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Stuart Boblett

Frame question on 82 RQB3532

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I had my newly purchased 1982 up on a lift for my first time today. I was told that it had a Monte Carlo frame but it looks more like a heavy duty truck frame, I am impressed. Does anyone have an idea what frame I really have or how I can find out?

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The Chevy frame wasn't used until 1987...yours has the Studebaker frame under it.  In the late '70s Avanti Motors ran out of original Avanti frames but substituted available Lark frames of a somewhat thinner gauge steel but they welded in the "X" member and added some kind of stiffeners to bring the frame up to Avanti specs.  

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Actually, by 1982 Avanti Motors was 'building' their own Studebaker-spec Avanti frame in house......Gunny's mentioning their using pre-built (NOS) Lark frames is an interesting point.....Apparently, Avanti Motors did use these leftover Lark frames on their early to mid-70's models......The irony of their doing that is these NOS Lark frames had sat outside for a number of years....with South Bend weather attacking them..........Although the frames were sand blasted before chassis assembly, the joke was that new Avantis were being sold with PRE-RUSTED frames!!:o:)

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The next time it is on a lift I will get a couple pictures. It is a really heavy looking frame appearing to be made out of much flat steel. Maybe there is a Lark frame under their somewhere covered up by the heavy stuff.

 

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The thinner gauge Lark frame was first used in 1977 with Avanti RQB2596, then RQB2599 and wasn't used continually until RQB2607.  It just shows that certain changes weren't necessarily done in order as vehicles were sometimes built and completed out of sequential order.  At what point Avanti Motors may have begun fabricating their own frames is unrecorded as far as I know.  The frame supplier (Budd?) may have simply sent Avanti Motors frame rail components and the company may have assembled and welded the frames in-house.  Nostalgic Motors has the jigs and fixtures and sells new frame rails so that leads me to believe that's what Avanti Motors did once original, complete frames became used up.  

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