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Skip Lackie

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About Skip Lackie

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    Male
  • Location
    Washington, DC

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  • My Avanti
    1974 RQB-2127

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  1. Agree with Gary -- this is a question without an answer. You have to look at such things within the context of their times. Steve Blake had to do something to update the 12-year-old styling of the Avanti, and I think he did a decent job, given the resources he had. At least he didn't ruin the basic design. The 53-54 Stude coupes and hardtops have been universally recognized as milestone designs, yet they didn't sell very well, perhaps because the styling didn't translate that well to the family-friendly sedans. By contrast, the bullet-nosed 50 and 51 studes sold well, but are considered to be styling curiosities today. I'm old enough to remember when they were new -- I thought the 50/51s were hideous then, and still do. The 53/54s didn't impress me much one way or the other when new, but have grown on me a lot since then. In 1962, I thought the original grille-less Avanti design was a bit odd, but not unpleasant. Now I think it's truly classic. It's all in the eyes of the beholder.
  2. I think a lot of us would disagree with that statement -- there are several very good histories of Avanti that account for nearly every car. The fact that someone didn't read them or misquoted known info doesn't mean that the history is not known. The Altman Avantis all had the II on them unless the buyer specified its deletion. Steve Blake deleted it when he bought the company.
  3. Avanti Motors probably would have left the emblem off if the car was built to order and the buyer wanted it that way. I took a tour of the plant in the mid-70s and remember Geoff Newman telling us that several buyers had specified the deletion of several standard features and/or the use of the old Studebaker S emblem on the hood. My 74 has the S emblem, but it's not called out on the production order. You should be able to tell whether the car ever had the emblem by looking for evidence of filled holes on the back side of the panel.
  4. I don't think this has been posted here yet. Michael Webb posted a link to this on the Stude Truck Talk site. It's an ad for lighting fixtures. That's the Bear Mountain Bridge over the Hudson. https://www.nichemodern.com/pod-modern-pendant-lighting-video?hsCtaTracking=f49d9d1d-801e-43b8-ae2f-7e86f8568e17|9bb9fd5d-b8f6-4398-9bce-a3ed2e475b2d
  5. Maryland requires the display of two plates, with the sole exception that vehicles displaying YOM plates are allowed to mount only one plate IF it was a year (1955, 1956) that Maryland only issued a single plate. That said, given the proximity of single-plate states like Pennsylvania and Delaware, the likelihood of getting a ticket while in motion is extremely small. All that said, a few years ago I got a $40 ticket for no front plate while parked at a meter in Arlington, Va.
  6. Agree -- no other choice made sense: reliable, powerful, already engineered to fit, could be serviced anywhere, and a reputation derived from use in the Corvette. The "V8 fever" that had started in 1949 had still not subsided. It can be dangerous to view decisions made 50-60 years ago from the perspective of today's mores and standards. I suspect that no one who wanted a car with a 6 would been interested in an Avanti anyway. It was clearly aimed as the Riviera - Thunderbird customer.
  7. Federal regs allow states to exempt antique/historic vehicles from emissions inspection on the grounds that such vehicles do not make a significant contribution to air pollution. However, state laws regarding historic vehicles vary widely from state to state, so experience in one state usually isn't much help in others.
  8. 'Twas not me who made any claims about 2136. It was the anonymous person who objected to my claim that 2127 was the last one built with stick. He/she included a copy of the invoice for 2136 that showed it being built with standard shift. That's all I know.
  9. Am not home, but my recollection is that the dash-mounted brake cable extends horizontally through the dash, maybe 6-8 inches above the gas pedal. The cable goes through a clip on the back bolt of the exhaust manifold and heads downward. Addendum to my post above: found the anonymous note stating that 2127 was not the last 4-speed built. The car referred to was, indeed, RQB-2136. The sales invoice is dated November 20, 1974.
  10. Bob- I vote for yours on the basis of the of the console and parking brake mounting location. Yours was obviously COMPLETED later, regardless of the delivery date. Though that raises a question: What is really last: assembly finished last, or delivered last? Skip
  11. As I mentioned to Bob a few months ago, I got a tour of Avanti Motors in 1976, and there were several earlier Avantis in the shop for rehab and/or modification -- it was a significant percentage of their business at that time. Given that capability, they may very well have swapped around transmissions or other components on already-built cars to fill firm orders. It's possible that my car was originally assembled with an automatic and later modified to satisfy the order from the Maryland buyer. It might also explain the long delay in filling the order -- but it also means that the "completion" date of any given car cannot be inferred from the serial number alone. An unrelated factoid: nearly all federal safety and emissions standards become effective on 1 January of a given year, while the model year of most manufacturers starts back in September or October (but it doesn't have to). Avanti Motors took advantage of this on a couple of occasions by building cars to the earlier standard all the way into December, and calling them the earlier model year.
  12. Mr Lackie is indeed surprised. I had been looking for a 4-speed Avanti II for quite a while, and ended up buying 2127 from a dealer at the Carlisle flea market in 1990. He had painted it in the original bronze color, but everything else was original, including the early console with under-dash parking brake handle. It was ordered through Roger Penn by a man from western Maryland who specified the 4-speed, and the story was that he had to wait almost a year for delivery and had threatened to cancel several times. Delivery was on October 25, 1974. It later went through several other owners, one of whom was (supposedly) Steve Blake. It was supposedly the car that convinced Blake that he should buy the company and re-introduce the standard shift in 1984. I met Blake around 1992, and he confirmed the story -- except that he couldn't remember if my car was the one that he had owned. He said he had owned several, though only one had stick. I was told that it was the last one built with stick shift due to the impending tightening of the air quality regs in 1975. (Geoff Newman confirmed this fact with me -- the company couldn't afford to build two cars, one with auto and one with stick, for the EPA to test for emissions and gas mileage. This was before the EPA allowed waivers for small manufacturers from the air quality testing standards.) I made the claim that it was the last standard shift car built on a windshield card at the Gettysburg meet. Soon after, I received an anonymous note claiming that my statement was wrong and that THEIR car was the last 4-speed built. The note included the serial number (later than mine) as proof, but I no longer remember what it was. It may have been 2136. So I conceded the issue in the 2011 magazine item. Given that Steve Blake started making Avantis with standard shift again in 1984, it wasn’t really the LAST last anyway.
  13. Just FYI: If I understand which bolt you are referring to, the Stude part number is 2043x13. Some Stude vendors may be able to provide NOS examples. Studebaker called them screw and washer, but others refer to them as a sheet metal screw with washer. Such fasteners were/are widely used in automotive and other industrial industries where a high-strength nut and bolt are not required. They will almost never be found in a hardware store. Some big auto parts stores will have a limited selection of such fasteners, but probably not all possible designs, thread counts, and lengths. Auveco is usually the best source for specialized automotive fasteners.
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