Junior Central

1959 and 1960 Studebaker larkette Promotional cars
By Master interprises of Eau Claire MI

click on any picture to enlarge it

factory photo #1

Big and little front

Museum larkette

Original lit #1

1960 red

1960 blue

Literature front

On parade

Newspaper ad

Bare frame

factory bodies

Factory photo

3 in a row

    After dealing with junior cars for a number of years and having the website up and running for a few years I thought I had a pretty good grasp on all of the vintage powered promotional cars that were made. That is until I made a visit to the Studebaker Museum in South Bend Indiana on the way back from the 2007 National Desoto Club convention in Washington DC. As I was wondering around looking at the cars my wife said, "look at this" and there was a Studebaker Larkette. After taking some photos I went up to the offices to see the curator and see what other information I could find out about them. Luckily there is someone out there that really cares about these and has done a great job in researching them and the company that made them.

Jim Geary of Franklin, NC was more than generous and provided most all of the images, literature, factory photos and even correspondence between the company that made the little cars (Master interprises of Eau Claire MI) and Studebaker that I will list at the bottom of the page. Because of his generosity many future generations will be able to know the story behind these rare mini cars. I will try to get the best of all of the information he has provided and list it below. If anyone has better copies of the pictures or literature please send them to me and I will post them.

Text from original information goes here once typed from PDF files


overall length 66"
Width 24"
Height 20"
Weight 140 pounds
Engine 2HP 4 cycle or electric
Speed 6-25mph
clutch cetrifugal force (no reverse)
Tires 10-inch pneumatic
Colors light blue or gold
Body fiberglass
Steel frame
Colors available red, white and blue
Belt and chain drive
Two Wheel brakes

Factory correspondence

Here are the original correspondence letters between Studebaker and the factory that made the Junior cars
Factory correspondence 1    Factory correspondence 2    Factory correspondence 3   
Factory correspondence 4    Factory correspondence 5    Factory correspondence 6   
Factory correspondence 7    Factory correspondence 8    Factory correspondence 9   
Factory correspondence 10    Factory correspondence 11    Factory correspondence 12   
Factory correspondence 13   

Besides the larkette Master Enterprises also made a couple other models. Since the Studebaker Packard Corporation was the authorized distributor for Mercedes Benz in the United states in the late 50s and early 60s they even made a Mini motorized Mercedes 300SL.
Mercedes Benz 300SL juniors with full wrap bumpers

They also made a miniature version of the Jeep called the Beep that used the same frame and drive trains as the other models.
Beep assembly line

Shipping beeps

It also appears that they made the mystery 1960 Buick that has been featured on the misc page for a few years? So I will be moving it over here! If anyone has more images or literature please send them to me so I can share them on the website.
1960 Buick

1960 Buick body and frame

1960 Buick frame

Factory photo #2

Big and little rear

Museum Larkette

Original lit #2

1960 red

Happy pair

Literature rear

On parade

Full line literature

Electric frame

Factory frames

Assembly line

One more

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Site Built:       03/14/10
Last Update:   01/07/14

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Use of images and information on this website for Magazine articles/car club newsletters

If you want to use information or images from this website for magazine articles please contact me so that I can help by providing more information addition images or Higher resolution images. So little is known about these little cars that education of the collecting public can only help find more of them and find more parts or parts sources for them. Generally I only ask for of a copy of the final issue and mention of the website in the article in return. Even though promotional cars have been around for a long time they have only recently become very collectable. Any article written about them can only help to find “Automotive archeologists” With information on these rare and unusual mini cars

Welcome to my mis-spelled word file!
These are common and sometimes uncommon ways to mis-spell the primary words on this site! I provide this as a service to the phonically challenged because they are people too! Or maybe they have a typing handicap like myself. Corvete, Crysler, Chrystler, Christler, Desota, De Sota, Desotoe, Desoda, Dasoda, Edsil, fibre, fibreglass, Gokart, Go-kart, go kart, Mo Par, Mustange, mircury, Peddel, Peddal, Peddle, pedel, Plymoth, Plimoth, Plimouth, powercar, power car, Tbird, T-bird, Thunderchicken