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About Gunslinger

  • Birthday 01/30/1952

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    Frederick, MD
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    fine cars, fine firearms, fine ladies, fine cigars

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  1. You’re better off replacing the speakers while your already there…you don’t want to pull the dark any more than necessary. Another tip…while you have easy access…replace all the gauge bulbs at the same time for all the same reasons.
  2. Once the radio is out the speaker and grille can be taken out from underneath by removing four nuts. The speaker will drop down and the grille will then pull out from above. If you plan on replacing the speaker…two things to make sure of…get a speaker of the same impedance (ohms rating)…and get a speaker the magnet is not so big it hits the radio body.
  3. If your car has no a/c you can probably remove the radio from underneath…where the a/c evaporator would be. If you do have a/c the dash has to be removed which is actually not that tough a job…especially if you remove the steering wheel, drop the steering column and remove the bucket seats. You really don’t have to completely remove the dash…just enough to remove the radio from behind it. If this is the route you take…tag any and all wires you have to disconnect…you’ll save yourself grief later.
  4. Disconnect the original hydraulic brake light switch and install a mechanical switch…much more reliable. Do not remove the hydraulic switch…just cap off the leads.
  5. Any good exhaust shop should have a pipe bender and different diameter lengths of straight pipe and can custom bend them for you. Just ask for either aluminized or stainless pipes rather than standard mild steel. Aluminized and stainless will outlast your ownership of the car in all likelihood.
  6. Try Dan Booth at Nostalgic Motors. Alternatives are Jon Myer at Myer’s Studebaker and Studebaker International.
  7. It's not the first time an Avanti as used by a celebrity for a photograph...
  8. I'm guessing the radio was installed post-South Bend. It would have been specified on the production order if it was factory installed. AM radios were standard equipment or could be specifically be a "radio delete" option with a blank plate covering the dash opening. It could have been installed by the dealer or by a later owner. When I had a '63 Avanti I installed an original AM-FM radio I bought during the '70s or early '80s...yes...they were still available brand new at that time! The swap was not difficult. The AM/FM radio was a 1964 option...1963 cars would all have come with AM only radios unless dealer installed at the buyer's request. It's possible some of the transitional '63/'64 cars might be factory equipped with an AM/FM but only a production order would verify that.
  9. The number of R3 and R4 engines assembled are supposedly around 120 but of known survivors there are gaps in engine numbers so the figure assumes all consecutive numbers were built. There is a catch…there appears to have been fewer sets of cylinder heads than engine blocks made as some R3 engines sold by Paxton were equipped with R2 or modified R2 heads. The number of actual R4 engines is quite small…probably in the single digits. ”Somewhere” I have a list…fifteen years or older…of all known R3/R4 engines…what car they were originally installed in or where they were known to be at the time the list was compiled. Since my move I have yet to unbox a lot of such stuff…if I still have it at all.
  10. By the number it’s a body supplied by Molded Fiberglass and as such it would have been delivered per contract with Studebaker painted. South Bend built bodies started at body number 5001.
  11. The original system is perfectly adequate for a vehicle the size of an Avanti but was designed for a much lighter car. The problem with it today is the expense of parts today…original parts in good, rebuildable shape are not that easy to come by plus they’re expensive…and reproduction parts are also not cheap. For the money the Turner brake kit is better…parts are easier to source and less expensive. I would install the Turner kit of the front and rebuild the original rear brakes. There’s no real reason to convert the rear brakes to discs as the front brakes carry most of the load and that conversion really jumps the expense and work.
  12. Brakes are simply too important to not maintain properly. Even the design and parts are the best they’re barely good enough. If there’s any uncertainty about the age and condition of the brakes then a complete rehab is in order…new rubber hoses…caliper or wheel cylinder rebuild or replacement…pads and shoes…caliper and drum inspection and matching if necessary…metal lines as well. No matter how good the looks or runs…if it doesn’t stop the rest is immaterial.
  13. My dad had a ‘61 Chrysler New Yorker that had the mirror mounted on a ball socket on the dash. The first Avanti I looked at hoping to buy had the same mirror installation. I distinctly remember that…couldn’t swing the dineros…poor college student at the time. After I was able to buy an Avanti about five years later it had the windshield mount mirror up near the top of the glass. When I started reading more about Avanti I discovered only the prototypes had the dash top mounted rear view mirror. I could have had a prototype Avanti and didn’t know it…but money wasn’t there regardless.
  14. Wasn’t one snuck in over the border from Mexico somehow?
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