AOAI President, Rick Shafer
|Rick got his first look at a Studebaker Avanti in early February, 1963. His dad, Jack Shafer and godfather, Frank Middlebrook, both of Villa Park, IL were employees of Studebaker at the time. Jack and Frank were picked to drive the two 1963 Chicago Auto Show display Avantis from nearby Rockford, IL to McCormick Place in downtown Chicago. Rick was along for the ride, but was looking on from the backseat of the family Lark. He can still recall watching those Avantis fly down the highway. Unfortunately, Rick’s father passed away in June of 1963, but he knew even then that he would one day own one of those beautiful cars.
Life went on as Rick got married, raised two kids and worked at his long dreamed of career in law enforcement. All through those years, Rick never stopped dreaming of one day owning an Avanti. Rick and his wife Rita have been married for over 41 years and have 6 beautiful grandkids. After Rick retired in 2004, his thoughts very shortly returned to owning an Avanti, and the search began in earnest in late 2006. In May, 2008 he finally fulfilled that dream when he acquired 63R-2924. The R1 is Avanti white, has a custom cloth interior and a manual 5 speed transmission.Rick confesses that he did not know of the existence of AOAI until September 2009 when the international meet was held in the Chicago area. Rick joined AOAI as well as the Chicagoland chapter at the meet and very quickly realized he had found an organization and people that he wanted to get involved with.
Rick became very active in the chapter and in the fall of 2015 he was encouraged to run for the AOAI board. After being elected to the board in October, Rick was further honored by then being elected as the president of the Chicagoland chapter in February of 2016. In 2017 Rick was re-elected as the president of the Chicagoland chapter, and re-elected to a new three year term on the AOAI board as well.We are now at the start of 2018 and he finds himself as president of AOAI. Quite a journey in just a little over 8 years. Rick has enjoyed becoming active in the Avanti world and plans on continuing just as long as he can. Rick looks forward to getting to know more people who share his passion for the Avanti.
AOAI Vice-President, Carl Doughty
|Carl Doughty is a car guy who collects, shows, races, and enjoys classic cars. He got his first Avanti over twenty years ago while living in Florida. At that time Florida lacked an Avanti chapter so Carl and Bill Amanti formed the John Ebstein chapter of the AOAI. He has served as president and held every office for the Florida chapter. Carl has served on the AOAI board for many years and held the Vice President position under Carolyn Crall. Carl was instrumental in putting on the 1999 AOAI International meet in Gainsville, Florida, and has been an active chief judge, as well as held many hats while apart of the AOAI.
Currently Carl is a retired optometrist and lives in Palm Bay, Florida, with his wife Cheryl. His current Avanti is a 2004 Avanti convertible which he drives and shows at many AOAI meets and car events around the country.
AOAI Board Secretary, Frank Petru
|A self-described “car nut”, Frank learned to drive on his older brother’s 1963 Studebaker Lark and since then has owned a number of Studebakers as a daily driver and later as show cars. He purchased his 1978 Avanti in 1999, which is still in pristine original condition with only 24,000 miles on it.
After acquiring this Avanti, he joined the AOAI and became an active member of the Indiana Chapter. He has assisted in organizing several National meets held in South Bend, as well as editing the Chapter’s Newsletter for the past 14 years. In addition, he has been a long-time member of The Studebaker Drivers Club and served as Newsletter Editor, Vice President and President of the North Georgia Chapter.
Frank is currently beginning his second term serving on the AOAI Board of Directors as Chair of the International Meet Committee, Chief Concours Judge and Board Secretary. He is retired and resides with his wife, Bev, in the Atlanta, GA area.
AOAI Board Treasurer, Don Hart
|Don Hart’s interest in the Avanti dates back many years. In 1979, only a few years after college
graduation, he purchased a 1963 Avanti which was subsequently fully restored. After enjoying the Avanti family events (two children) dictated its sale in the late 1980’s. Since the sale of his beloved first Avanti he has purchased a 1983 20th Anniversary Edition Avanti (#4 of 25) and a 1963 R1 4 speed (63R2681). Both are “drivers” that he hopes to pass down to his grandchildren one day.Don has been a member of the Studebakers Drivers Club for many years and was a co-chairman for the 1981 and 2015 SDC International Meets held in St. Louis, Missouri. At a local level Don is active in both the AOAI and the SDC MO/IL “Gateway” Chapters. He also takes pride in being an active participant in the AOAI Memorabilia Committee.Currently retired, Don serves as the AOAI Treasurer beginning in 2015. Although not a CPA, he gained financial expertise as a result of programming, systems design, methods and procedures and regulatory compliance related to cost accounting during a 37 year career with AT&T. He plans to continue to serve AOAI as Treasurer for some time contingent on continued membership approval.
