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Chassis upgrade for Johan 62 Lark


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2 hours ago, Mark said:

There might be some additional work involved, as the Lark is larger than 1/25 scale.

Yes, this is maddening. I've been through it, have all the referenced kits..

Though it's marked 1/25 on the box, the Johan Lark wheelbase is about 10 scale inches longer than the AMT Avanti.

The AMT '53 Stude has about the right wheelbase, is the same general design as the Lark, but it lacks the X-member the Avanti chassis has.

The Lark coupe didn't use the X-member, but the convertible did.

The second crossmember on the Avanti, the one under the firewall, is different from the Larks too. It can be cut out of the Johan Lark and swapped cleanly into one of the AMT chassis without too much trouble.

If you use either of the AMT chassis, you'll need to widen the floor as well.

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Food for thought, while you're at it - I found a couple side views of a real one and a model and lined them up:

417101988_62studebakerlark2.jpg.06837f3b49f95eae162ddd19fc9f5718.jpg

Definitely need to move that door jamb back a bit (1/8" at least). Jo-Han really had some problems with these - the earlier ones are even worse (the '59 Lark promo has about a 4" top chop along with the short doors).

Edited by ChrisBcritter
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11 hours ago, ChrisBcritter said:

Definitely need to move that door jamb back a bit (1/8" at least). Jo-Han really had some problems with these - the earlier ones are even worse (the '59 Lark promo has about a 4" top chop along with the short doors).

Interesting!  I was looking at a resin hardtop body with thoughts of turning it into a 4 door sedan.  The doors looked right for that application!  My family had a 1962 Lark 4 door sedan when I was a little guy.  I owned one in the 1980s... can you say rusty?!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/13/2019 at 6:58 PM, Ace-Garageguy said:

Yes, this is maddening. I've been through it, have all the referenced kits..

Though it's marked 1/25 on the box, the Johan Lark wheelbase is about 10 scale inches longer than the AMT Avanti.

The AMT '53 Stude has about the right wheelbase, is the same general design as the Lark, but it lacks the X-member the Avanti chassis has.

The Lark coupe didn't use the X-member, but the convertible did.

The second crossmember on the Avanti, the one under the firewall, is different from the Larks too. It can be cut out of the Johan Lark and swapped cleanly into one of the AMT chassis without too much trouble.

If you use either of the AMT chassis, you'll need to widen the floor as well.

Bill, I am curious about your thoughts on dispensing with the basic Lark body altogether and modifying the Revell Miss Deal body, grafting on the Lark-specific sections from the Jo-Han body to come up with a more scale-accurate piece that would fit the Avanti chassis. I have a slightly warpy 1960 Lark promo with a crushed roof that I am contemplating upon with this very conversion 

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On 12/13/2019 at 2:00 PM, thatz4u said:

any ideas for THIS one????

I'm going to want to watch whatever you do on this. I have a 1962 Lark (the license plate on the rear bumper says 1962) that I'm sure must be a JoHann. I bought it many years ago from an Estate Sale and it looks like a promo in construction and is molded in a light green color. I bought it assembled nothing else came along with it. I have put off doing anything with it not knowing what chassis to use and other projects have been of more interest. I plan to follow along on your build. The side view of this little Lark looks just like the picture of the black colored Lark in the picture from ChrisBcritter, cute handle. 

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9 hours ago, espo said:

I'm going to want to watch whatever you do on this. I have a 1962 Lark (the license plate on the rear bumper says 1962) that I'm sure must be a JoHann. I bought it many years ago from an Estate Sale and it looks like a promo in construction and is molded in a light green color. I bought it assembled nothing else came along with it. I have put off doing anything with it not knowing what chassis to use and other projects have been of more interest. I plan to follow along on your build. The side view of this little Lark looks just like the picture of the black colored Lark in the picture from ChrisBcritter, cute handle. 

