drn1965AOAI Forum Members
Posts posted by drn1965
A pristine low mileage yellow 2005 is for sale at Volo:
I think the position that the car is the prototype shown in Chicago and the promotional photos may be in error....there are differences between this car and the prototype:
side view mirror color, front turn signal size and color, front corner marker light size and color, headlight bezel thickness and color, central brake light position (atop trunk vs in face of trunk). There is a possibility that Avanti Motors "updated" the prototype to sell it, but that seems unlikely, or not?
Some pics of the car for sale and outdoor and factory pics of the prototype:
Is it possible, or I should say easily doable, to replace the rectangular headlight assembly used in the 1984-85 Blake Avanti's with the round light in a rectangular bezel/lens assembly used on the 1964-83 Avanti's?
I like the overall look of the '84's and '85's, but my eye keeps getting hung up on the headlight shape.
I'm attaching 5 photos I've pulled from online of the various tail and back-up light positions on the Kelly Villa Rica and Cancun-built Avantis.
The white car is a GM Firebird based 2001 hardtop; the brochure excerpts were published in 2002, and appear to capture the transition from a second pair of tail lights mounted on the trunk lid to a single pair of tail lights mounted on the quarter panels on the Firebird based cars; the red convertible with Delaware dealer tags is a Ford SN-95 Mustang based 2005; the black convertible is a Ford D2C Mustang based 2006-7.
All of the iterations of the car appear to have the bumper mounted back-up light assembly.
Thanks all for your insight, particularly Bob Caser’s photos of his seemingly seamless engine swap of a GM small block into a ‘64 Studebaker Avanti.
It would appear Thomas E. Bonsall’s account of the front end modifications to the Avanti II found in his book, “Avanti!” (Page 16) was not accurate:
”...The first of four engineering prototypes, serial number one, was fitted with a 327 block from a Chicago salvage yard. The Chevy engine was considerably lighter than the Studebaker V8 it supplanted, but, because it was slightly taller in production form, it was necessary to raise the front fender line of the Avanti II about 2inches, and to add a filler piece to the front wheel cut-outs. This gave the Avanti II a distinctly different appearance from the Studebaker version. The impudent rake of the original was replaced by a somewhat more civilized stance.”
It has been noted that Newman and Altman had Gene Hardig re-engineer the Avanti's front end to accept the small block GM motor and drivetrain, ostensibly to address dimensional differences between the Studebaker 289 V8 and the GM 327 V8. Related cosmetic changes included raising the "rake" of the body, and installing fiberglass inserts to the front wheel wells to address the leveling of the rake. Assuming this was a necessity to use the GM engine, I'm led to wonder if another engine could have been substituted which would not have required cosmetic changes to the original body or its stance.
Would the 225 2bbl Chrysler Slant Six have fit the Avanti engine bay?...it was specifically designed to allow lower hood clearance and was used in sizable vehicles. Was the Ford 289 V8 an option?
A true "what if" question if ever there was one, but......
Cleaning out favorites list on my machine I clicked on an old site I thought was defunct...the site looks very basic, possibly a place holder. Does anyone know anything I don't?
Coming soon with an all new concept
I seem to recall from 2006 when the '06-'07 Mustang based Avantis were introduced, that the coupe model's rear glass was noted as being sourced from the then just out of production GM Firebird/Camaro. The first Mustang based Avantis, the '05's, were convertible only.
Gunslinger's suggestion of reading the etched manufacturer data from a coupe's rear glass, is of course the most certain way to determine the source.
A Torch Red '05 Avanti is for sale in Georgetown, Delaware.
Link to dealer:
The car has Studebaker/Newman-Altman style script emblems with the embroidered headrest matching the emblem script style. 36,972 (37,351 as of 6.13.2019) on the odo. No price noted in the online page.
Sharp looking car.
I too "discovered" the Avanti on a plastic model box. The model was in a boardwalk store at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on a rainy afternoon in 1975...being born in 1965, I was not too aware of Studebakers when I was 9 or 10 years old in the1970's. That AMT box changed that. I saw my first Avanti in person later that summer in a parking lot near Foscone's Go-Karts in Reading, PA. It was a black early Avanti II with wide rear tires and a rear suspension that had been "jacked up" to give the car a pronounced forward rake. I didn't come to know the Avanti II story until a little later when a neighbor's dad with a used book hobby/business sold me a copy of the Automobile Quarterly issue that featured Studebaker and had an article on Newman and Altman.
After that I was different, my friends liked Mustangs and Corvettes, I liked Avantis.
Very sad news, indeed.
It was through the Registry on Richard's site that the son of the original owner of my '63 R2 was able to locate and contact me. We struck up an online friendship that led to exchange of pictures and information on the car, including the window sticker. Years later, I sold the car back into its "original family".
I do hope Richard's website and especially its Registry can be kept up by the AOAI...it is a valuable resource.
Good points...I had forgotten that each successive owner of Avanti "inherited" most, if not all, of the parts inventory of the previous owner. It is conceivable the 2005 model in the picture I linked came to completion at a moment when Villa Rica had no "current" badges in stock and to get the car to the owner or dealer on time, Newman+Altman era badges were used instead.
