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James Bond
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A great idea! I think we have a rough idea of what we want. Recognition, so richly deserved. Appreciation of what we have, so long in coming. And at least equality with the "me too" cars. Although, we deserve more, I would settle for that. Let's work towards that end!

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I have heard directly from one owner here. He has expressed personal and IMO narrow objectives. OK, I understand recognition and appreciation. By whom? What outcome? Is it local, regional, national? Supporting organizations? Avanti made the cover page of Hemmings recently. Hagerty runs features. We must define the audience and improve their perception. This requires organized effort or nothing will happen except 'feel good'. Pick a recognized comparable target car and create an "event". Pick the competition. Set the measurements. Forget history. Standards are for today. What is the Avanti sales story?

Edited by dapy
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Alright...........your issue initially is to define the audience............The Hagerty(?) article I believe showed the Design stars of the Class of 1963, The Corvette Stingray, Stude Avanti & Buick Riviera. The Stingray has been a runaway success, both in the sales price and volume of restorations. The Avanti and Riviera...........not so much. Is your definition of success based on Price or Volume? Mine is Price, solely price. Initial Volumes we have no control over, each model only has what's been delivered. The Stingray had 21K total delivered with 10K Coupe's being the biggest winner. The Avanti over 2 years only had 4600 delivered while Buick Riviera had some 40K sales. So the Avanti is the "rarest" example of the three, but it hasn't been reflected in pricing.

When showing my car, I typically find myself being placed in the American Luxury 1947-69 Group. Here I wind up competing against T-Birds, Cadillac Eldorado's, Riviera's, Chrysler 300's, some Buicks. I try not to be placed in with the Corvette's or Jags........the Avanti according to Egbert's vision was to be America's GT car. I don't think it could compete against the Aston Martin DB5, the Ferrari 330GT or the Lambo 350GT, but those are the cars Egbert would have refered to as true GT cars of the day.

So do you want to see a competition against it's intended competition or against what it's placed against in Concour's shows?

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OK. We are organizing a show down between a (stock) R1/R2 Avanti and the more recognized car. First we have to define what the Avanti was when produced and what it is today and not by concours definition. Probably good to pick several competitive cars. Not the domestic 'big iron' of the time. In my view the Avanti competes on design, technology and 'uniqueness'. Why did you buy it in 1964 and why would you today? The match up gets publicity and car guys attention. The contest is repeated annually between Avanti and a different car. I have a place for the competition.

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I don't think it could compete against the Aston Martin DB5, the Ferrari 330GT or the Lambo 350GT, but those are the cars Egbert would have refered to as true GT cars of the day.

In terms of styling those cars are competitors to Avantis, but not in the real world market place. The Avanti was designed to be fairly affordable and a reasonably practical 4 seater. Those other cars were not...

Comparing the Avanti to limited production GTs of its day would be like comparing a Mustang with a Bentley...after all both are sporty convertibles. :)

No, I think the Avanti would have to be judged against domestic competition...who it would have faced in the sales race. Remember, even the E-Type coupe didn't have rear seats at the time was more expensive.

I'm sure Europe made a few entry level (Lancia? Mercedes 230SL?) GT-type cars (something less expensive than Maseratis and Jags) but none come to mind because they weren't generally available in the US. The Jensen Interceptor was later as was the Maserati Mistral.

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We would need to select a recognized collector car of the same era. And probably domestic not foreign. The 'touring sedan' comes to mind but is likely the reason that the Avanti is not a concours candidate. It doesn't fit an accepted classic category. And in retrospect that may the reason it does not get 'due respect'.

The lastest Hagerty Classic Cars magazine cover pits the 1953 Austin-Healey 100 against the 1953 Corvette. That's the kind of periodic publicity we need.

Edited by dapy
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I've used ALL 3! and it covers a wider swath of the Collector market. The higher end collector will likely need to understand more about Loewy and his design history to pump up his interest, while performance will be a tough sell because of a limited racing history.