Same as this one (minus the funky wheels)?EEC1C214-E2C7-4BD6-9DDB-6BD552C7E831.thumb.jpeg.08178a02a45580544027901ff998391f.jpeg

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On 12/26/2019 at 8:09 PM, garagepunk66 said:

Bill, I am curious about your thoughts on dispensing with the basic Lark body altogether and modifying the Revell Miss Deal body, grafting on the Lark-specific sections from the Jo-Han body to come up with a more scale-accurate piece that would fit the Avanti chassis. I have a slightly warpy 1960 Lark promo with a crushed roof that I am contemplating upon with this very conversion 

Though the Lark was based on the full size Studebaker shell, with the wheelbase shortened ahead of the firewall, and as Joe mentions above, none of the exterior skins are shared.

I've been looking at my Lark from the standpoint of narrowing it, shortening it, giving it a light top-chop and body sectioning, and re-scribing the rear door shut-line to get the initial impression closer to what it would be if it was correct 1/25 scale. With very careful measuring and cutting, I think this might not be as hard as it seems at first glance.

It's odd that the scale is off, as Johan was usually very good about getting the outer appearance of their models spot-on.

I'm wondering if the somewhat larger scale wasn't a concession to Studebaker's marketing department, concerned by the diminutive size of a promo if it had been scale-correct.

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1 hour ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

Though the Lark was based on the full size Studebaker shell, with the wheelbase shortened ahead of the firewall, and as Joe mentions above, none of the exterior skins are shared.

I've been looking at my Lark from the standpoint of narrowing it, shortening it, giving it a light top-chop and body sectioning, and re-scribing the rear door shut-line to get the initial impression closer to what it would be if it was correct 1/25 scale. With very careful measuring and cutting, I think this might not be as hard as it seems at first glance.

It's odd that the scale is off, as Johan was usually very good about getting the outer appearance of their models spot-on.

I'm wondering if the somewhat larger scale wasn't a concession to Studebaker's marketing department, concerned by the diminutive size of a promo if it had been scale-correct.

Have a look at these two photos Bill. There's more shared DNA in those body skins than might be apparent on first examination... Modify the A-pillar and windshield header for a little bit of a wraparound, juggle the wheelbase a bit and you are there. The rear quarters of the Jo-Han Lark would have to be pared down accordingly an utilized, as well as the front fender tops and hood near the front 

  106901.jpg

60275083053100_tmp_max_640X480.jpg

Edited by garagepunk66
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9 hours ago, garagepunk66 said:

 

  106901.jpg

60275083053100_tmp_max_640X480.jpg

The two bodies pictured do have some commonality; however, neither has anything in common with the body depicted in the AMT or Revell '53 kits.  Studebaker used two different bodies starting in '53: the AMT and Revell kits are based on the "coupe" body which is lower, and on a slightly longer wheelbase than the "sedan" body pictured (which did evolve into the Lark).  Several books about the history of Studebaker agree that the decision to build the Loewy (Bourke) coupe was made late in the game, and that the coupe's sloping front end styling was adapted to the sedan which was very much further along in development at that point.

The Lark was basically the '53 sedan body on the shorter wheelbase, with some changes made in the interim: mid-'55 wraparound windshield, '58 flattened roof skin, and for the Lark the front and rear overhangs were pared to the bare minimum.  The center section was pretty much the same as the '58 sedan.  Studebaker couldn't afford to do anything else by then.  They stumbled along for the next few years redoing one area one year, another the next, but the core of that '53 sedan body was still under the skin of the last '66 sedan that rolled out of Canada.

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2 hours ago, Mark said:

The two bodies pictured do have some commonality; however, neither has anything in common with the body depicted in the AMT or Revell '53 kits.  Studebaker used two different bodies starting in '53: the AMT and Revell kits are based on the "coupe" body which is lower, and on a slightly longer wheelbase than the "sedan" body pictured (which did evolve into the Lark).  Several books about the history of Studebaker agree that the decision to build the Loewy (Bourke) coupe was made late in the game, and that the coupe's sloping front end styling was adapted to the sedan which was very much further along in development at that point.

The Lark was basically the '53 sedan body on the shorter wheelbase, with some changes made in the interim: mid-'55 wraparound windshield, '58 flattened roof skin, and for the Lark the front and rear overhangs were pared to the bare minimum.  The center section was pretty much the same as the '58 sedan.  Studebaker couldn't afford to do anything else by then.  They stumbled along for the next few years redoing one area one year, another the next, but the core of that '53 sedan body was still under the skin of the last '66 sedan that rolled out of Canada.