AOAI Member At Large, Ted Andrews
|The Avanti literally runs in my blood. I am the youngest son of Robert F. Andrews, one of the Raymond Loewy designers of the Avanti. The Avanti is more than just an iconic car to me, it is family. I think my earliest memory of identifying the Avanti to Dad was when I was 7-8 years old. I knew Dad was a car designer (he worked at Chrysler at the time) but we did not have an Avanti in the driveway just yet. So Dad showed me the next best thing that a youngster could relate to, an AMT Avanti model. It was not until 1971 when Dad bought a new Avanti II when the full impact was felt by me. That 1971 Avanti II is still in the family. Coming off of an off-frame restoration, I have taken it to many Chapter and National meets. I own two other Avanti’s as well, a ’63 R-1 and a ’63 R-2. I may add a ’61 Hawk…..if I can find the space!
In addition to being a Board Member, I am the Indiana Chapter President. I live in Carmel just north of Indianapolis. Other interests include auto racing, railroad history, model railroading, my dogs and cheering on my alma mater, Purdue.
AOAI Member At Large, Al Basile
|In 1972, Al Basile picked up his future wife in a 1963 Avanti. Her comment to him upon setting foot in the vehicle was “What is this? A Pinto?” Since that first date, it’s safe to say things have improved.
Al and Kathy have three sons and five grandchildren. He bought his first Avanti in 1970 and has owned four since then. Al has been a member of the AOAI for over forty years and his current car is a very original 1964 Supercharged R2 Studebaker Avanti.
Al worked for MetLife in New York City and retired after 33 years with the company. His last position was as Assistant Vice President of Marketing. In 2010 he decided to move to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to part of his family. As a member of the Northwest AOAI chapter, he helped revitalize and add members to the chapter that now covers Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska, and has over 100 members.
Al is the co-author of the 1963/1964 Studebaker Avanti Authenticity Manual and is in charge of Authenticity Judging for AOAI. He is currently working on the first addendum to the manual which will continue to provide a legacy of Excellence in Authenticity for the Studebaker Avanti.
AOAI Member At Large, Doug Fuller
|My wife Becky and I reside in Simi Valley, California.
The first time I saw an Avanti was in 1964 when I was pole vaulting in a
high school track meet in Sturgis, South Dakota. It was parked across the
football field. I had no idea what kind of car it was but it was love at first
sight.It was not until 2010 that I saw another Avanti. It was at a local car show and I knew then I had to have one. Six months later I found and purchased a fairly nice 1963 R2, 4 speed. I sold it three years later, and bought a 1963 R1 with air that I have today.
I am currently President of the Avanti Owners Association of Southern
I graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in Business Administration.
AOAI Member At Large, Dave Burton
|After owning two 1957 Studebaker golden hawks and a 1964 Studebaker GT Hawk, I bought my first Avanti more than 40
years ago from Roger Penn in Washington, DC. It was a 1969
(serial number 310) with a 300 horse 327. This was my daily
driver for several years and I drove various other Avanti’s as
daily drivers for many years. After owning a number of Avantis,
I now own a 1980 highly modified Avanti that is now my
“forever” Avanti. I have been a member of AOAI for at least 35
years and am a past president of the local chapter of the
Studebaker Drivers Club. I have also attended the majority of
National meets since the early 1980’s.
On a personal basis I was born in Richmond, Virginia and first
came to Florida when I was stationed at McDill Air Force Base in
Tampa. After the Air Force I received an accounting degree
from the University of Florida and moved back to the Tampa
Bay area. I am a Certified Public Accountant and retired from
my firm, Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, on April 30, 2019 after being
with the firm and its predecessor for more than 48 years. My
wife, Beth, and I and three cats live in Clearwater, Florida. We
are also Tampa Bay Rays season ticket holders.
Besides the amazing automobiles, another thing that has
impressed me about AOAI is the members that I have met over
the years. As an example, I would never have been able to keep
my Avantis on the road without the ongoing assistance from
Jim Pearce, an Avanti legend. As stated above, I have a long history with Avantis and would appreciate the opportunity to
serve on the AOAI Board.
|AOAI Member At Large, Mike Foglton||Mike currently resides in Estero, Florida. He and his wife Kim have been happily married for 31 years, and spent the majority of that time in the Chicagoland Area. He joined the AOAI in August of 2016 – after he purchased his first Avanti. Shortly after, he acquired his second Avanti. While on the surface it seems as if Mike’s love for Avanti has just begun, but he has always felt a passion for Avanti ever since he was a little boy.
Growing up near South Bend, Mike’s father, Stephen, would take either his Studebaker Lark or Studebaker Champion, and drive his sons past the Studebaker plant in town. Once the Avanti was released, there was no turning back. Mike knew he would own one down the road some day.
Mike is also a member of the Indiana and Florida Chapters, and is looking forward to getting more involved and giving back to the Avanti Community.