The Black Hawk Chapter Member Profile


Karen Jackson Member - Black Hawk SDC

Karen's ex 1960 Lark

There it was, sitting under a tree across from the Fox River, shining in the sun. A 1960 Studebaker Lark VI 2-door hardtop with an automatic transmission and such exciting options as a heater and radio (cheesy Kmart replacement). It even had port-a-walls - the rubber white wall part came off so you could make any tire into a white wall. What a cool looking car! I needed something to replace the ever practical Chevette. Time for something fun. I can fix my bicycle. If I get a simple car, I should be able to fix that too - right? I fixed some simple things, asked questions, and learned that most mechanics didn't want to talk to me with a car that old. I found a small muffler shop that was willing to put a new muffler on - they looked at it and said "Sure we can do it but what kind of car is that?". The radiator exploded on the expressway one day and I remembered the Car Talk guys had said black pepper would do the trick. I managed to drive for a week with the black pepper and the radiator cap loose until I could get a new radiator shipped from South Bend. Another day I was driving down the street and realized I was running out of electricity. The shop nearby wanted to replace the whole generator system with an alternator system. No. I found a guy who would rebuild the generator for me but he wouldn't take the car. OK, I can unbolt a generator and save myself $400. Then one day Tom Kazale Jr. chased me down and invited me to the Studebaker club meetings. Just in time! My car got real hard to steer all of a sudden. So I showed up at a meeting looking for ideas. I think they figured I had never had a car without power steering before and couldn't handle it. Then Tom Kazale got in and tried to turn the wheels. "How do you drive this thing!?" Well, that's why I was asking for help - I didn't think it was real safe not being able to turn the wheels. Steve Jaffe saved me - took things apart, discovered a siezed kingpin and fixed it for me. This car (as far as I know) spent it's whole life in northern Illinois or Wisconsin. I finally got rid of it because the frame was so rusty I was advised I'd be dead if I got hit. Sold it to a guy with a body shop who had plans to weld it back together. I drove this car for a year and a half - it was an adventure and I will definitely get another one.


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Email: karenstitches2@gmail.com

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