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62-63 Avanti advice?


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Good morning all.

I've been impressed by the Avanti design since I saw my first back in the 1960s.  

What are the warnings you'd give to a neophyte, on evaluating a possible purchase of one of these Studebaker Avantis.

Especially, mechanical issues that might not show up on a short test drive (engine, manual trans, suspension, brakes, exhaust, etc.).

 

And of course, where does the hidden rust usually develop?

 

Thanks.

Tom M.

history: 1974 MGB, 1959 TR3, 1958 Mercedes 220S Hydrak, 1958 Rambler American, 1960 Mercedes 190b (which has quite a story itself).

https://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/

 

 

Edited by NutmegCT
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I'd look for....#1...old (severe) collision damage that wasn't properly repaired!....#2...Rust (read that ROT) up over the rear axle and behind,..rust in the WHOLE frame actually! (expensive to fix!)...and #3..rust in the sub floor reinforcement boxes (commonly called 'hog troughs')..which are also a bit pricey to replace.

 

Long story short....To me, it's all about the condition of the body/frame....mechanical issues are a secondary concern and can be dealt with.....Good luck!...Ed

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On any Avanti you become interested in, check in here and see if there's any AOAI members in the immediate area who may be able to take a look at it with you or for you.  That could be a big help.  Avantis can be very strange critters and have certain idiosyncrasies only an experienced owner knows to look for.  Most cars have certain things to look for but the Avanti seems to be infected by more than most...especially after so many years and owners.  Believe me and everyone here...the Avanti is a great automobile and enormously satisfying to own and drive but can also be infuriating at times.  

Edited by Gunslinger
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Agree that having someone else put eyeballs on the car is very helpful, especially if you aren't already into studebakers.  The engine & power train are the least of your worries....the body, frame & interior are what you have to pay attention to as they are the most expensive to restore if they are not in good condition.

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Thanks gentlemen.  Seems what I think of as the "true" Studebaker Avanti does pop up occasionally, in various states of repair.  I have a couple in mind here in New England.  My previous "old car" experiences (see first post above) have taught me how important a knowledgeable person is when I check out a car.  

 

To me, the "Avanti" was the one built by Studebaker in the early 1960s.  Where could I find some comments on the pro's and con's of the later Avanti cars?

 

Thanks.

Tom M.

 

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When it comes to Studebaker Avantis and later Avantis a lot comes down to personal preference and observing the market values of each.  When it comes to the Studebaker Avanti...it is the original and market values tend to recognize that.  Earlier Studebaker versions had some issues that were corrected as production continued.  Some issues were never corrected, even in post-Studebaker production.

Some, who are purists (no criticism of them), want to see Studebaker Avantis kept and restored as they left South Bend in 1963...with the possible exception of updated safety items such as dual master cylinders.  Some others enjoy modifying them...again, no criticism.  Modifications can affect market values as some want an original car and others don't care.  

With the Avanti II...particularly earlier Avanti II cars, they're actually little more than a Studebaker Avanti with a GM engine.  They're built primarily of leftover Studebaker parts.  The difference in build quality is a moot point...after fifty years, or nearly so, pretty much all Avantis either have been restored or need to be restored.  There isn't that may in the middle which are driver quality and can used as such.  To me, the advantage of an Avanti II is that there's no real standard in how they were set up at the factory.  You can modify one any way you want and not really affect its market value...as long as its done in a tasteful manner and not something outrageous (there are a few like that).  But...that's my opinion.  Everyone else is welcome to theirs on that.  

I used to own a '63 R1 and enjoyed it for many years.  I did rebuild the car back to stock standards...and that can be the most difficult and expensive way to rebuild a car.  It takes a lot of research and sourcing of parts to do it correctly.  Some years after selling the car and a flirtation with Brand X vehicles I decided I wanted to get back into Avantis.  I decided to find an early Avanti II as it was simpler than the later cars with more easily sourced original parts.  I felt I could customize it to my own (and my wife's) own tastes without losing its original flavor.  Again...a personal choice.

After about the mid-1970's, Avanti Motors began to run out of original Studebaker parts, plus having to change things to meet more federal standards and had to begin sourcing more and more parts that are difficult to find today as no one really knows where they were obtained.  Avanti's with moonroofs have also proved problematic after years of use and abuse...even those that still work very often have leak problems.  Water drainage around the moonroof is channeled into the hog trough area which aggravates potential rust issues which are already an area of concern with the Avanti.  

Basically...decide what you want in an Avanti...early or later...and concentrate on looking for one.  You also have to recognize what your mechanical level of expertise is...the more you can do yourself can save a lot of money.  If you prefer or have to pay others to do mechanical or aesthetic work, it can get real expensive real fast.

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Glad to read that another has the Studebaker Avanti fever. As mentioned earlier by others, contact a local club and see which members have or had an Avanti. Speak with them for areas to review. you do want a numbers matching car as that is where value is. Also, if you want, contact an appraiser and question him / her on their Avanti knowledge and experiences. There is lots to look for and restorations get more costly than you want to deal with; unless you can do all the work yourself.

Dave Thibeault is a terrific resource of information,parts and possibly a car or two for sale. His email is studedave@aol.com

good luck, keep us posted

Mark

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