The Studebaker Avanti is already a rare Model, the Design has been recognized by most in the automotive world as one of the most elegant and perhaps Loewy's Best work(although I do like the '53 too), performance has to be tied into Granatelli's achievements at Bonneville so people will listen to that point, of course it doesn't hurt to mention several road tests in '63 showed that the Avanti had a faster 1/4mi time than the '64 GTO and perhaps even showing some YouTube clips of Avanti's beating Mopar 440 6-packs @ PSMCD wouldn't hurt. I've just been able to download the "Bonneville Record Breaker" to my laptop and I intend to play it on my laptop while the car is on display at the next Show I'm at!. Also I found a company in LA that RENTS 20' enclosed car haulers so I don't even have to buy a car hauler now........that save's a few bucks..........now taking the car to shows all over The People's Republic of California is going to be open to me.

While the car is never going to be a CCCA Classic, it will start to develope the image that we are able to put forward(providing we all agree on what the key areas to highlight) if we show them enough times. You have to put the image in front of new viewers enough for them to accept it. I imagine that once people see and understand what the car is the first few will go after the Avanti II cars, because they're typically a little bit more affordable AND they have that Chevy drivetrain that most are used to and can easily get parts for...............the more adventureous will go after the R2's, then the R1's. I don't see (m)ANY current R3 owner's walking away from their prizes. The majority of those are in good hands with full restorations planned or underway and they will be the price leaders as several recent sales have shown. I was really hoping that #5642 would break 100K as that would finally break that glass ceiling and attract some attention.

The Rarity numbers are favorable for the Avanti, over it's 2 year production run only some 4650 were made vs 21K '63 Stingrays(10K split window coupe's) or 40K '63 Buick Rivieras. I don't know exactly the remaining numbers are but I imagine we can come up with a close approximation via the Registry numbers, same with R1 vs R2's, I know I've seen those numbers somewhere here or on SDC. Perhaps the museum has them instantly available.

I'm working on getting some automotive Posters on the Avanti made with my "sales Script" printed over a faint B/W photo of an Avanti @ Bonneville so more people can read about what I'm trying to display(and it'll save my voice).

Obviously this year being the 50th Anniversary of the design would have been the ideal year to put a 1000 Avanti's on Display, but it's a little late now. Frankly I'm very surprised that more shows didn't use a "50 Year Celebration of 1963 Automotive Design" concept. Someone(Hagerty?, Hemmings?) put out a mag earlier this year showing the Stingray, Avanti & Riviera on the cover, would've been a great show with just those 3 Models.

It was Hagerty. Although they weren't on the cover. There was a write up of all three vehicles. The 'vette was okay, the Riveria...meh. Ahh, but the Avanti!!!
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I am willing to participate in a small working group to assist in outlining a program in this area and given a "small working group", I'm not sure a separate site is a necessity. I'd like to think that AOAI should be considered as the focal point for what we attempt as they have been the 'basis' for maintaining the Avanti name & interest since 1965. There'a a lot of info here and in the back issues of Avanti Mag, just not in a friendly format. Perhaps just a separate header in the Forum? Of course that will likely require some level of 'approval' from the ruling body. Being denied that, then perhaps going with the alternate plan.

My reasons for assisting in this is the difficultly I found in gaining rudimentary knowledge in what an original Avanti was! It seems the early years of AOAI was focused not so much on preservation and documentation as it was in finding ways to modify and keep your Avanti on the road. So, Number 1 on my list is: The lack of any "Formal Documentation" of what an original Avanti was and what a restored Avanti should be built to! When you go to "restore" a Corvette, you go to NCRS, buy the "Bible" for the year of car and simply follow the recipe book. With my Avanti, there were several cross country trips to visit owners of particular models who had cars that they were willing to share with me, allowing me photographs, Q&A time and just kicking back and discussing options. There was no Known Standard. Now, I'm not sure that it's even possible to 'document' an Avanti given Egbert's constant evolution design thought. Still it would have been nice to have had something more than just the Manual and people's opinion's to refer to and future collector's will want to have a reference manual that they can "goto".

The idea of building a Marque's interest is a study of time and time works or moves through cycles. I believe we are getting past the "Muscle Car" Fad again and will slowly turn back to a Design led interest. Just look back in time and see how the Ferarri market reacted in it's price swings. This comes from a few discussions I've had with different type's of collector's. We've seen the initial price spikes in muscle cars and the resulting return to earth. The Great cars get great money, the others are no longer all commanding 6 figure numbers but are still getting valued quite a bit higher than the Avanti. The other major influencing factor is the capital flow of funds into the US from Europe & Japan. Money is seeking a "safer"(relatively) and higher rate of return, hence our stock is climbing while Europe's and Japan's are not. As capital accumulates in an economy it seeks value and when soft investments become overpriced and the fear of inflation starts running through the markets, money migrates to harder assets like undervalued collectibles. In order to attract that Capital, we've got to present an investment that shows some rarity, value, an aesthetic nature and is desirable or envious(read subtley sexy). Loewy had some GREAT Quotes on just those items, they nned to be "Marketed".

