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Posts posted by boogieman

  1. I recently replaced the spring bushings, added a leaf to both sides, replaced the control rod bushings, shocks,

    and the sway bar bushings. I am very pleased with the cornering ability of my '79.

    There are several write-ups on sway bars on Bob Johnsons website.

    Might find what you are looking for there.

  2. Thanks Jack. If I'm not mistaken I seem to recall a picture of a quad headlight Avanti.

    Possibly some reference to George Barris, too. Maybe not.

    No recollection of a vinyl top or flared wheel well openings.

    If you have a picture you could post, myself , and others, would appreciate it.

    Wow. A genuine "Barris Kustom" !

    PIMP that bad -boy out!

  3. Hey Gunslinger. Out of date for anything modern. or out of date period?

    Vinyl tops helped define the cars of the late '60's through the '70's, even later.

    I do have to admit that when the sun glints off of the dark metallic brown paint

    the red and gold metallic sparkle is spectacular. It seems to glow.

  4. I have seen chrome trim used on the edges and bases of roofs that look very "factory".

    In fact, the '69 Camaro Halo Roof was set back from the drip rails an inch or so and finished with this trim piece

    around the perimeter and at the quarter panel junction.

    The body line at the roof/quarter panel on Avantis is a perfect separation point being even more pronounced than the early Camaros.

    The drip rails and front and rear glass trim moldings are perfect stopping points too.

    Still thinking about it. To my eye, vinyl roofs add an elegant touch.

    Could someone possibly post one of those old pictures?

  5. Just returned from a car show. Won another "First Place" trophy.

    That's 3 for 3 now.

    Talked to a guy who told me the story of back in the fall of '79, same year as my car,

    when he did a financial audit on the Altman's. Nate invited him to tour the assembly floor before starting his audit.

    He says it as very quiet, groups of 2 to 3 people working on various parts of cars. Women were doing the upholstery.

    A couple guys in the body shop. A lady assembling and wiring an instrument panel. No automation, no conveyer system.

    Bodies on dollies being moved around by hand. Many older guys, craftsmen as he described them, quietly working

    to build by hand the best vehicle they could. No set hours either. People came in when needed and when they wanted.

    Everyone he met and spoke to was friendly and very happy to be doing what they were doing.

    Sounds very nice and stress free to me.

    If nothing else, a glimpse of a few days into the Avanti factory in late '79.

  6. Anyone ever seen an Avanti with a vinyl top?

    Considering the possibilities of adding an interior matching tan top

    on my dark chocolate brown '79.

    I appreciate vinyl tops.

    Among other things they define the '60's and '70's.

  7. Had a guy just today comment..."That must be one of them turbo models cause of the bulge on the hood. Right?"


    And another..." This one got a Chevy or Ford engine? They made em with either one."


    Another pet-peeve is when people pronounce it A- von-tay.


  8. More good news

    Score another notch for the good guys.

    2nd car show today, 2nd award.

    This one was at the local Bass Pro Shop. About 75 cars and at least 1,000 spectators.

    Lots of questions, lots of corrections.

    In the end I won a First Place in '70's Car class.

    Won out over Camaros, Mustangs, a Corvette, even a nice Delorean.

    Going to another show tomorrow.

    The car performs spectacularly, especially with the front end alignment yesterday.

  9. Update time again. The first mileage checked on #2879 is 16 mpg - combined.

    Should be up around 18 or maybe better at highway speeds.

    Very pleased with that.

    Had the front end aligned today. One side was toed out .75* and the other was out 1.5*

    Drives much easier and tracks much better now.

  10. Point well made gentlemen.

    As thrown together and cobbled from so many sources as they were, I choose to keep mine as Nate & Co. built it.

    I like them all.

    Other than using equipment not even conceived when these cars were built, go for it.

    And you are so right about not much market value.

    Nail that coffin shut.

  11. All sound reasons to make the swap. I am simply forwarding the conversation. Most of my MOPARs had 3.23 gears, which is

    standard in most cases. Always preferring a forward rake on my cars, larger diameter rear tires helped both issues easily.

    I have run 3.23's, 3.55's, 3.73's, 3.91's, 4.10's, and even 4.56's on the street. 440 ci Mopar's don't like short gears at all.

    As I stated, my '79 has 3.08 gears and 27.75" tall tires giving 2000 -2100 rpm at 70 mph. Very long legged for sure.

    The TH 350 can be rebuilt and guaranteed for about $600 - $700 depending on quality of parts.

    Fortunately mine has only 50, 800 miles on it and works great with no sign of problems or leaking.

    I'm very happy with my set-up.

    Citing plwingish's situation, going to a taller rear gear could have lowered the rpm's by a like amount for far less than $2,000.

    Your car, your choice, and I respect that.

    And I certainly understand the case of replacing a cast iron unit.

    With the torque multiplication in my TH350, 3.08 gears, and tall tires I can still haze the tires from a stop.

    For me, the best of both performance positions. Smoky burnouts with great, easy, low rpm, relaxed cruising.

    This is what makes cars so interesting. Everyone has their own interpretation of what their car should be.

    Money and imagination the only limiting factors.

    To each his own.

    I have been involved with cars for 56 years now, since I was 10. I've come to appreciate them all and respect each one for the

    time, effort, and monies (or lack there-of) used to express the owner's vision.

    Obviously I have no intentions to make the change in #2897. I like it just as it is.

