instead of the regular body color. The engine block, heads, fan and oilpan were also painted silver-gray. Almost everything else on the engine was black. There were no engine decals at all, on either engine.
The interiors were upgraded with new restyled, more luxorious door-panels. Reclining front seats were a new option. Standard seats were a combination of cloth and vinyl. The areas were you sit were cloth while the rest of the seat was vinyl. All vinyl upholsery was available at an $31.74 extra.

The 1959 model year was Studebaker's first profitable year in six years, ofcourse due to the successful Lark. Only two engines were available this year. The 169.6 inline 6 producing 90 hp was standard on the Lark VI and the Silver Hawk 6. The 259.2 V-8 producing 180 hp was standard on the Lark VIII and the Silver Hawk 8. A special "Power Pack" consisting of a four-barrel carburator and dual exhaust added 15 hp to the V-8. That engine (195 hp) was optional on Lark VIII and the Silver Hawk 8.

A total of 98.744 Lark VI, 32.334 Lark VIII, 2.417 Silver Hawk 6 and 5.371 Silver Hawk 8 were produced during the model year.

More Images



Return home


[ 1959 Studebaker Pics ]

[ 1959 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 ]