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Avanti Stories From Owners, Drivers and Fans?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Benzine440, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Benzine440
    Joined: Aug 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,276

    Benzine440
    Member

    The Studebaker Avanti was a brilliant car that could have saved Studebaker if it arrived earlier, wasn't delayed in production and if Studebaker could actually be saved.

    It didn't, it was and it couldn't.

    Nothing could save Studebaker by that time but Studebaker got a lot of "mileage" out of it anyway.
    The cars Andy Granatelli developed were interesting. When they hit the roads Avanti's remained rare enough to get shouts of delight from people. Corvettes by comparison were almost commonplace. Women looked great driving them but they weren't "chick cars".

    Anyone here own one, now or sometime in the past? Race it? Customise it? Love it?
     
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  2. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,406

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've never owned one, but I know Avanti owners are tough. Sold a car to a guy sight unseen once. He flew in to Iowa from Montana two days after we made the deal, and I met him at the airport. He was easy to spot, he was the one legged man.

    He jumped in the car after looking at it for ten minutes and headed right off for Montana. No problems, no worries.

    His other car at home was an Avanti.
     
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  3. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,940

    pimpin paint
    Member
    from so cal

    Hey,

    Yeah, my favorite Studebaker/Avanti story is the one about how Studebaker
    hustled Mercedes Benz into investing in a corporation that was already deep
    in the red, with a promise to sell Mercedes at Studebaker dealerships. With
    this money Studebaker designed and built the Avanti.

    Swankey Devils C.C.
     
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  4. Benzine440
    Joined: Aug 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,276

    Benzine440
    Member

    I had a neighbor who always had new Studes. In 1964 He had a new Avanti. a new Granturismo, a new Daytona Convertible and a nice 2 or 3 year old Gran Turismo. He kept them all real nice.
     
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  5. Phil1934
    Joined: Jun 24, 2001
    Posts: 2,626

    Phil1934
    Member

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  6. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,656

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    http://www.thedrive.com/vintage/366/why-you-should-buy-a-1963-64-studebaker-avanti-right-now

    Factory Hotrod of sorts...
    The Avanti broke 29 records at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

    I had the daily in the shop today for some work and got talking with an older fellow about
    working on cars and he mentioned his El Camino and Avanti...As soon as I heard that I asked what year the Avanti was...He said 82...I was thinking a new model brought back after years of closure and incorporating features of the old like the New T-Bird's and Challenger's blah, blah, blah...
    but he said no it still was built with many original parts made back in 65...
    and they continued building them using original parts. He did say the engine however was updated as the
    Studebaker engine was not available any more and they went to a GM smallblock.

    After further communication I got it Studebaker sold pretty much everything to do with the Avanti and yes they manufactured this car till 2006...That is kinda unusual but pretty darn cool at the same time. Anyways that was my learn a new thing everyday story for Friday and I met a cool fella at the same time...


    1982-avanti-ii-1.jpg

    http://www.eurostarautos.com/vehicle/used-1982-studebaker-avante-ii-coupe-2435642.cfml?refby=vast


    [​IMG]

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/look-at-what-i-found-avanti-ii/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studebaker_Avanti

    Again it is interesting how the same car circa 65 car carried on with some modern upgrades along the way but retaining its original shell/chassis so to speak.

     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  7. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,617

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    Wow...old post.

    Yea, I know two guys that own and drive them.
    I know "of" several others in the SoCal area that own them.

    Mike
     
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  8. sailingadventure
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
    Posts: 277

    sailingadventure
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I love mine, I wanted one from the first time I saw one as a teenager and finally got one in 2012. It was a nice solid car, but a previous owner had rebuilt the engine and left out an oil gallery plug and the car had very low oil pressure. He was afraid to drive the car so it sat for over 30 years with only about 300 miles put on it in that time. When I bought the car I decided to completely rebuild it, I took it completely apart and repaired or replaced everything, changed the color from gold to a GM color of the same time period, Marina Blue.
    I added A/C because the Avanti didn`t come with A/C and a supercharger. This car came from the factory with a supercharger and a 4 speed transmission, most were automatics. I drive mine at least two or three times a week to work, Lowes, or the grocery store.


    This is a picture of the car when I first bought it.


    106.jpg

    After the rebuild 005.JPG

    This is how it looks now.

    DSC04135.JPG



     
  9. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 5,980

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    I have an Avanti story, not a happy one..

    It was the late '70s, I was sitting at a stop light in San Diego, Ca.. Also waiting at the light, on the cross street, was an Avanti with a family inside. All of a sudden I heard a siren, then here comes a car at high speed, being chased by a cop car. The first car (the bad guy) hangs the corner, passes the motionless Avanti and barrels on. Then the cop hangs the corner only doesn't make it and sideswipes the Avanti, driver's side. He stops, the bad guys gets away. I had no idea Avantis were fiberglass until then, you could see the people inside where the door and quarter panel used to be. Fortunately it didn't appear they were badly injured.
     
