The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by stude_trucks, Jul 27, 2010.
Always had a soft spot for them.
I go back and forth myself. But either way, I don’t think they make good traditional hot rod material. Their basic look is too modern. Just as the ‘53 Studebaker would not have looked out of place if it had been introduced in 1963, the ‘62 Avanti would not have looked out of place in 1972. Thus, I think they fall outside of the aesthetic era that I associate with HAMB traditional.
That being said, an Avanti might make a good pro-touring type build with some 17-inch gray-center mags, a lowering, and a twin-turbo, fuelie Studebaker 304 or Cadillac 500 backed up with a 6-speed and Corvette IRS.
I don’t think you can go wrong with a ‘53-‘55 Loewy coupe or hardtop. My dad had always talked about building one, and I liked the idea myself.
When I was in high school I had a job parking cars at Elsies White Sails Inn on Pewaukee lake, 1965-66. Got a chance to drive one that some rich guy used to bring in on Friday nights for a fish fry. He used to throw me the keys when he got out of the car and say " have it back at ten ". Pretty cool guy, even cooler car, out of all the cars that came in there, Corvettes, Mustangs, GTOs, I believe that Avanti was the fastest and smoothest of all of them. Really ahead of its time.
That's one of the few cars I've always wanted yet never owned. Came close a couple of times.
They are timeless and VERY cool.
I know what ya mean. You look for the whole package,ie; looks, power, and fit. It's kinda like the Marlin. From the back, it looks great. from the front, it looks like Mom's Rambler. I guess thats why there are customizers. Make it suit you.
I like the rendering that yblock made into a mustang but I'm in the minority I guess, I think they're an abomination.
I couldn't agree more on the '53. As a matter of fact I believe that a '53 Starlight coupe is by far the absolute best hot rod fodder on the planet.
Something that I found interesting about the Stude Avanti at least the '64 that I had worked on is that they still had the king pin suspension. Same as the '53.
I know where there is a '68 that could be bought and driven away today. The fella took all the late model trim off of it and put the Stude tags and chrome on the outside along with the older interior. So until you open the hood it looks like a Stude car. But its all Chebby underneath. Original 327 4 speed car, buy your parts at the 'Zone if you like.
One of the ugliest cars ever produced.
I really like the later square headlight bezel vs. the round headlights. And for some reason I never liked Avanti IIs all that much.
But suppose you took a cheezy-looking Avanti II, lowered the front end to match the original, stripped the metallic gold or whatever and gave it a good dark solid color paint job, then slipped an R4-spec engine and fourspeed into it? And maybe some Halibrands?
I've always liked them, but then again, I'm an industrial designer, and these were penned by the patron saint of designers, Raymond Loewy. They anticipated the Mustang (long hood, short trunk, 289, and utilized a T-10 4-speed and fiberglass body like 'Vettes. It helps if you fill up the rear wheel well with as big of a wheel/tire as you can fit. I prefer the round headlight model. Later Avanti II's had 350 Chevy engines which forced the designers to raise the car in front for hood clearance. Later ones did come with Recaro seats and tended to be more of a Riviera-type touring car. They also suffer from the dreaded "hog trough" body bracing issue, but are not nearly as troublesome as a '53 with rust/frame issues. But with some Moon discs, hot engine, and nasty rake, they look right at home on the salt.
That's Real Funny that you started this thread....
I was going through my pics and came across some closeups of the Avanti at the Sacramento Auto Museum.
The Avanti is definitely one of my "Dream Cars".
Of course it would have to be an R3 Model...
For those that are "on the fence" about the styling...you're only going to have a "behind the wheel" view anyway...
(click on the pics for the large size)
butt ugly.... and I know about ugly. I have a 61 Dodge.
I dig the damn things....
