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About drn1965

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    AOAI Forum Member

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    Cherry Hill. NJ

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  • My Avanti
    Formerly a '63 R2

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  1. I'm attaching 5 photos I've pulled from online of the various tail and back-up light positions on the Kelly Villa Rica and Cancun-built Avantis. The white car is a GM Firebird based 2001 hardtop; the brochure excerpts were published in 2002, and appear to capture the transition from a second pair of tail lights mounted on the trunk lid to a single pair of tail lights mounted on the quarter panels on the Firebird based cars; the red convertible with Delaware dealer tags is a Ford SN-95 Mustang based 2005; the black convertible is a Ford D2C Mustang based 2006-7. All of the iterations of the car appear to have the bumper mounted back-up light assembly.
  2. Thanks all for your insight, particularly Bob Caser’s photos of his seemingly seamless engine swap of a GM small block into a ‘64 Studebaker Avanti. It would appear Thomas E. Bonsall’s account of the front end modifications to the Avanti II found in his book, “Avanti!” (Page 16) was not accurate: ”...The first of four engineering prototypes, serial number one, was fitted with a 327 block from a Chicago salvage yard. The Chevy engine was considerably lighter than the Studebaker V8 it supplanted, but, because it was slightly taller in production form, it was necessary to raise the front fender line of the Avanti II about 2inches, and to add a filler piece to the front wheel cut-outs. This gave the Avanti II a distinctly different appearance from the Studebaker version. The impudent rake of the original was replaced by a somewhat more civilized stance.”
  3. It has been noted that Newman and Altman had Gene Hardig re-engineer the Avanti's front end to accept the small block GM motor and drivetrain, ostensibly to address dimensional differences between the Studebaker 289 V8 and the GM 327 V8. Related cosmetic changes included raising the "rake" of the body, and installing fiberglass inserts to the front wheel wells to address the leveling of the rake. Assuming this was a necessity to use the GM engine, I'm led to wonder if another engine could have been substituted which would not have required cosmetic changes to the original body or its stance. Would the 225 2bbl Chrysler Slant Six have fit the Avanti engine bay?...it was specifically designed to allow lower hood clearance and was used in sizable vehicles. Was the Ford 289 V8 an option? A true "what if" question if ever there was one, but......
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