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  10. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,656

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That a real gem of car you have there @sailingadventure...unfortunate for the previous owner to miss out on the pleasure of driving such a unique machine.

    The demise of Studebaker equally sad. They put a lot into this sleek, upscale competitor to the Vette, GTO and the T- Bird...it bit them hard...truly amazing still to think how it all unfolded with this car. So many fine examples still exist it seems.

    Thanks for sharing this unique bit of History. The Studebaker 289 and Fords 289...whats the story on that...surely it's not a coincidence?
     
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  11. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,656

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Blowby I'm glad it was just the car...I was a little nervous about the state of the family as I read down, but was relieved they were okay...accidents were somewhat more dangerous back then.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
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  12. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,639

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My buddy's Uncle Gus bought one in '63, at the time there were 3 in all of New England. Supercharged, auto, Turquoise and an off white interior. Gussy, used to give us a ride to the local dragstrip (hitched home). Mom, would say, "what's all that noise"? As I was headed out the door, I would answer," That's the Avanti!" I remember that like it was yesterday, they have a special place in my heart.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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  13. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,770

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Lots of shared cubic inch displacements out there over time...327, 302, 331, 429, 262, 427, 350’s galore....just to name few that quickly come to mind......none appear to be direct copies of any other.....
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
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  14. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,157

    oj
    Member

    Heres the '63 we did last year, had been is a barn for 30years or so, its all original. For some reason I didn't take a pic of the finished engine, not supercharged but very well trimmed out. DSC00298.JPG DSC00371.JPG
     
  15. khead47
    Joined: Mar 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,559

    khead47
    Member

    A friend of mine had one back in the 60s. Sadly he drove it off a cliff in Mexico. He was OK. Car was not.
     
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  16. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,656

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Hnstray...Just another thought on displacements... from a racing standpoint do they have to match size wise for fair advantage to all competitors?

    As uneven displacement could lead to more or less power so to speak. If this is a valid reason maybe it just crossed the line from race to street.
     
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  17. sailingadventure
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
    Posts: 277

    sailingadventure
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The only similarity with the Studebaker 289 and the Ford 289 was the cubic inch displacement. The Ford had the distributor in the front of the engine, the Studebakers was in the rear. There was nothing alike in the engines.
     
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  18. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,770

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Stogy.........that question (or perhaps the answer) is above my pay grade..:D

    Ray
     
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  19. Interesting Avanti stories?
    I have a few. Plus an important warning that you need to address before it happens to YOU.
    First, a cool story or two :)

    Long ago, I let local racer Buddy Ingersol test drive my Avanti around Ziegler IL and surrounding areas a bit. He said "hey that runs pretty good".
    I took that as a great compliment.
    He used to welcome my little kids looking at his new projects as we watched his now famous stuff being created from stuff he brought home. He would always pull out some chairs, and invite us to visit and talk car stuff.
    That was before he joined with the Barry Grant Pro Stock team and was rarely home anymore.
    After he died, I got to keep one of the large outdoor shop signs I helped him make.
    Next story -
    When Ron Hall invited me to help with the very first dyno tests for the Avanti that he was asking us to help transform to a Bonneville record setter, Ron drove his Stude pickup a few hours South (4hrs?) to Effingham with the Stude engine in the pickup bed, and I drove my 63 Avanti a few hours North for us to meet at Jim Lange's (later to become another 200 Club Bonneville record holder with his blue Avanti) to unload the Stude engine from Rons truck and set it up on the dyno at a "local" Effingham speed shop. Miller's or something?
    At the time Ron was using an old Mallory dual point converted to electronic with an MSD box. I didn't like the way the timing strobe looked less than steady. As Jim Lange and Ron fiddled with different carb tuning and other carb box features such as a carb-baffle experiment or two, I pointed out the spark-scatter problem and convinced them to let me try the Delco HEI distributor I built for mine. "ok, try that one"
    I ran outside to the car I drove there in, and yanked the Stude/HEI distributor I made, and the electronics out of my car.
    Inside the dyno room, I installed the Delco I made mostly from junkyard parts, and as Ron and Jim kept trying different carb tune, I kept reshaping the advance weights and pivot plate with a bench grinder to fine tune the right ign advance.
    As the day went on and HP kept climbing.
    I pointed out that the spark scatter from the Mallory was gone, and that the strobe marks from the rebuilt junkyard Delco were absolutely rock steady and unwavering. = more horsepower simply from better spark and timing control.
    Late at night the shop owner announced that we had two more pulls left before he had to shut down the dyno for the day.
    So it was decided to take out my driver-car Delco HEI ign from the race engine and make the last two pulls with the old Mallory. The engine lost 34 HP on just that one change. :)
    My junkyard ign was worth 34 HP over the previous "hi perf" ign !
    So, now that the shop had closed, we unbolted the engine from the dyno and loaded it back on Ron's pickup for his long drive home, I was in a dark parking lot many miles from home with an old Avanti with no distributor, no ignition...
    I disabled my only transportation many miles from home, all for the sake of a Bonneville dyno test session.
    I reassembled my car in a dark parking lot after a long fun day, and drove the hours back home in the middle of the night.
    During my hot rod days I considered that to be lots and lots of fun.

