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Posts posted by Gunslinger

  1. I believe the change in parking brake location was during 1976.  A Jeep handle was used for a short time before changing to a C3 generation Corvette handle assemble.

    The trunk release was an option at least as early as 1970…maybe earlier.  I don’t know when…or if it was made standard equipment.  The electric release button was under the driver side of the dash before the glove box location was standardized.

  2. As far as being judged in an AOAI or SDC event…originality of color is pretty much immaterial as long as it’s an official Avanti color.  To a purist it may mean a lot.  To everyone else it matters little beyond the quality of the overall package.

    It’s your car…make yourself happy and don’t worry about what others think.

  3. Some do…some don’t.  The problem stems from the fact the moonroofs used were not designed for the Avanti…but adapted from another car…Lincoln I’ve been told.  So after a period of time with flexing, contracting and expanding the framing or the fiberglass may warp and/or the seals dry out and leaks start.  Well maintained…kept garaged…the seals kept clean and lubed…and the problem is minimized or eliminated.  

  4. Ironically…the parts situation for the Avanti is probably better than for the Pacer.  Besides a cottage industry maintaining, rebuilding and reproducing parts for the Avanti and other Studebakers…Chrysler saw to it AMC parts were destroyed.

    When Chrysler purchased AMC…they really only wanted Jeep.  For tax purposes they scrapped all AMC parts the company had…and earned the undying enmity of AMC fans.  It was financially more advantageous to scrap the parts and take the write off than sell the surplus parts and pay tax on the revenue.

    Studebaker sold all their parts and entrepreneurs like Nate Altman, Jon Myer, Dan Booth and others bought them and also from dealers liquidating over the years.

  5. The Avanti was never intended to sell in big numbers…but be a halo car to draw attention to Studebaker’s other…more profitable and mainstream products.  It was certainly expected to sell in numbers larger than it did…maybe 10k units annually.  But…we all know supply, quality control and production issues kept that from happening.  Add to that many Studebaker dealers had no idea how to sell such a car…even if they could get them.  

  6. I’m not that familiar with post-‘85 Avantis.  I know they’re based on a GM platform with an Avanti body.  Is the floor and frame modified from original GM or left as-is with the new body and interior made to fit it?  If the floor pan is still GM I would think the appropriate GM seat base will fit.

    If not…were Recaro seats still optional in ‘87?  Recaro bought Avanti bases from Wedge Engineering which I believe is or was located in CA.  Wedge may be able to help you.

    If none of this pans out…contact Dan Booth at Nostalgic Motors.  He may be able to help.

  7. While not related to this story directly...but it's always fun to tell.  About ten or twelve years ago I had my '70 Avanti at a local car show.  An old fellow came up and looked it over...said back in the late '50s he and his dad owned a Studebaker dealership in the town.  They eventually switched from Studebaker to Ford...don't remember if he told me why.  I mentioned in the small city a few miles away there was a building that you could still read "STUDEBAKER SALES & SERVICE" on the building face.  It was a street out of the way from most of the town and other car dealers.

    The old guy said he remembered the dealer and the owner from back in the day.  He said besides the Studebaker franchise he had other properties..."...and owned a few whorehouses, too!"

    I never forgot that...I still laugh whenever something makes me think of it.  It's been enough time the old guy has passed on.  He was awesome to listen to.

  8. Avanti Motors was forced to use a new engine as Studebaker had shut down the foundry for Studebaker engines...save for finishing up some contract work.  Since Studebaker had already done the engineering necessary for the GM engines in Canadian production for '64-'66 cars it was a no brainer to use the GM engine.  It was a matter of designing wiring harnesses, the fillers in the front wheel openings and a few other minor things.  

    Essentially the stars lined up for Nate Altman...Studebaker sold him all the truck parts as well as Avanti parts and the Studebaker parts inventory...sold him the building...Molded Fiberglass had something like 150 leftover Avanti bodies from the cancelled Studebaker contract...GM sold him Corvette engines at reasonable costs...lots of experienced Studebaker employees needed work...plus the local bank president went to bat for him for financing due to Nate's reputation.  

    If just one of those things didn't materialize...the whole operation would have been a no-go from the start.  

  9. I’ve never heard that story…be interesting to find out if it’s true.  There’s no mention of it in Bob Morrison’s book where he talks about MFG’s experience with Studebaker and the Avanti.  That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or if he even was aware of such an incident.

  10. If DOT 5 silicone fluid has been mixed with DOT 3 or 4 the fluid will usually look milky and cloudy…not a good mix and will cause problems.  If fluids have been mixed…a complete flushing is called for…preferably with new hoses and caliper seals and wheel cylinder seals to make sure all vestiges of the contaminated fluid are gone.

  11. If you don’t know low old the present fluid is…consider having the entire system flushed and fresh fluid added.

    Also…if the age of the flexible hoses is unknown…you might have those replaced.  They can collapse on the inside with age even if they look good externally.  Brakes are too important to not take care of.

  12. I'll take King Solomon's way...split the difference.  The round headlight design looks more sporty...the square headlight design looks more elegant.  I really liked the round headlight treatment my '02 had but thought the turn signals in the front bumper should have been in the fender blades like the originals.  

    When the square headlight bulbs came out around '84-'85 I liked them at first but as time passed I liked them less and less.

  13. My ‘70 Avanti had a hood with those locator dimples on both sides.  My guess would be at the change to the hood prop to the right side that either…

    The hood molds simply left those dimples in place when new locator dimples were placed on the right, or

    It was a deliberate decision to make all hoods replacement hoods for all Avantis should that be required.

  14. The side markers changed every now and.  Those correct for the time...my '70 had the rectangular lights.

    To identify them...copy the numbers on them...they're industry or maker part numbers.  Do a web search for that number and it may pop up.  It wouldn't surprise me if they were from a Japanese car of the times.

  15. You can get red LED lights with the correct base and will fit fine and are quite bright.  The gel caps are thin skins that slide over the glass portion of standard bulbs.  They will work fine but the light won’t be as bright as they tend to diffuse the light.

    I would prefer LED as they last longer, draw less power and put out less heat.  Something like these from Amazon should work but you might find them at an auto supply store…Red LED bulbs

    When I had my ‘70 Avanti I installed LED lights through the interior and was very pleased with them.  

  16. Body numbers were not used sequentially as they were pulled by the paint color…at least with MFG bodies which were delivered painted.  Introducing a change by body number has the potential for a real cluster trying to determine when any change was initiated.  That would do the same by serial number as well.

  17. I once owned R4341 which was a round eyed Avanti.  It had no hood brace.  I always understood it was removed for the R3 or at least due to some Avantis having clearance issue with the hood.  

    If it was for R3 clearance it would have been phased in prior to R3 production.  R4130 which was the R3 mule for the package does not have the brace.

  18. I don’t think it was the physical or measured height dimensions of the Chevy engine per se…but it’s mounted height when the height of the adapters between the engine and frame added in.  It must sit higher to clear everything where the Studebaker engine was designed to sit lower.

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