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Posts posted by Gunslinger

  1. i know this isn't related to the early 60's avanti's, but your chat reminded me of a conversation i had with someone from avanti motor car back in the 80's.

    was looking for information about the avanti II's, and the gentleman i spoke with (i took no notes and all info was lost - suspect, right?) told me he was trying to get the designer(s) of the [C5] corvette frame to redesign the avanti II frame with that new corvette 'tunnel' design. trying to bring the avanti into the future or something. maybe it was just salesman b.s.. anyway, guess it never happened; but the idea was intriguing.

    hope you can make it work,


    I've read that back in the '80s Avanti Motors (don't know if this was during the Blake or Kelly era) had contracted with someone to design a modern chassis dedicated to the Avanti. It might have been Reeves Callaway since he was allied with Chevrolet and the Corvette at that time, but I don't know for sure. Supposedly when Avanti's money ran out, developement on the new chassis stopped.

    Maybe someone else here can shed some light on that.

  2. I always thought the area between the polished "spokes" was a frosted silver, but I have seen cars with that area darkened to a frosted black appearance. I don't know how correct that is but it appears at least some must have come from the factory that way. I know the wheel covers were earlier '50s Stude wheel covers overstamped to look like spoked wheels, but maybe various production runs or subcontractors may be the difference.

    I never saw the darker wheels in any Studebaker advertisements, so they must have been a later change or authorized alternate wheel cover.

  3. A Lark convertible frame is what you would need. It has the "X" in it for strength. Other Lark frames could be used but you would have to modify them. Some body outrigger mounts would have to be moved from one to another I believe.

    Depending on what is needed for the car you're looking at, it can be repaired...it just depends on how much money you're willing to invest. Short of being crushed, most any frame can be fixed...it's simply a matter of money and the capability of a properly equipped shop.

  4. I'm interested in seeing photos of the installation. My '70 in the rebuild shop is going to get a new crate engine with the mini a/c compressor. I'm considering the serpentine belt kit, but don't yet know about the money for doing that. Once I see how the setup looks, it will be easier to made that decision.

    Looking forward to seeing it.

  5. It is likely much cheaper to have your current window motor rebuilt. On my '70 that's in the body shop now being rebuilt, I have one window motor that does work and one that didn't. I took them both to a local rebuilder and for $80 I now have two completely rebuilt window motors. The price of one replacement motor for my '70 would have been at least $200.

  6. I recently purchased RQB1574 and already have it in the shop for rebuilding. Here are some photos from today...I'll post further photos as things progress. Still looking for some parts. If anyone knows where I can pick up a left side wiper pivot and a dash radio speaker grille I'd love to know.

    The photos won't upload. I'll see what is wrong and try to add them later.

  7. Doing some research for shocks I found the following applications...some have already been listed. I'm only listing what I found as front and rear complete sets. The numbers come from their websites and should fit all Avanti's from '63 through '85 on the original Studebaker frame.

    Gabriel Classic

    front 82087

    rear 82103


    front 520-332

    rear 520-338

  8. An option you might try, though it isn't "correct", is use the ignition shielding from a late '60s through early '70s Corvette. The Corvete brackets may not fit exactly but I would think they can be adapted or brackets fabricated to work. They fit over the distributor and coil the same as the Stude shielding does.

    These parts are available as reproductions through Corvette suppliers like Corvette Central, Eckler's and others. I don't know for sure but I would think these are the same parts that early Avanti II's must have used to eliminate radio frequency interference.

  9. I understand your point. I would like to see the original engine back in the car, but whether I like his attitude or not, it's his to do with it as he likes. Personally, I think I would sell you the engine, but that's me. I was raised where once I made an agreement with someone, I stick to my word, even to my own financial detriment.

    When I owned my '63 R1, and restored the car over a period of years, I pretty much kept it original with only those changes that could be put back easily. When I got married my priorities changed and rarely drove the car and began to take less meticulous care of it. I felt it was best to sell the car to someone who would give it the care it deserved rather than let it deteriorate, so I sold it with a tear in my eye as it left. Some years later I divorced so I was out both the car and the wife, who kept the car we bought with the proceeds from selling the Avanti.

