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Folks Of Interest Avanti Legend Talks About Caroll Shelby & The Car That Studebaker Didn’t Want To Sell ….

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by trulyvintage, Jan 23, 2022.

  1. Studebaker was a parent company with many
    successful brands - the car division was just one.

    Studebaker enticed Andy Granatelli to go to
    Bonneville where he set 29 records in 1963

    @

    Then they partnered up with him to pitch
    STP products …

    Pull up a chair and visit with “ The Old Man “
    John Meyer at the family owned & operated
    business that I visited in Ohio …

    @


    Jim
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2022
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  2. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,287

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    When they were true Avanti's, they were a revelation. I wanted one as soon as I saw the real thing. I intend no disrespect to owners of any of the newer Avanti styled cars but they're no different in my eyes than a HAMB era body style mounted on an S 10 frame.
     
  3. If we can let us please stick to 1964 & earlier.
    Please watch the video and you will learn
    ( as I did ) of the true origin for the Avanti
    and The Powerhouse that Studebaker was in shaping the early performance years.


    Jim
     
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  4. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 16,179

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    The first experience I had in a fast car was when I was 12 years old in 1966.
    A grade school pals' older brother had a 63 Avanti and would take us for a ride now and then and scare the crap out of us (we loved it).
    He had another brother with a 65 Sunbeam Tiger that also left a big impression on me.
     
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  5. Pats55
    Joined: Apr 29, 2013
    Posts: 551

    Pats55
    Member
    from NJ

    I really enjoyed your video. I've driven Avanti 11 for 35 years my first Avanti was it 64 R1 I prefer the Avanti 11 . Small block Chevy is more dependable and more powerful than a Studebaker 289 there's no middle ground with a Avanti either you love-them-or-hate-them.
     
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  6. I never really knew the history of the company or the due respect of the relatively advanced engineering of the drivetrain for the day.

    I was there to pick up this beautiful 1963 Avanti
    that had been there 12 years being restored.

    8CCB5636-3D34-478A-804B-6A8BA03E7D1F.jpeg

    I ended up visiting with Michael Myers and took several videos over a period of a few hours while I toured their facility.

    During that time I got school done Studebaker history from the late 50s into the mid 60s.


    Jim
     
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  7. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,705

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    @trulyvintage All I can say is WOW !!! When I was a kid at the model building age around 1963, I remember seeing the Avanti's coming out and bought a model of one. At that time I saw no cars with that kind of styling. They looked like something from the future. They were one of a kind. As a few years went by to the 70's ,cars began to resemble the styling of the Avanti's. I am still fond of them but have never owned one not that I still wouldn't like to. Thanks so much for posting this. It is an awesome trip and thread down memory lane . Now I have to study up on this as to what's going on these day's.
     
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  8. One of the things I learned was that Studebaker developed the Avanti to bring buyers of their other cars in to the show room with something that had curb appeal.

    They never intended to actually run a meaningful production of the car - if I remember correctly from the interview 7000 orders for the 1963 Avanti went unfilled.

    Studebaker’s target was the Ford Thunderbird
    market share …

    The reality was it was a contender for the Chevrolet Corvette if you factor in the performance as demonstrated by Andy Granatelli in Bonneville back in 1963.

    Chevrolet threatened to pull their business from the fiberglass bodybuilder on the Corvette if the bodybuilder continued to manufacture Avanti bodies.

    As I mentioned before - Studebaker was the successful parent company of many well-known product lines and corporate divisions.

    When the car division became unprofitable they chose to close it down.


    Jim
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2022
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  9. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,603

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    In red above

    Pat -
    You've obviously never seen the inside of a Studebaker engine !
    The Chevy may be able to achieve more horse power...easier/cheaper, but more dependable ? You are showing your lack of knowledge.

    Stude engine -
    1. Forged crank (all), strength - check
    2. Forged rods (all), strength - check
    3. More than enough supports and material thickness in the block and heads (all) - check
    4. Shaft rockers for stability (all) - check
    5. Forged and heat treated rocker arms (all) - check
    6. Both a GM based and a FOMOCO based distributor (all) - check
    7. Gear driven camshaft (no chain stretch) (all) - check
    8. While the pistons were cast, they were no different than the "big three" (or anyone else's) piston manufacturing.
    9. Solid lifters, with NO extra parts (all) - check

    About the only possible weakness inside of the engine was the method of retaining the wrist pin, and that was more of a "rebuilders" problem, than an original build problem.
    One early problem was camshaft heat treating...can you spell Chevrolet...THEY had a similar problem !

    So...please explain the lack of dependability !!
    I let you in on an experience that I had in my 259 powered Stude after you prove otherwise to the above.