As a side note, I understand the Newman+Altman "Avanti II" badges were made from pieces acquired from Studebaker: an "Avanti" badge was coupled with some of the Roman numerals from a "Lark VIII" badge.
I'm getting the sense that Avanti Motors in the 2000's may have been a bit loosey-goosey with respect to logo installation and type...either that or the car owners are. It is understandable that in the last days in Cancun some cars were left without badging...either the cars were not completed, or no badges were on hand (out of stock, or supplier not sending to the factory until payment was made). But on Bob Johnstone's website, I saw a pic of a 2005 Avanti at the 2016 SDC International in Rhode Island with a pre-Blake (Loewy script) Avanti badge on the front:
The front right corner of the car is at the lower right in the eighth pic up from the bottom of the linked list...look for a pic of a red metallic '56 Hawk.
Might any of the former people at Avanti Motors know where the badges were sourced, John Hull perhaps?
Perhaps I should clarify my earlier posting....
For one model year, 2005, Avanti Motors used 2004 and earlier Mustang donor cars to produce Avanti's. This was a departure from their use of GM Firebird based donor cars for the 2001-2004 model years, and significantly different from their later use of 2005 and later Mustang donor cars for the 2006-2007 model years. Ford completely reworked the Mustang platform for the 2005 model year, causing Avanti to revise its car after only one year of production if it wanted to continue using new Mustangs as donor cars.
As these cars are so rare, I have yet to meet an owner of an '05 to ask what the car is like to own and drive, possibly as compared to the earlier GM based and later Ford based cars. Are any '05 Avanti owners among us?
Of the later built Avanti's, I've always liked the proportions of the 2005 models, those built in Villa Rica on the 2004 or earlier Mustang donor chassis. I understand only eight or so were made before production moved to Cancun where 2005 and later Mustang donor chassis were used, changing the car's proportions and details.
Do any members who frequent this board still have an '05? How are they to drive 11 years on?
I believe the change was made because of the introduction of the wood grain, so I'd say false. To work the wood grain material in and around the script would be too problematic for the manufacturer. I have only seen the fawn color dash plates with the script AND the buckle logo, or with no script OR logo to accept the AC vents and controls. I have not seen a fawn color plate with the buckle logo and no script above it.
Of the three types of late Avantis produced: Firebird platform (2001-2004), Ford SN-95 (Fox) platform (2005), and Ford D2C platform (2006-2007), the majority of cars I have seen are predictably the 2001-2004's and the 2006-2007's. The 2005 seems to be a transitional car between the Firebirds and the later Mustangs. It must have been a financial and logistical struggle to retool from the Firebird platform to the Ford SN-95, then do it all over again a year later for the Ford D2C.
I saw a red 2005 at the Trevose PA dealer in 2005, and a yellow 2005 at the Berlin NJ dealer also in 2005. I recall seeing photos of a 2005 painted a light metallic color, and there was a yellow prototype (black around the headlights, smaller headlight trim, and no rectangular lens over the round taillights) used for promotional photos in 2004. There has been a yellow 2005 and a red 2005 in attendance at SDC or AOAI meets, but I'm not sure if these aren't the same cars I saw at the dealers back in the day.
Have any on this forum seen or know of any other 2005's other than the four I described above?
in 2001-2007 Avanti models
Posted · Edited by drn1965
It's remarkable that Avanti managed to engineer 3 separate bodies for the 3 platforms on the period 2001-2007.
The sloped trunk of the 2005's appealed to me as well. Of the Kelly Villa Rica/Cancun production, I like the form and proportions of the 2005's from nose to tail the best, though remarkably, all three platforms are quite similar in size. I also like the effort on the 2005's to differentiate the dashboard from the donor car's.
As to the cost...the asking prices today are still a bit rich for my circumstances. When new, the 2005 cars were priced from the mid $50k's to the low $60k's...which equates to the $80K's in todays dollars. I had hoped the prices would have come down a bit more and suspect the red car sitting for years in Delaware at about $50K indicates the market agrees. I'm sure the rarity of the cars has made pricing difficult to set. My thought is the 2005's might want to be priced between a low of $30K and a high of $40K...its all a matter of who wants it, and what they are willing to pay for what is, for all intents and purposes, a custom car.
Thanks Randy for sharing what you know of the red car's emblems. I've collected pics of 2005's from AOAI publications, SDC meets in Turning Wheels, and the internet....such that I think I may have pics of most of the cars built. I possibly have mistakenly thought there were 3 red cars: one with Kelly era emblems, one with no emblems, and one with the Studebaker/Newman-Altman era emblems...it may be these were all the same car. I saw a red car in a show room just north of Philadelphia in 2005...it had Kelly era emblems. I had also seen a yellow 2005 at a "dealer" in Berlin NJ in 2005. I believe there are at least three yellow cars: the car currently for sale, the prototype, and another car with a wide black rocker panel stripe that has attended an SDC drag strip event. I also have this picture of what appears to be black 2005 at the Avanti Cancun facility in 2006...notice the rear quarter window, the Fox Mustang era side view mirrors, and front marker light mounted close to the front of the fender (2002-2004 & 2006-2007 cars place the light midway between the wheel well and the fender front edge)