    Now I'm retired, remarried to the world's most wonderful woman and own an '02 Avanti and just purchased a '70 Avanti that I'm making plans on making some changes to that will suit me. As I said previously, with an Avanti II I can change whatever I like and personalize it without materially hurting its value as long as the changes are tasteful and mechanically efficient.

  10. My preference would be to do all I could to put the car back to original. All Avanti's are special and R2's are less common than most. Rather than install a plain engine I would simply run the R2 without the supercharger drive belts (but that would defeat the purpose of having an R2).

    The way I look at it, if you want to change engines or something similar, it makes more sense to get an Avanti II and do it. All II's are different anyway as they were all individually built to suit particular customers, so there is no "standard" to adhere to. Besides...there's tons of parts available for the small block Chevy engine. You can't say that about Stude engines.

    In the end, it's your car and your money. Do whatever makes you happy...I don't have to like or approve it any more than you have to like or approve of what I do to my car.

  11. Hi Warren...

    Welcome to the group.

    Where in Maryland are you? I live in Frederick. I have an '02 Avanti convertible and am in the process of buying a '70 Avanti. I should have it soon. Joe and Judy Menacker in Martinsburg, WV have an '82 or '83 (I forget which).

    There used to be the National Capital Chapter of AOAI but it has been inactive for some time now from what I understand. It's good to know of another Avanti owner in the area.

    I can't help you with your search for the parts you want. I'm not familiar enough with the late '80s models to know what the switches look like or where you might find replacements. Maybe you can adapt some more or less universal type rocker switches.

    Bruce Blum

    Frederick, MD

  12. Edelbrock and Holley each make well regarded aftermarket fuel injection units for the small block Chevy. Personally I like the Edelbrock but that's me. I would not try and get used parts from a junkyard Chevy...you would play hell getting all the parts needed and the ECU. You would be way ahead money and hassle-wise to get the complete kit from Edlebrock or Holley. You can talk to their techs and provide them with the information they need to get you a computer chip tailored to your needs.

    What I would really like to see is have someone with the bucks and the 'nads to install a GM LS-series crate engine in an older Avanti. That would be some kind of schweet! I could see installing a crate 505 horsepower LS7 in a Stude framed car and watch the car spin around the engine when cranking it over!

  13. Small block Chevys used that oil fill pipe until the late '60s or very early '70s. More than one auto maker used a similar oil fill pipe over the years, but it seems to me that if the "mechanic" can't tell a small block Chevy from another make, maybe you shouldn't be taking your car to him. Someone insisting Avanti's were made in Canada can be forgiven as it's a common myth, but not knowing a small-block Chevy from another make is something different. Something like 100 million have been made so it's something that anyone with any amount of experience should know.

  14. Your car likely had the Studebaker single reservoir master cylinder that the early Avanti II's all had. The brake light switch is threaded into the nose of the master cylinder and has two prongs with wires on them. That is assuming that your car hasn't had the master cylinder replaced and upgraded to a dual reservoir design by a previous owner.

    If your car has been upgraded, it will probably have a mechanical brake light switch somewhere under the dash attached to the brake pedal lever, or attached to the floor where the brake pedal arm can impinge on it to activate the brake lights.

    If the brake system has been totally overhauled, maybe the switch was left out? Did a shop do the work? They may have upgraded the master cylinder and not installed a switch. I would think you should be able to trace down the wiring and find some unattached leads for the brake lights.

  15. I don't think any manufacturer can sidestep any regulations. There used to be an exemption for "low volume" manufacturers, like Avanti during the early years, but even then the exemptions were temporary and allowed small companies additional time before having to comply.

    To have a dedicated chassis for the Avanti would be great, but many problems exist that only large amounts of capital would fix. The expense of designing a chassis is one thing, but it is very time consuming and expensive to certify it for the federal approval...would a small company like Avanti be financially able to send numerous cars to the government for crash tests? When you only build and sell maybe 50-100 cars a year the costs would have to be spread out among all cars sold and few could afford to buy one. That doesn't even include the deign and certification of mandatory safety items like airbags, fuel tanks, bumper systems, proprietary windhshield and side glass designs, etc. The big companies can spread the costs over a large number of vehicles to minimize the impact of these expenses. Small companies have to adapt existing platforms so they can piggyback on the federal and state certifications at little to no extra cost.