I can be reach via email thru the personal messenger on this site.

There is a definite lack of information. Build sheets, invoices and the like are hard to come by, or just nonexistent. Maybe we can use this as a draw of mystery...probably not. Then again, there may be enough info to cover up for the lack of it!
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Build sheets (production orders) are quite available for Avantis. Studebaker built Avanti production orders are available from the Studebaker National Museum for like $30. I believe copies are available from Nostalgic Motors as well. Nostalgic also has copies of production orders for Avantis from 1965 through about 1985 before Avanti Motors moved from South Bend to Youngstown. It's post-1985 cars where build sheets get tough to come by. Where those records might be, if they still exist is a mystery as far as I know.

Invoices from either dealers or the factory would be difficult to find...unless the original sales invoice was saved and passed down from owner to owner...not too much chance of that. Avantis built by Studebaker were sold by dealers so any paperwork would likely no longer exist as so many dealers are long defunct. Avanti Motors retailed cars...who knows if such records exist?

Edited by Gunslinger
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I can't think of another car line that has records as available as Studebakers. I have the production order, the assembly-line checklist (Mine has a MFG-produced body), shipping documents plus the name and address of the original owner (the latter two I just recently bought from the SN...the others came with the car and were purchased by a PO).

All at a bargain price. You can get similar records (at least POs) for Fords, Chryslers and Pontiacs..but I believe they cost a lot more.

Plus, you can send your PO to Richard Quinn and he'll replicate an original looking window sticker for your car. Of it's an older Studebaker (before the days of federally-mandated stickers) he'll make up one for you they way they might have looked).

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Were getting slightly off point again, the comment I made relating to documentation was strictly relating to the finer points of restoration that are being left open to personal interpetation or experience, ie; at a rather large show I had a judge question me as to why the Supercharger was Orange and not Black. I explained to him that in 1963 the Superchargers were Orange and not until '64 did they become black, or as "told from spoken records" they could have become black after a factory warranty rebuild. It seems the judge had at one time owned a '64 Avanti and he recalled that"his" Supercharger was Black, therfore my car was not correct...................I believe my explanation satisfied him, but the lack of any formal documentation here leads to "one's memories" being repeated enough times that they become fact or at least believable. Another item that comes up is the "color"(again) of what the Steering Box should be.........is it "metal" or the half metal/half rustoleum paint? 90% of the people here probably don't care because it doesn't affect the driving of their cars. I'm in that other camp where the 'hunt' for evidence of 'what was' is where I derive my satisfaction and I had the best time restoring my Avanti discovering these little 'gems'. The last item was/is really tough...........what does everyone here believe? Anyone have pics of an original '63?

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The originality and correctness issue is one reason why I wanted an Avanti II rather than a Studebaker built car. Restoring a car to original and correct standards is difficult and expensive at best and a real pain in the rear at worst. The amount of research and searching for parts for a correct restoration is extensive...if someone enjoys that, more power to them. That doesn't even include what off the book changes an individual assemblyman may have done or some running change where the serial number of the car wasn't recorded.

An Avanti II was built to suit a buyer in the majority of cases so the only real standard was in the quality of the build. I feel no reservations about changing whatever I wanted on a II. Many Avantis from the 1970's...the disco era...are begging to be changed from how they were fitted out from the factory. Some buyers specified some bizarre paint and interior schemes during those years. My own car is an example...according to the build sheet it was painted a dark brown with mahogany colored vinyl upholstery, walnut steering wheel and steering column and dash and console trim...and an orange shag carpet. My wife just said the '70s weren't known as the tasteless decade without reason.

I know this doesn't answer the question and is off the original point, so forgive me that. I don't have any photos of an original '63, but much of the information is available from various sources if not just one all-inclusive source. Some of the individual paint colors of various underhood bits might change depending on vendor, or when the part was shipped by the same vendor...gloss paint, satin paint, etc. I think judges can argue forever on some finer points of what is truly correct.