    My curiosity wonders why so many choose to modify cars such as ours given the very low production numbers

    and subsequent rarity and uniqueness.

    I mean these aren't Camaros, Chevelles, Mustangs, or Mopars, or any other mass produced product.

  12. Oh I'm not complaining, simply observing and reporting.

    I never thought about the differentiation between year model changes and the inherent implications.

    My '79 has the dimmer switch on the column.

    The factory original speakers are high up and completely out of the way.

    The E-brake is on the rear of the trans tunnel and console.

    Nothing between the seat and the fuse pane but open space.

    The area is so deep the only place for my brogans is flat on the floor which can become uncomfortable and tiring,

    or resting on the fuse panel, which I don't want to do.

    Quite by happenstance I seem to have chosen the perfect car for me.

    I am continually very pleased with my choice of year.

    The more I drive it the better I appreciate and enjoy it.

  13. Anyone else notice the copious amount of foot room, especially on the left of the column?

    Thinking of adding a foot rest, or "dead pedal", to rest my left foot on. Something tubular and unobtrusive.

    Driver ease and comfort, mine, being the goal.

    #2897 and I are going to be on the road, a lot.

    Planning on making the "Street And Performance" show in Mena, Ark.,

    and in the fall to "Bikes, Blues, and Hot Rods Too" show in Fayetteville Ark.

  14. I'm just curious. With gas being relatively cheap, what is the major attraction for the expense of changing over to an AOD trans?

    My '79 cruises at 2100 rpm at 70 mph. Not high rpm by any standard. Haven't been able to check mileage but expect it to be

    very acceptable given the nature of these cars.

    Seems to me the expense of the swap could be better spent in and on other areas of the car, including into the gas tank.

    The cost of the swap could pay for years of driving enjoyment.

    My TH350 is bullet-proof and functions great.

    But then I'm into highway cruising. My "hotrod" days far behind me.

  15. Update time again.

    First show last night, first award!

    Out of 45 cars at this small show I got a "TOP15" award. Odd number but not my call.

    The show was 50 miles away. Other cars on the trip were waving, honking horns, hanging out windows with thumbs up.

    Very gratifying to see the reaction.

    Absolutely no issues with the car at all.

    Pulling into the location I could see a large number of people turn in unison just to watch me pull in and park.

    Lots of questions, lots of corrections to pre-conceived notions.

    About 350- 400 spectators and they all took a long hard look at old #2897.

    At the end, I was pleasantly surprised at the award. There were some very nice high-dollar cars there.

    And besides the award, I got $25 from the sponsors as a special recognition award.

    The trip paid for itself!

    Headed back home in the dark I was anticipating possible night-time related issues. Nothing at all.

    The red illumination at night is awe inspiring to experience.

    I need to readjust the headlight as the rake I built into the car put the headlights far short of optimum.

    Going tomorrow to have the front tires rebalanced. Found a vibration shimmy at around 65-70 mph. Easy fix.

    Just I had hoped for, the car as I have it set-up absolutely loves the open road.

    Temp gauge never got above 180*.

    Lots of road noise with the quarter windows open but great ventilation.

    Cruising along at 65-70 at 2,000rpm, passing slower cars was simply a matter of easing on the accelerator

    to jump around whatever was slowing me down. No drama, no problem. Nice. Very responsive and quick.

    All-in-all a very rewarding trip.

    Thinking of going on a 200 mile jaunt this next Wednesday to tour a local winery and see the Texas Bluebonnets

    ( the Texas State flower) in full bloom. The flowers grow wild along the highways and medians. Millions of them everywhere.

    At least 20 other cars are already committed to the trip.

    Even talked to a guy trying to sell his uncle's Avanti. I've seen the write-up on the Dallas craigslist. It is priced a little high but price negotiable..

    So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Score another plus for Avantis!

  16. Several different cars now have fender and hood lover assemblies that could be mounted in the hood.

    Some might look great. I'm not up to cutting into my hood.

    There is a local guy who has a louver punching machine. He can punch 2" and 2-1/2" lovers.

    I was going to have a piece of 14 to 16 gauge aluminum , cut to size, then attach to the inner splash aprons.

    Still thinking about it.

  17. In lieu of drilling holes in the inner splash aprons I'm thinking of

    fabricating a set of louvered panels to give the hot air an escape route.

    Problem is there isn't a lot or real estate to attach the louvered panel to be effective.

    Since heat rises I'm thinking they would need to be relatively high in the splash apron.

    to actually draw hot air out. Plus the cooling fan should force the air out if it had an escape route.

    Just saying.

  18. Sorry about the delayed response.

    While inspecting every aspect of my car, my 10 year old grandson pulled the console ashtray out.

    Down on the trans tunnel was a small piece of wood about 1/2" x 2" in size. The VIN was written on the back side,

    "2897" - Italian Ash, as indicated on the build sheet.

    Interesting to find this sample piece so, I guess, the assembly floor got it right.

    Anyone else find this sample?

  19. Thanks guys. I was thinking about 20 gallons or so. With a tall gear, tall tires, and relaxed cruising style of car

    I was thinking 15 - 16 mpg. That's about 300 miles a tank. Changing the speedo drive gear for the closest match for the gear

    and tire size, the speedo should be fairly accurate too.

    27 mpg is outstanding.

    Another shake-down run planned today. Going out to see my upholstery guy about the interior.

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