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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 -- 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.
  2. 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.
  3. '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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. You are correct about the cost of providing vehicles for EPA emissions testing. I have a 74 with 4-speed, either the last or next-to-last one built with standard shift (until the Blake era, when more waivers were available for small manufacturers). According to Geoff Newman, the reason was that beginning in 1975, the EPA required auto manufacturers to provide them with one vehicle with each engine/trans combination for testing -- and Avanti Motors couldn't afford to build two cars just for the EPA to test. So it was easier to drop the stick shift and just loan them one car.
  10. Answering that would require analyzing all Avanti production orders, and I don't think anyone has done that to that level of detail.
  11. Dayton makes them for nearly everything. http://www.daytonwirewheels.com/wirewheels.php
  12. I got a tour of the Avanti "plant" in around 1976-77. Geoff Newman must've been given bum data about how likely I was to buy a new Avanti, as he spent a couple of hours with me. One particular thing I remember was that if one ordered a new Avanti, you were invited to spend a couple of weeks at the factory helping to build your own car. They started by welding the frame rails and cross members together, placed it on a low cart, then pushed it around the building as components were added. A woman assembled the wiring harness by wrapping wires around nails strategically placed on big piece of plywood. Others sewed up the interior pieces. They would make them from whatever material you wanted -- including your grandmother's drapes. They truly were built by hand.
  13. Addendum to kboyd's comments. If you're gonna actually use your manual and don't mind a bit of soiling, you can find a good used original shop manual on ebay. They're printed in both sides and have good clear illustrations. Since you only need it for the drive train, pick one that covers your engine -- Camaro or Impala/Caprice/Malibu. Prices vary a lot. https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=1983+chevrolet+shop+manual&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_sop=1&_osacat=0&_odkw=chevrolet+shop+manual&LH_TitleDesc=0
  14. Gary is correct. Many companies already own the rights to the word Avanti for things like refrigerators and cigars. The only way to find out whether anyone still owns the rights to the name or the logo for automotive use would be to search the Patent Office website. https://www.uspto.gov/
  15. Agree. I thought of that, but the ready-made aftermarket ones are nicely chrome plated and only cost about $10. Given the commonality of that intake, it just seems like somebody would have made one for it.
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