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Desert Driver

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About Desert Driver

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  • My Avanti
    1971 RQB 1662

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  1. It's a hydraulic ram that provides "assist", as opposed to modern power steering units. I replaced mine with a rebuilt ram, then had to replace the steering pump as it wasn't delivering the kind of pressure needed to adequately move the ram. Then one of the high pressure hoses that powers the ram rubbed against a frame rail and sprung a leak, spewing fluid all over the hot exhaust pipe. The routing of those hoses is critical as they move quite a bit while turning the steering wheel. As Jim78 mentioned, the steering system used by Studebaker and found on early Avanti II's is an antiquated design. It works, but it aint like a modern system.
  2. My understanding is the Avanti was to be the styling inspiration for all new '65 Studebakers, replacing the GT Hawk and Lark series. But by Sept '63 (date on the photos) the Avanti was not the car that would save Studebaker. In spite of disappointing sales, Egbert wanted to continue on with automotive production. The Board didn't, and accepted his resignation in November. Byers Burlingame took over, and the rest is history. I find Kellog's comment about adding front fender scoops to address engine heat interesting. While the grille under the front bumper pleased Loewy, it sure as heck didn't help vent engine heat. Guess Hardig & Co didn't have much, or any say in that design decision.
  3. Round headlights, no less. And am my eyes playing tricks on me? Looks like the trajectory front wheel opening has been restored. Any way you can rotate these pix so I don't have to turn my head 90 degrees? 🙃
  4. My '71 has clear bulbs that were dipped in red paint. IMHO painting the bulbs is not a good plan as the paint reduces light intensity; runs hotter than clear bulbs, then cracks and flakes off over time. I've noticed only the gauges are affected by the switch for bright and dim. If money wasn't an issue, I'd go with LED lighting that allows you to dial in a range of different colors.
  5. I purchased an AM/FM with Bluetooth and new speakers from RetroSound last year https://www.retromanufacturing.com (they offer a Satellite radio option as well) Did the install myself with all new wiring to both doors, as well as the rear deck lid. Very pleased with the sound and their customer support. After the installation I wondered why I couldn't hear the radio or music from my iPhone very well while driving. Turns out, the cause was the placement of door panel speakers...behind the front seats and below waist level (1971 Avanti II). I couldn't move the door panel speakers forward or up due to clearance problems in the doors. I didn't want to mess up the clean look of the cabin with surface mounted speakers. So my solution was to series wire two mini speakers into the front dash grille (which never had a speaker). Now I can hear the radio just fine in the front seat without blasting out those in the rear! I have pictures of the install if anyone is interested in tackling a radio replacement themselves.
  6. Desert Driver


    It be interesting to see the agreement between Studebaker and Avanti Motors regarding the use of Studebaker badging on the Avanti II. I recall reading Studebaker didn't want the public to think they were making Avantis after the South Bend shutdown. The early Avanti II's made by Newman-Altman didn't have the Lazy S, but as time went on, you'd see it on the hood gun sight; the door panels; and between the rear seats. On my '71, where the rear seat medallion would go is a leather covered plastic plug. Maybe after Hamilton was closed, Studebaker didn't care anymore?
  7. I've got one of each on my '71. The front has the long overline on top, while the rear has the long underscore on the bottom. To be perfectly honest, I much prefer the long line on the bottom as it looks better next to the Avanti script emblem. A case can be made for having the long underscore on the bottom as that's how Stude used the Roman Numerals on the Lark. Now just for kicks, why did Loewy allow the Studebaker logotype on the rear deck of the Avanti? It looks so out of place and dated compared to his modern Avanti logo and multiple Lazy S badges.
  8. I vote for affixing the Avanti script, but not the tacky Roman Numerals. If you decide to do so, remember the placement is different on square headlight Avantis than round headlight models. Love the color of yours. Looks like Sky Ranch at Carefree airport, which is pretty spectacular as well!
  9. My '71 Avanti II has them, front and back. I know the Avanti script is held in place by fasteners from the back side. Dunno about the Roman Numerals as Studebaker didn't use them on Avantis. If they were installed with adhesive and fell off, or the car was repainted and not reinstalled, that may explain it.
  10. While recarpeting my '71 Avanti, I found this sticker on the driver side kick panel. Did North American Rockwell own MFG around that time? I've read that quite a few Corvettes from that era have the same sticker on various body parts.
  11. Who'da thunk?! Problem is the warning light is so small and so low on the dash, it would never catch your attention if it showed up while driving. Now if it was attached to a warning chime or buzzer, that would do the trick. Or better yet, repurpose the button and use it for a seat ejector (sunroof models only).
  12. Here's my '71 RQB. I have no clue as to what the black spring loaded button does. It's under the dash and to the left of the steering wheel where Newman/Altman mounted the fog lights switch and two speed switch for the rear window defroster. Any clues? (yes, that's USDA certified spaghetti wiring in the background)
  13. My '71 Avanti was titled in Minnesota and I had AAA handle the AZ registration. They took the info from the MN registration and titled the car as an antique (copper plate), thus avoiding emissions. That AAA membership paid off...and I just received the renewal notice from the state: $62.30 for one year; $180.30 for three years. And no stinkin' emissions test required.
  14. Thanks for your info...that's a beast!! The Evans coolant and switching out to a six blade fan has helped some, but I gotta take the next step with a radiator change out and electric fan(s). Anyone know where Studebaker did high temp testing? (tongue firmly in cheek)
  15. Any idea what brand radiator was used on '71 Avanti II's? I'd like to go with an aluminum replacement and a high cfm electric fan. Avanti is a cool car...I'd just like it to run cooler!
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