Boy, talk about a blast from the past...I'm just remembering going down to the dealer with my Dad when these first came out to see what all of the fuss was about. Not that we might buy one, he only bought used cars by then, but it was enough to get him out of the recliner on a week night. Dad had owned a new Chrysler "Airflow" earlier in his "single" life so who knows? It definitely had the goods. It was one of those cars that I never decided if I liked it or not, It was very different. Like someone else said, they loved it or hated it (like the Pontiac Aztec.) Most of my friends derided anything from them as "Stupidbakers." I always liked the '53 though, but that suffered from a similar crash design problem as mentioned by someone else. Studebaker had been in business building those "Conestoga" wagons before autos were invented. You know, the "Prairie Schooner" that brought a lot of our ancestors "out West." The Avanti was a last ditch attempt to revive the company. It had sizzle, but not enough. It's a testament that it continued on after the company folded though.
"Marlin," that was another weirdo car that my Dad liked. Kinda like the first Charger except the Charger was on steroids. I didn't like either one, but when the '68-'69s came out, I "had" to have one and eventually did.
I'm building an Avanti right now. Started the project 2 weeks ago, stripped it, sand blasted the chassis and it's on the jig right now. Nothing ground breaking, lower it a bit, big HP sbc, better brakes and suspension, stuff like that. More of a sports car vibe. I can post pics if you want of progress but it ain't exactly HAMB friendly and you know "they" are out there just waiting to tell me that. Wanna see an Avanti build, come on by if you're in the area.
If you offer to give me the car for free and a place to store it and a thousand dollars cash the answer would still be a HELL NO!!!!
I'd follow the build thread. Some un-HAMBy stuff sneaks by so 'ya never know, 'ya know. As long as the mods don't can the thread and if you can hack the self appointed trad-enuff-Nazis give it a whirl.
How about the Antique Auto Club forum for your build if they/them poop on 'ya?
Or 'ya could just do a diary on the website you already have!
and if you weren't so danged far away I'd come by for a look-see...I'm just sayin...
Do you have a ext/int color combo picked out yet?
Whay are you planning on an sbc?
If you up the sports car vibe it would be quite in line with what I thought the car was supposed to be originally.
Studebaker buyers tended to be penny pincher/econo minded folks, so sadly the Avanti ended up being kinda the Riv/T-bird from the, by then, also ran marque.
Avanti...I say...Avanti! ( an Itan Italian word meaning forward.)
Screw' em, I wanna see.
They arent too weird for a Weird-o........
Are you weird enough for it?
Personally the Avanti is the best designed auto out there. There is nothing else that compares to it. Not that I don't like a lot of what has been done. There is just something about it the gets my blood racing. I prefer the round lights to the square though.
If you have never been in the drivers seat, you are missing something. the cockpit is laid out like an airplane. I just love the interior design. Rear set is too small, but you don't drive from there. With a 21 gallon tank and the overall mileage a Studie normally got, you could go a long ways.
If I could I'd trade my 64 GT Hawk for one in a heartbeat.
Beautiful in a quirky way.
One of the few cars I'd swap a SBC into, but hey, they did come with them!
I'd also modify it with a C6 drivetrain to keep the GT Touring heritage, that really seems to fit the car.
It's amazing that the 63-67 vettes and the Avantis were the only domestic 60s cars that really fulfilled the 50's futuristic promise. Both had 'glass bodies, so that may be a big part of it. The vettes also had a lot of design quirks with so many lines, but they also worked in person.
Me too and I promise not to be an ass.
I wanna see it too. I need someone to pick on...
"I am thinking a dual supercharged, 4 spd manual one might be in my future some day, but I would want it to be just slightly more badass looking than factory, just slightly. Just enough to give someone a hint it might be packing."
Build it, and they will cum.
However, these wheels have got to go...
That frame looks to be up for just about anything. The Avanti is definitely a great starting point for a performance car.
I'd say the Avanti fits the parameters of the HAMB, by virtue of being at the bleeding edge of high tech for production cars of the early '60s, but not divorced from all that went before. The '30s Chrysler Airflows could be said to have had built-in rollcages, early '50s Chryslers had a disc brake option, supercharging was used on production cars prior to Studebaker, so only the styling is an issue. The break with tradition has been continuous since the early days of hot rodding.
They are great Bonneville cars!!!! Several have exceeded 200 mph.
Try this site for some great information and help:
I guess I'm a weirdo because I like 'em. Always did.
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