1961-1966 Studebaker Cruiser Registry
Recently, there was some discussion on the Studebaker Driver's Club Forum about starting a registry for Studebaker Cruisers from 1961-1966. I volunteered to take on this project. The purpose of this registry is to document the surviving Studebaker Cruisers and have some fun sharing information about a great automobile!
I will be documenting the following information:
Registry Data Collection:
Send me an email at Mark Anderson or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the address below if you would like me to send you a form to fill out. Otherwise, just send me the information listed above along with your contact information and whether or not you want your email address (if available) published and I'll enter your Cruiser into the registry.
Cruiser History (from Wikipedia):
In 1961, a new Studebaker four-door sedan, the Cruiser, was introduced, built on a 4.5" longer wheelbase (113" versus 108.5") which harked back to the long-wheelbase Studebaker Land Cruisers of the late Forties and early Fifties.
In an effort to reverse the trend of sagging sales, a striking yet cost-effective 1962 update by Brooks Stevens lengthened the car body and modernized the interior. Studebaker had entered into a distribution agreement with Daimler-Benz in 1957, and the design of the Lark's new grill was intended to mimic the grill on Mercedes-Benz automobiles.
For 1963, the Lark's dated wrap-around windshield was eliminated and the "greenhouse" was lightened via thinner door and roof pillars, imparting an even more modern appearance. For the first time since its 1961 introduction, the Cruiser was no longer called a Lark, although it still was very much one, albeit more luxurious than the regular models.
Studebaker's brass gave Stevens the job of creating a more extensive (but still inexpensive) restyling for 1964. The new look debuted along with the company's plan to phase out the Lark name entirely, in favor of the Challenger (a replacement for the 1963-1/2 Standard), Commander (which replaced both the Regal and Custom models), the Daytona (which became a full-fledged model line with the addition of a four-door sedan), and the continued Cruiser.
The Mercedes-like grille of 1962-63 gave way to a full-width, stamped aluminum grille and squared-off headlamp surrounds. Stevens flattened the hood, roofline and trunklid, and reworked the tail panel to incorporate new horizontal taillamps and backup lamps, all the while ingeniously retaining the previous years' sculpted quarter panels, which still suited the new look and reduced by a considerable amount the cost of tooling.
The Studebaker model lineup was changed little for '65. The Cruiser was still available. All models continued the 1964 design with only minor detail changes.
The 1966 Studebakers, advertised as having "The Smart New Look", showed a reversal of the company's previous decision to make no annual model changes. The cars bore a stylish new front end design, single headlamps, revised and simplified side trim, luxurious new interiors
Studebaker's final engineering innovation, flow-through "Refreshaire" ventilation with air extractor vents integrated into the taillamp assemblies, debuted on the '66 models to wide acclaim. Refreshaire virtually eliminated the need for opening the vent windows in the front doors. In fact, the Cruiser, which had, since its introduction, been equipped with opening rear vent windows, lost that feature with the advent of Refreshaire. A larger 230 in³ six-cylinder engine was added as an option for all models equipped with an automatic transmission.