    If you have an Avanti, here's an important warning-
    The "safety" fuel tank located above the rear axle arch in the frame, right behind the back seat is a dangerous fire hazard.
    I lost one in a parking lot at the local college.
    When I shut off the engine and ran to my next class, I turned around to look at my car, as most any car-guy would do, and saw the fiberglass hood bubbling like boiling oatmeal.
    I ran back to pop the trunk to get the extinguisher, and then filled the underhood area with a big fire extinguisher cloud to suffocate whatever was on fire. I popped the hood and saw a fuel-hose leak by the carb. sizzle, poof.
    reignited! I ran for another larger extuinguisher.
    Exhausted another extinguisher.
    By that time several other people came running from several buildings carrying several extinguishers.
    One after another was emptied as the fuel kept flowing and the hot engine kept re igniting it.
    I watched as fluids of all colors flowed across the parking lot as my beloved Avanti melted.
    Only after the engine cooled enough to no longer ignite the dripping fuel, did the flames quit reappearing.
    THE "SAFETY GAS TANK" WAS AN ELEVATED WATER TOWER THAT NEVER STOPPED FEEDING.
    I quickly installed safety fuel stutoffs in all my cars after that, but it was too late for my Avanti.
    I have always wanted another one, but never could scrape up the money again while raising a houseful of kids.
    So we had many kid-adventures with the cheaper Stude truck.
    Too many fun crazy stories to bore everyone with today.....
    :)


    WHY BE ORDINARY ?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  20. I was 18, just had my license. Passed an accident that involved an Avanti, it was heavily bent. I see a couple of them locally at cruise nights now and then. They have a great appeal.
     
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  21. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,576

    indyjps
    Member

    There was one in my hometown from about 83- mid 90's, may have been there longer, I was 7 in '83. Stood out in a town of 10,000. Maroon with saddle interior the guy just drove it to work in the summer then it would be put away. Not for sale.
    Held my attention for years, I bothered my mother so much to drive by certain cars that were parked all over town, she just started taking those roads when we were going somewhere.
     
  22. Sting Ray
    Joined: Mar 24, 2012
    Posts: 912

    Sting Ray
    Member

    I had this '63 in the 90's, four barrel, auto. Coolest interior. 63 Avanti 2.jpg
     
  23. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,402

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    My grade school pals' older brother had a 64 Avanti, 289/auto, bought it used 1966/67.
    To this day, the fastest I've ever been in a street car, seemed to recall north of 120 mph.
    Left quite an impression on this kid!
     
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  24. My mother's brother was into Studebakers for a while, before my time, enough to total an Avanti.
     
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  25. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,656

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Wow this car has met with a fair bit of bender action...That was probably typical of powerful near race ready street vehicles of the time getting the heavy pedal action.
     
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  26. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,549

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.

    Studebaker has always been a fav. for me. My first car I ever really tryed hard to by was a used 1953 2D hardtop lowery coupe V8/ in 1957,it had a rod nock an was being fixed{so Dad said no,about 20 times,LOL.
    When the Avanti came out WOW,I was in love,but @ 75cents an hr part time an getting out of highschool,that wasn't happening. In 65 after I got a wife,I found used one with a crashed right front for $3000 as is,but again,just too short on $$$.
    Still would love a nice Avanti,I owned 4 other modal Studys over the years an all were very good.
     
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  27. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 3,597

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    A guy here in town has one. It was sold after the Studebaker corporation folded up. It has the Studebaker badging on it. Someone told him it was one of the cars on the assembly line when the doors were shut for good.
     
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  28. DJCruiser
    Joined: Jan 15, 2012
    Posts: 316

    DJCruiser
    Member
    from CT

    Back in '62 when I was a teenager, there were two cars introduced that I told myself I would own someday. The Avanti and the E-type Jaguar. I have been fortunate to have owned two of each. The original Avanti was nose heavy but really quick. The early Avanti II was a much better balanced road car. The styling still looks good today. PICT0023.jpg
     
  29. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,549

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.

    Pretty odd statemint"Avanti was nose heavy",just for facts,SBC is 575# vs Study V8 650#,thats only 75# an part of that is cast intake vs alum,not what I'd call nose heavy,an thats the only thing that was not the same as far as I know.
    The E-Jag was also a body I liked a lot,hope ya get one also !
     
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  30. philo426
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,896

    philo426
    Member

    Except for the evil Lucas wiring.
     
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