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.

1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona
The 1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona didn't change much from its earlier models.
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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.

1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona
The 1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona had a low-power 169-cubic-inch six as standard.

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.

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.

For more classic convertibles of the 1960s and 1970s, see:

1960 Dodge Polara
1960 Edsel Ranger
1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner
1962 Dodge Polara 500
1963 Chevrolet Impala SS
1963 Ford Falcon Futura
1963 Plymouth Sport Fury
1965 Chrysler 300L
1965 Rambler American 4401966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza 1968 Mercury Park Lane 1969 Plymouth Road Runner
1969 Shelby GT-500 1973 Mercury Cougar XR-7 1975 Chevrolet Caprice Classic 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale
1975 Pontiac Grand Ville 1976 Cadillac Eldorado

For more information on all kinds of cars, try these: