After years of bumbling, Studebaker -- by then the oldest surviving American marque -- was sinking fast by 1963, and not even sporty cars like the 1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona convertible could save it.
Studebaker was fighting for its life by 1963, but the end was already in sight. Even that year's daring new Avanti sports coupe couldn't save the venerable South Bend company after too many years of misguided management. Though the pert, cleverly conceived 1959 Lark compact provided a hopeful sales upturn, Studebaker began sliding again with the advent of Big Three compacts for 1960. A squarish '61 facelift didn't help. Nor did a more extensive Lark restyle for '62, bolstered by new bucket-seat Daytonas, including a $2679 convertible.
The 1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona didn't change much from its earlier models.
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Prices were little changed for '63. So were the cars, which was the basic problem. Even the sporty Daytonas had an ancient low-power 169-cubic-inch six as standard, though Studebaker's trusty 259 V-8 was available with 180 or 195 horses, and there were 289s with 210, 225, and 240 bhp, the last achieved with "R1" supercharging.
The 1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona had a low-power 169-cubic-inch six as standard.
But all this was just gilding on an elderly lily. Three years later, Studebaker finally faced reality and left the car business to the Big Three -- and a growing pool of imports.
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