    All that being said, I would love to see a dedicated Avanti chassis so we wouldn't be dependent on GM, Ford or whomever for a basic vehicle Avanti Motors has to adapt the design to and be at their mercy when models are changed or discontinued. I love my '02 Avanti, but it gets tiring at times to have to explain it's not "just a re-skinned Camaro" as one ignorant rice rocket owner contemptuously said. It's so much more than that.

  16. Joe, glad to see you're happy with the interior. I wanted to stop by the upholstery shop while it was being done to see it, but was unable (I've been out of town and won't be back for another day or so). It looks great.

    To anyone else interested, Joe took his car to a great shop in Frederick, MD...Joe's Upholstery. They did the interior on the '63 R1 I owned some years back and did the interior of one of my Corvettes. They do absolutely great work...and Don, the owner is a first-class guy to deal with.

    Hope I get to see your car again in person soon, Joe.

    Bruce Blum

    Frederick, MD

    '02 Avanti

  17. I have Cooper tires on one of my Corvettes and they're excellent tires. Cooper is also one of the biggest makers of private label tires. My '02 Avanti has BFG G-Force tires on it and they're very good tires as well. My intent for when they eventually require replacements is to buy Michelin Pilots for the car, though they are expensive, but in line with other makes of the same specs.

    Several years ago one of the big car magazines (either Road & Track or Car and Driver), did a comparison test on high performance tires. They compared one of the big name brands (which one escapes me) against a Pep Boys brand performance tire that was made by Cooper under their name. The testing was using the same car. The big name tire had slightly better performance numbers on the track for handling, braking, etc., but only very slight measureably better numbers. They concluded that money being no object, the name tire would have been their choice and for the real world, the Pep Boys tires was a far better performance bargain for the big difference in cost.

  18. Are you looking for a strictly performance tire or a touring style tire? A lot depends on how you plan on driving your car (I used to sell tires).

    Most tire technology today, especially for performance, is geared toward the 16", 17" and bigger diameter tires. It's much more difficult to find performance tires in the 15" sizes that match up to the others today.

    If you decide on a 70 series instead of a 75 series, you do have some good options. If you want white letter tires, an excellent way to go is the BFG Radial T/A. I've heard good reports on the Firestone Firehawk as well, but dollar for dollar, I think the BFG is hard to beat. I've heard less positive experiences with some of the Goodyear tires.

    If you want a whitewall, as I did on a '69 Corvette I own, I bought Cooper Touring tires...the Lifeliner SLE...an excellent tire and I've been very pleased with them.

    If you want redline tires, look at Coker Tires. They have excellent products but aren't inexpensive, but redline tires give a car a really sharp look.

    If you want blackwalls, it doesn't much matter!

    There are some excellent private label tires out there as well...all made by the big manufacturers. There isn't any Mom and Pop or backyard tire makers. Many private label tires (like Pep Boys own) are made by Cooper. The disadvantage to private label tires is if you travel a lot and have a tire problem that would require a warranty replacement, etc. If you can't find a dealer in that brand, you're out of luck.

    I say stick with the major brands for the most part...Michelin, BFG, Cooper, Goodyear, Firestone, Dunlop, etc. Go with companies like Coker if you want the vintage look or the redline tires...they even make goldline in some sizes.

    Let us know what you decide on.

  19. I've been made aware of a big annual all makes car meet on July 15. From what I understand there is usually about 600 cars that show. It's in Freelton, Ontario, about 65 miles west of Buffalo, NY.

    If anyone is interested in going, it's held each year at the Four Seasons Family Nudist Resort! You won't need to pack much...an advantage since our Avanti's don't have a huge amount of storage space.

    Sounds like a great club cruise to show off our Avanti's!

    Take lots of sun block!

  20. I think the suggested list price is highly inflated to give dealers manuevering room for making deals and for trade-in allowances. When I bought my '02 Avanti the sticker price was $83K. I got it for way, way below that, and an excellent trade-in allowance for the car I had.

    Face it...no matter how much we love our Avanti's, they are less than than a blip on the radar screen of vehicle sales numbers. Compare that to sales of Corvettes, particularly the new Vette Z06...try and find a deal on one of those. You'll be paying a premium over the sticker price for one. Avanti's simply don't have that phenomenon happening to them. We own a cult car with a small but pretty much self-sustaining resale market.

    All in all, not a bad cult to be a member of.

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