    Mike
     
  10. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 16,179

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    It just occured to me what my pals brother would call an Avanti (or did I dream this)...........
    He called it a "Coke bottle".
    Thoughts?
     
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  11. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,362

    dan c
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    lots of cars had the "coke bottle" body style in those days. i think the plymouth of the early '70s was one of the most beautiful!
     
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  12. Pats55
    Joined: Apr 29, 2013
    Posts: 551

    Pats55
    Member
    from NJ

    Avanti I had never idled at the same speed ever. I used to do alot of long-distance travelling and I'm more comfortable with a car that had parts available far from home. that's my personal preference
     
  13. Kevin Pharis
    Joined: Aug 22, 2020
    Posts: 305

    Kevin Pharis

    Been a fan for most of my life!

    BF2E3D03-1242-4D5E-B3B8-4A2AF78BDBBE.jpeg
     
  14. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 16,179

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Edit
    The Avanti mentioned above had the square headlights so it was a 64.
     
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  15. 52HardTop
    Joined: Jun 21, 2007
    Posts: 989

    52HardTop
    Member

    It my be that Raymond Lowey designed both the Avanti and the Coke bottle?
     
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  16. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,287

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You beat me to it. Raymond Loewy did design the Coke bottle and the Avanti.
     
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  17. I knew relatively nothing of the early muscle history of Studebaker - I had not had an opportunity to
    be educated …

    Michael Meyers - in one of my videos - shows us
    the small ( but comprehensive ) service department
    that will rebuild just about any Studebacker part.

    Then he takes us to view
    The Rare Family Studebaker Car Collection …

    You may never get a chance to see some of
    these cars anywhere else ….

    @


    Jim
     
  18. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,648

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    Hey, TV;
    Did you get a chance to see the 6-71 blown Stude dragster engine? IIRC, orig chassis was spooky(not like Mikes' Lark... :) ), & they put in a much better slightly later style chassis. AFAIK, current thought is the heads were highly modified by Joe Mondello. Would really like to verify one way or another, & if not, just who did them. Loads of porting & brass, I'd guess made for alky. Zoomies welded to exh ports. Tested at a friend's shop in 4/14, @.700" lift, I got ~ 232cfm, E got ~ 181. I pulled a mold on the ports n chamber to model, life decided to get in the way. Someday, I hope. John n Mike n family = good folks.
    There was good reason for the pal-nuts & wrist-pin design. AFAIC, only drawback to Stude mills was heads can't be ported large enough for big bores & there's precious little room for them in the block architecture, + waterpump housing is heavy as hell. So aftermarket isn't there like for chevy/etc. But stock to stock, in the similar years, it ain't a bad comparison.
    & Stude had no end of trouble w/the quality from the 'glass provider... ;( .
    Marcus...
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2022
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  19. I was there about three hours.
    Michael showed me his Studebaker Race Car
    that he runs at the track.
    My next visit will feature a video on that.


    Jim
     
  20. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 5,317

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    That sounded like BS as soon as I heard it, Loewy designed a LOT of things, but the Coca-Cola bottle wasn't one of 'em. It was patented in 1915.
    IMG_1808.PNG
     
    Bob Lowry likes this.
  21. This thread is drifting - but since you brought
    it up ….

    5FB137F4-FCC0-4E2C-BBF1-33C1EDC8D1EF.jpeg


    Jim
     
  22. mohr hp
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 428

    mohr hp
    Member
    from Georgia

    Raymond Loewy was a lot like George Barris; he wasn't afraid to take credit for other people's hard work and innovations. He is credited for the '53 Studebaker, which was all his employee, Bob Bourke's design.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2022
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  23. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,705

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    Your car is a beautiful example.
     
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  24. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 5,317

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    No, I didn't bring it up. I'm just pointing out the bottle design was patented in 1915 and he didn't have anything to do with that.
     
  25. Consider the possibility that there may have been more than one bottle design in the History of Coca-Cola.

    Let It Go - this thread isn’t about Coke Bottle Drsign.


    Jim
     
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  26. Michael Ottavi
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 174

    Michael Ottavi
    Member

    3822C742-EF1F-45FA-8849-D154126ABBFD.jpeg
    As a sidebar, Paul Hoffman, the man in the photo went on to become the Chairman of Studebaker. He was the father of my wife’s Aunt. She also has many stories about the family hainging with Raymond Lowry in Palm Springs. He lead an amazing life, but as you can see an original hot rodder from WAY back. 3822C742-EF1F-45FA-8849-D154126ABBFD.jpeg
     
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  27. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 7,013

    jnaki

    Hello,

    My brother and I always liked Studebakers since we saw (Junior Thompson and his 41 Sedan at Lion’s Dragstrip in 1958... Lions 1959) the story in Hot rod magazine, and one driving around on our local streets.