One example...at Gettysburg in 2011 when my 2002 Avanti was judged, a few points were deducted for the drivers door not fitting completely flush with the body. That's the way the car came from Avanti Motors...it was factory original that way. That a few points were lost is immaterial...it just shows how trivial judging can be on what is and isn't original...even if not truly "correct".

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Gunslinger has a good point. If you want to bring your car to the finest point...more power to you. You're efforts are worthwhile, and noble. But I think it's the design and the rarity that will bring them into the fold. I don't think the finer points will matter so much...at least not right now. If your paint isn't "true", if your radio isn't original...so what!! These things don't matter so much, yet.

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Ok AOAI....I'm sure you're aware of the posts here. What do you think? What can you do to forward the Avanti cause, besides your high quality quarterly? We need to get the word out! We need to know that you are more than a history report! We DO have a future!!

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We have to drive our cars to pique curiosity. Just like the person who I saw drive one so many years ago. The person whose car set the seed in my mind. I'll never know him, but the image of that beauty never left my mind. Now that I own one, it's stronger than ever. How many others, of the younger me are out there? We'll only know if we show!

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I've been fiddling with my battery for a week or so. Tried various forms of recharging...nuthin! Bought a new battery, starts right up! Time to take a drive! Storm clouds darken the sky, a little rumble of thunder in the distance. Doesn't matter...it's been too long not on the road! A tape in the deck, windows open, wind blowing through the cockpit. A complete driving pleasure. I just wish I knew how tell how wonderful it is driving this beauty!

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  • 1 month later...

Came home from a kinda' crappy day at work. A little low until I came home and opened the garage door. There was my baby! I went upstairs and got the keys, fired it up and went for a nice ride...enjoying all the turning heads along the way!

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Lucky you. Need more on the road. Mine is out everyday rain or shine. Leave the garage door open so passers by can see what a great car is the Avanti

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I've taken my car to three events in the last two weeks. At one, it received the top 60-69 award against heavy competition. At another (where I just had it parked) I got many positive comments and probably would have received an award had I entered. At the third, I didn't get any award...it was run by a club and "the fix was in" as they say.

Still, it's great to show the flag.

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Unfortunately, "Polarizing" is exactly the term to use for Avanti's design. Being of the vintage to see the response of the public when the Avanti first came out, people loved them or did not care for them. I was in the loved them camp from the first moment I saw them on display at a Farm Progress Show in Morton IL in late September 1962 as a freshman in high school. I bought a 64 R1 in April of my senior year in high school in 1966. I sold the car in 1969 to get a 67 Chevelle SS396 and regretted it for many years, finally getting a 76 'II in January 2011. The past two years I've had a lot of work done on the car and have had a ball with the car. I'll probably hang on to the car until I stop driving. Time has certainly proved the value and timelessness of the car's design. The car outlasting Studebaker through various ownerships for over 43 years is a validation of the design. Please name any other car model that went back into production 2 years after the company stopped making them and continued on for the length of time that Avanti did.

PL, I saw my first Avanti at The FARM PROGRESS SHOW near South Bend, IN in Sept of 1963. I just thought the Avanti was the most amazing thing. I thought how can I ever make enough money to own an Avanti, especially from my vantage point atop either a John Deere tractor or combine many hours each day.

Even though I have old Corvettes, I wanted something 'different' that had 4 seats so two couples could go across town to dinner. I also wanted something that I could drive on a week end trip. Final criteria was simple, relatively cheap to maintain AND I could keep it running. I even discussed with my car buddies the various options of building up a such a car to meet my criteria.

I remembered the Avanti ! i had not seen one in years and never even rode in an Avanti. I researched them a bit and initially focused on R2. But, after looking at postings, I decided on the 1974 with 400 SBC and 700R4 tranny...I can keep this running without a hassel for parts.

My 1974 Avanti is a C-1 (56-62) Corvette with a back seat. King pin suspension, glass body, X-frame, SBC, GM powertrain...perfect !

I drive mine all the time, but I must plan an extra 45 minutes because someone is going to want to talk about it. The two conversations are always (1) 'what is that' with my history lesson to follow OR (2) 'that is an Avant ! my uncle Ted had one and I remember riding ...'