Thanks for pointing out the differences between the sedans and the coupes. Now that I am looking at pictures of the coupes, I see how the front is extended and the nose is slightly more sloped along the fender tops. 

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The later Studebakers got more individual styling.  The coupe evolved into the Hawk and GT Hawk, the sedan became the Lark.  But the '53 bodies were the last all-new ones Studebaker ever did.  Even the '53 chassis wasn't all new, parts of it were taken from earlier models.

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On 12/13/2019 at 2:00 PM, thatz4u said:

any ideas for THIS one????

While so many of use are discussing what to turn your Lark into, I would rather see what you can do to make this a better Lark, I.E. keep the body as is and try and make a better more detailed chassis. 

 

15 hours ago, CabDriver said:

Same as this one (minus the funky wheels)?EEC1C214-E2C7-4BD6-9DDB-6BD552C7E831.thumb.jpeg.08178a02a45580544027901ff998391f.jpeg

I don't recall ever seeing that kit and didn't even realize that Jo-Han made any snap kits. Live and learn I guess. I do like the looks of it but I would have used a more realistic wheel and tire size for myself. The built hardtop that I have is a little lighter shade of blue/green if that matters. The chassis is a screw on design and the design of the frame, front and rear suspension, and even the exhaust is well represented. My personal interest in the Lark is based on a very brief driving experiences in a couple of them. During my high school days I had a few different part time jobs so I would have money for dates and any personal entertainment I might want. One of those jobs was at a local service station back when they would do all of the basic maintains and light repairs rather than the dealerships. I would often be called upon to drive a customer home and back when we were working on their cars. Several of these customers had new or late model Larks. Even on these short drives I got a lasting impression that these were well built and Studebaker had a very long history of quality and reliability to owners. So I'm still impressed by these cars and bought this one with the idea of someday replicating one of these fine automobiles. Thank you for your interest and the information about the convertible.   

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2 hours ago, espo said:

While so many of use are discussing what to turn your Lark into, I would rather see what you can do to make this a better Lark, I.E. keep the body as is and try and make a better more detailed chassis.

...That is precisely what most of this thread is about.

Allow me to recap.

1)  The original question was "Chassis upgrade for Johan '62 Lark: any ideas for THIS one???? "

2)  Joe responded that the AMT Avanti chassis should work, as in reality, both cars shared the same wheelbase.

3)  Mark responded that the scale of the Johan Lark is larger than the indicated 1/25, and therefore the Avanti chassis won't be a drop-in, but will need heavy mods.

4)  I responded that because of the scale discrepancy, the chassis from the AMT '53 Stude was an easier swap for a "better, more detailed" donor, as it has the same wheelbase as the Johan Lark, but that the '53 Chassis would still require addition of the X-member from the Avanti, and a revised firewall crossmember to appear more correct.

5)  Dan wondered if a course of action to obtain a scale-correct stock Lark body might be to start with a different Studebaker shell.

6)  I stated that I had been considering shortening, narrowing, chopping, and sectioning the Johan (larger-than-1/25) Lark body to get a 1/25 scale-correct stock Lark body

7)   The next few remarks discussed the commonality of basic body shells between the older sedan and the Lark, and considered the differences.

7)  The referenced snap kit came with stock wheels and tires, as it was released WAY before the big wheel trend.

EDIT: In conclusion (new material), I believe the best way to get "a better more detailed chassis" would be to shorten the AMT '53 unit just ahead of the firewall, as the Lark chassis was constructed in reality. Add the X-member from the Avanti, and modify the firewall crossmember to the Lark configuration.

This would also require the Lark body shell to be shrunk down to a reasonably accurate 1/25 scale representation of the real car also.

Lots of work, but the scale discrepancy drives me nuts.

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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Here's the box I had:

PB270638-vi.jpg

Here's what was in it:

PB260627-vi.jpg

Here's what I did with mine:

100_0303-vi.jpg

The chassis for this kit is promo/curbside style, and that is what I went with on this build.