    1963 was a transitional year for our dad’s car buying saga since 1946, when we first came to Long Beach, CA. After a series of big to huge 4 door Buick sedans, he had a 57 two door Buick sedan at the time and was ready for his normal “every 4 year” buying spree. He did not like the 62 Buick so he put the buying off for one more year.


    Jnaki

    His choices in 1963, as guided by the two teenage sons were another Buick sedan, the newly introduced supercharged Avanti with A/C and leather upholstery or as offered by his friend in Los Angeles, a Chrysler Turbine “loaner” car for a short testing period. We took him to see the new Avanti and the new Buicks. He already saw the Chrysler Turbine and had never seen the Avanti and the new Buick Riviera.

    So, he had a tough choice to make. My brother and I were leaning toward the leather infused Avanti for something different and cool. But, we could talk all we wanted, our dad had to drive the new car daily to his work. It was up to him.


    Here is an old story on the trials of buying a new choice of cars in 1963:
    Old Friday Art

    upload_2022-1-24_5-52-20.png upload_2022-1-24_5-52-40.png
    A Bonneville record setter...

    Hello,

    When our dad was in the market for a new car based on his standard new car every 4 years mantra, my brother and I had some bright ideas. Number one, my mom was complaining about not having A/C. We wanted our dad to be a little sporty and sit in some cool leather seats in his daily drives to work. So, we took him to see a new Avanti in a local dealership. (three things we should have noticed: One, it was not a Buick. Two, he did not like it that the dealer was separate from his local Buick dealership and three, he did not know anything about a Studebaker.)

    He did see some old 1957 Studebakers on the lot with the cool fins and one even had a centrifugal supercharger. But, he said he had an open mind. As my brother was pointing out the fine interior, the cool motor and overall streamlined look of the car, our dad was starting to get interested. He wanted something 2 door, but, not as large as his last 1957 Buick Roadmaster sedan. Plus, he was getting tired of putting a towel between the two wide sedans in our tiny garage and sometimes having to squeeze out of his Buick, so as not to scratch the 1958 black Impala.

    He liked the idea of being sporty looking and when we told him that it had or could have as much horsepower as the 58 Impala, he was impressed. But the topper was when he sat in the bucket seats. He was used to the standard GM 90 degree seat backs and these bucket seats were so comfortable, he was almost sold right then.

    Jnaki
    upload_2022-1-24_5-55-1.png upload_2022-1-24_5-55-19.png
    He told us that he would talk it over with his best friend in Los Angeles about the Avanti. When he came back to tell us about the Avanti conversation, he had a dark green 1963 Buick Riviera with A/C, leather seats and continued his line of Buicks owned since 1946. Both of us were totally impressed and immediately took the 63 Riviera out for a long cruise.

    The Avanti went away as the one we liked, but never owned in person.

    Here are samples of the Bonneville record setting Avanti cars during the 1963 era.
    upload_2022-1-24_5-56-9.png "The gorgeous Paula Murphy set the Women’s Land Speed Record of 161 mph in a 1963 Studebaker Avanti."
    upload_2022-1-24_5-56-49.png “I need the front low and rear higher for better control above 150 mph. Even at 201 mph the cars is stable with this rake and the 650 lbs of ballast I added to the car for better traction.”

    “The main reason for the window blowing out with windows up and rear vents open, is the air on top of the window at high speed causes a huge suction.”
    upload_2022-1-24_5-57-49.png

    “AVANTI R1007 was one of three cars that were used by Studebaker for the speed record trials at Bonneville in 1962-1963. The Gold Avanti labeled number “9” was driven by Andy Granatelli and scored an American Class C closed car supercharged record speed of 170.81 miles per hour. In this same automobile, Paula Murphy was to became the “Worlds Fastest Woman on Wheels.” The prototype test car was a darker non-production red. The prototype became the test car in 1962 and the backup was the gold car. “

    To top it off, Reggie, an Archie Comic Character drove a new Avanti in one of the extra editions of the Archie Comic Book Series.
    upload_2022-1-24_5-58-39.png
    The Studebaker Avanti was designed in 1961 in a house in the Palm Springs desert.
    "Raymond Loewy leased this two-room building as a place for the designers he had selected to work and sleep. Loewy and his family lived nearby in a house built in 1946-47 that was designed by local architect Albert Frey."

    upload_2022-1-24_5-59-12.png






     
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  28. Moedog07
    Joined: Apr 11, 2011
    Posts: 353

    Moedog07
    Member

    This is good so far...
     
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  29. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,705

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    Cool history.
     
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  30. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,705

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    @jnaki you never cease to amaze me with your knowledge and experience of these things.
     

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