I guess my contribution to this thread is get them out and drive them, let people see your Avanti, talk to them.

Secondly, write magazine articles (with pictures) and send them to local newspapers and general car magazines such as Auto Enthusiast. Do not make them totally 'techie', tell the story of an Avanti trip, car event, the saga of a repair project. These magazines are always looking for stories and pictures. They love the non-professional real world stories...that is who the readers are.

Joe

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A couple of weeks ago I was at a multi-make show with about 30 other cars. An older guy comes up and really flips out over the car, he's been in high school in 63 and loved the Avanti but could never afford one. Today, he's a business owner and approaching retirement. He (and his wife who had never seen one) love the car. He gives me his business card and tells me to call him if I want to sell it. He's serious.

BTW: I won the 60-69 class.

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[quote n

Lucky you. Need more on the road. Mine is out everyday rain or shine. Leave the garage door open so passers by can see what a great car is the Avanti

ame='dapy' timestamp='1375801742' post='10247]

Lucky you. Need more on the road. Mine is out everyday rain or shine. Leave the garage door open so passers by can see what a great car is the Avanti ]And it is!! Leave you garage door open! Every glance is important! Like I've said before, we have to be seen, time after time, after time. We have to be seen. We have to embed ourselves into the public consciousness. Maybe then, we'll get the respect we deserve.

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PL, I saw my first Avanti at The FARM PROGRESS SHOW near South Bend, IN in Sept of 1963. I just thought the Avanti was the most amazing thing. I thought how can I ever make enough money to own an Avanti, especially from my vantage point atop either a John Deere tractor or combine many hours each day.

Even though I have old Corvettes, I wanted something 'different' that had 4 seats so two couples could go across town to dinner. I also wanted something that I could drive on a week end trip. Final criteria was simple, relatively cheap to maintain AND I could keep it running. I even discussed with my car buddies the various options of building up a such a car to meet my criteria.

I remembered the Avanti ! i had not seen one in years and never even rode in an Avanti. I researched them a bit and initially focused on R2. But, after looking at postings, I decided on the 1974 with 400 SBC and 700R4 tranny...I can keep this running without a hassel for parts.

My 1974 Avanti is a C-1 (56-62) Corvette with a back seat. King pin suspension, glass body, X-frame, SBC, GM powertrain...perfect !

I drive mine all the time, but I must plan an extra 45 minutes because someone is going to want to talk about it. The two conversations are always (1) 'what is that' with my history lesson to follow OR (2) 'that is an Avant ! my uncle Ted had one and I remember riding ...'

I guess my contribution to this thread is get them out and drive them, let people see your Avanti, talk to them.

Secondly, write magazine articles (with pictures) and send them to local newspapers and general car magazines such as Auto Enthusiast. Do not make them totally 'techie', tell the story of an Avanti trip, car event, the saga of a repair project. These magazines are always looking for stories and pictures. They love the non-professional real world stories...that is who the readers are.

Joe

Wow! your post is perfect! Your right, don't go wonkie on viewers, tell them of the rarity. How it was hand made in the USA. If they have questions...they'll ask. Just be there to answer. It works for me!
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A couple of weeks ago I was at a multi-make show with about 30 other cars. An older guy comes up and really flips out over the car, he's been in high school in 63 and loved the Avanti but could never afford one. Today, he's a business owner and approaching retirement. He (and his wife who had never seen one) love the car. He gives me his business card and tells me to call him if I want to sell it. He's serious.

BTW: I won the 60-69 class.

Ahh! I'm sure he is! If I may relate my Avanti story. My wife and I were looking for a live xmas tree. We were driving along, when this exotic car came by the other way. What was that? Who makes that? I WANT ONE!! Although the years went by, the image in my mind never left...how could it? About six years ago, a co-worker, who has a 1950 Studebaker Champion, planted the seed to have a classic car. I looked in the local "auto specials" newspaper and found, a couple of possibilities. That night, I went on Amazon's auto site, and entered "Avanti" There was one, only two hours away drive. After a couple of phone calls, and my wife's agreement that it was an anniversary present, I drove it home. Whenever I leave, or whenever I come home, "my baby" is there to greet me.
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