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RQB Production numbers


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Looking at Ebay this morning, I noticed a brown 76, RQB-2325 for sale. Included in the pix was a copy of the build sheet. My 76 is RQB-2392, 67 after 2325. 2325 had an order date of 9/10/75 with a shipping date of 12/14/76. My car's order date was 4/09/76 (7 months later) and had a shipping date of 10/01/76 (2 months earlier).

The 2325 car was ordered with more equipment, leather interior, AM/FM/Tape player combo radio, Borrani wires, Michelin tires, moon roof and luggage rack, but it took 9 months more time from order to ship time.

Under the hood, the 400 motor's air cleaner was not a cold air induction type with the intake hose being routed through the right inner fender and attaching to the shortened air cleaner snout. The air cleaner had a regular length to it. The radiator overflow bottle was mounted on the right inner fender about where the hole is for the hose to come up from the front grill instead of the position is was normally in to the right of the radiator on the backside of the front of the engine bay. Coil was also mounted behind the carbon canister on the right inner fender about where the "colostomy" windshield washer bag was normally mounted. My coil is mounted on the firewall. All the numbers for the motor, gas tank key, ign. key and trunk key were also lower than the corresponding numbers in my car's build sheet. Could shortage of something like the Borrani's have caused the delay, or possibly an order cancellation and a another buyer took the car??

I just noticed this car is the same one on an earlier post by Buickplus that I had also commented on. Looking at the build sheet raised several questions for me that I wanted to comment on.

Edited by plwindish
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Trying to figure out apparent anomalies in Avanti production can be an exercise in futility. According to John Hull in his book on the Avanti, serial numbers weren't always used sequentially as there were "skipped serial numbers, prototypes, changed serial numbers, etc." He concludes it's basically a no-win proposition to come up with accurate numbers and reasonings.

One car could have been started for one customer, then maybe cancelled or was to be built on spec, then another car special ordered got priority. There's no way of knowing. If serial numbers were changed (who knows why), that can account for such production anomalies. Special order parts could make a car wait, delays in obtaining some parts, different assembly teams could be faster than others...we really don't know why some things happened.

The car you mention has a moon roof. At some point (I don't know when), Avanti Motors changed moon roof suppliers. If that occurred during this time period, maybe that slowed down one car's assembly getting design and fitment issues ironed out. Avanti Motors didn't use a moon roof designed strictly for an Avanti...they adapted from others and that makes for issues to be resolved before full production can begin with them.

1976 was also a year a number of changes were made in the car...door locks changed, the parking brake was moved from under the dash to a Corvette unit between the seats. Who knows what other production changes were made during that time period that can slow some cars down on the assembly line? For all we know, the Avanti you mention might have been the prototype for such changes, with all the attendant delays while it gets tested. It could also have been built for a company executive who was OK with it being delayed for regular production. We'll never really know.

The thing about the coils is odd...on both cars...yours and the one on Ebay. In '75 GM went to HEI ignition across the board. That distributor has the coil mounted in the cap. Avanti Motors often was a year or so behind such things as they bought crate engines ahead...usually enough ahead for months of production to get quantity discounts. So by 1976 it seems production would have been using HEI distributors, but Avanti Motors could still have been installing earlier engines already in inventory. As far as where the coils are mounted, that could be nothing more than where an individual assembly tech wants to mount it. There's also the possibility the original distributors in both cars have been replaced sometime in the past.

Just more of the fun and frustrating "What if's" and Why's" about the Avanti.

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