The last time Stephen B. Long saw one of his previously owned cars was 36 years ago when he traded it off for a new 1969 Ford Mustang at Mills Ford.
Lo and behold, last week's mystery vehicle, a 1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona Wagonaire billed as a fun-filled convertible, was his. So he definitely had an ace up his sleeve when he correctly guessed this.
Tom Erickson, who submitted the photograph, bought the wagon from the dealership and later traded it off for a 1967 Chevrolet Corvair Monza (with three carburetors).
"(The wagonaire) was a good deal," Erickson said of his reason to buy the car. "Something unusual."
He said he was disappointed with the Studebaker only getting about 15 miles per gallon.
Long wrote that he bought this wagonaire new in 1963 and it had a suggested retail price of $3,327.83. He said engines that were available for these vehicles were a 169.6 cubic inch six cylinder, a 259.2 cubic inch eight cylinder or a 289 cubic inch eight cylinder. His wagonaire had the 259.
Erickson said his father drove this vehicle for about five or six years too.
This wagonaire was ahead of its time. One feature which is similar to today's GMC Envoy XUV was its sliding roof above the cargo compartment (of course the Envoy has a power sliding rear roof).
Unfortunately, the Studebaker leaked badly, said another correct guesser, Jonathan Richards. For this reason, he said these wagonaires were not very popular.
Richards said that 10,487 four-door wagonaires, not all with the sliding roof, were produced.
A Web site said Studebaker ended production of the Lark Daytona and Regal wagonaires as fast as it begun.
The list of correct guessers didn't end fast. They were Andrew Gilbarg, Jim Russell, Drew Bricksdollar, Dean Button, Harry Austin, John Branstrom, Stephen B. Long, Larry Roscoe, Ted Toensing, Rosemary Petrich, Donna Knezek and Larry Olson.
Iowan Button, who was visiting a relative here, said he drove Studebakers from 1950 until 1975. He said his son had a wagonaire like this one.
Long and Erickson also noted that these wagonaires didn't have a glovebox. Instead, they had a vanity that lowered like a shelf with a fold-up mirror.
These wagonaires, built on a fabricated convertible frame, also had a folding ladder on the tailgate and a roll down rear window.
Roscoe wrote that Lark wagonaires were available in Standard, Regal and Daytona trim. Only the Regal and Daytonas sported the sliding roof.
He and Toensing wrote that 1963 was the last year of the Lark models.
First production Lincoln
This week's trivia question is "When was the first production Lincoln Continental finished?
The answer to last week's trivia question, "What year did General Motors introduce the Pontiac brand name?" is 1926. The new Pontiac line was the descendent of the Oakland Motor Co., acquired by General Motors in 1909.
Correct guessers were Austin, Petrich, Roscoe, Toensing and Olson.
Roscoe wrote that Pontiac was named after the city in which it was built (the city of Pontiac was named after an Indian chief important in Michigan's history and is located in Oakland County).
Petrich wrote Pontiac originates from Pontiac Buggy Co., founded in Pontiac, Mich., in 1893. Pontiac was introduced by Oakland Auto Co., in the form of a five passenger coach Pontiac, she wrote.
Roscoe also wrote that the first Pontiac set a sales record for any first year total to that time of 76,676, eclipsing the previous maiden-year record set in 1924 by Chrysler.
He said the first Pontiac had a 185 cubic inch six cylinder engine and all the '26 models were closed bodies.
Olson said the first Pontiac's maximum speed was 50 mph and the two doors sold for $825. The following August, a four-door Pontiac was introduced and it cost $895, he said.
clint wood, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5869.
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