I concentrated on the topside and inside. If I had another kit, I would be interested in the chassis upgrade.

I'll follow along to see what you fellas come up with for future reference.

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20 minutes ago, Bucky said:

...Here's what was in it:

PB260627-vi.jpg

Here's what I did with mine...

I'll follow along to see what you fellas come up with for future reference.

Your model looks great.

Far as the kit itself goes, that's exactly what's in the original issue kit, though it's not labeled as a snapper.

Frankly, I bought my hardtop intending to pull molds from the front clip and build a pickup.

But with the scale discrepancy, it's getting doubtful that I'll even bother. Time seems to be slipping away, and it's becoming increasingly necessary to pick my battles with more care.

Doing masters for a scale-correct hardtop and pickup had some appeal, but there are other things I'd really rather do at this point.

                                           image.png.bf432c57c4fdab0686ca027f3a6074f9.png

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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With the scale issue, you've got to want more detail really badly to go through all of the work and expense necessary to get it.  I've got a convertible kit ('62 Indy 500 pace car) but besides moving the door line and altering the side trim to Daytona spec, I'll probably leave the rest alone.  Other kits we "think" are 1/25 scale turn out to be otherwise once the dreaded ruler comes out.  I'm trying to not burst the bubble on too many more things...

The snap kit is pretty much the annual kit minus the optional parts, and some simplification (wire axles, metal screws, and separate wheel backs eliminated).  Some Jo-Han '62 annual kits had engines, the Studebaker Larks were not among them.  Jo-Han only made '62 Larks as kits, no other years.  Earlier ones were made as promotionals, in acetate plastic.  I don't bother with acetate stuff so I can't speak to what scale any of those measure out to.

As for the pickup, pieces of the convertible could be used but being a '62 the front clip is somewhat different.  The Champ pickup used the '59-'61 style four-door body (the front half of it, anyway) and the '62 through '64 pickups never adopted the concurrent car styling.  For the few pickups built by then, Studebaker probably just used up leftover "early" Lark body panels.

For an early Lark, or a pickup, there is another option.  Premier made an early Lark sedan kit.  It isn't perfect by a long shot and is slightly smaller than 1/25 scale.  The multiple piece body might lend itself to stretching to true 1/25 scale though.  I have one, was thinking about finding a second one (even a built one) to combine with it, to get a proper 1/25 scale early Lark sedan (think "Flintstone Flyer" here...)

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On 12/28/2019 at 3:19 PM, Mark said:

With the scale issue, you've got to want more detail really badly to go through all of the work and expense necessary to get it.  I've got a convertible kit ('62 Indy 500 pace car) but besides moving the door line and altering the side trim to Daytona spec, I'll probably leave the rest alone.  Other kits we "think" are 1/25 scale turn out to be otherwise once the dreaded ruler comes out.  I'm trying to not burst the bubble on too many more things...

The snap kit is pretty much the annual kit minus the optional parts, and some simplification (wire axles, metal screws, and separate wheel backs eliminated).  Some Jo-Han '62 annual kits had engines, the Studebaker Larks were not among them.  Jo-Han only made '62 Larks as kits, no other years.  Earlier ones were made as promotionals, in acetate plastic.  I don't bother with acetate stuff so I can't speak to what scale any of those measure out to.

As for the pickup, pieces of the convertible could be used but being a '62 the front clip is somewhat different.  The Champ pickup used the '59-'61 style four-door body (the front half of it, anyway) and the '62 through '64 pickups never adopted the concurrent car styling.  For the few pickups built by then, Studebaker probably just used up leftover "early" Lark body panels.

For an early Lark, or a pickup, there is another option.  Premier made an early Lark sedan kit.  It isn't perfect by a long shot and is slightly smaller than 1/25 scale.  The multiple piece body might lend itself to stretching to true 1/25 scale though.  I have one, was thinking about finding a second one (even a built one) to combine with it, to get a proper 1/25 scale early Lark sedan (think "Flintstone Flyer" here...)

At the risk of hijacking/derailing this thread, I would love to see "what's inside the box" of that Premier kit!

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