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James Bond
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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.

Yeah...I've been to those shows too.
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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!

Never thought about it, but our cars were truly 'hand made in the USA' As I understand Altman etal only had about 30 people assembling the Avanti II in South Bend. I will add that to my lecture.

Thanks

Joe

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I understand this car is a challenge to those who accept the regular stock of cars. Unfortunately, their ilk still rule. But when our time comes, it will be like a tsunami, a tidal wave of appreciation. An idea whose time has finally come!

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Never thought about it, but our cars were truly 'hand made in the USA' As I understand Altman etal only had about 30 people assembling the Avanti II in South Bend. I will add that to my lecture.

Thanks

Joe

My pleasure! So many people say, "I'll only buy American!" What does that mean? Parts are made internationally, and assembled here, sometimes. Our cars WERE handmade, or maybe I should say, our cars were HANDMADE, both ideas very foreign nowadays.
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Well 'yes and no'. Studebakers were assembly line produced just like Detroit. Early Avantis did have problems (which slowed production and demand). How produced, components, where, and by how many workers after that is moot. Certainly Made in America except for those made in Mexico.

Still a great story to tell...

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One of the biggest problems Studebaker experienced producing Avantis is that the design required so much hand assembly and far more man-hours involved than was desired in an assembly line form of production. That's not even taking into account the problems in body construction from Molded Fiberglass. A car that required so much handwork couldn't be mass produced with any level of quality control as Studebaker discovered...and one that was rushed into production with insufficient testing.

Nate Altman realized the only way the Avanti could be produced profitably was to do it as a deliberate low volume vehicle and use the man-hours involved to make it a quality product. That...and the bargain basement price Studebaker sold him the parts, tooling, buildings and documentation for certainly didn't hurt in getting the whole enterprise off the ground. It was a shoestring operation that paid off for Nate and even then...without Nate's vision, dedication and conservative business practices it likely wouldn't have worked.

I've said before...all Avanti aficionados...whether they own an Avanti or not...Studebaker and Avanti II alike...owe Nate Altman a great debt for what he accomplished.

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One of the biggest problems Studebaker experienced producing Avantis is that the design required so much hand assembly and far more man-hours involved than was desired in an assembly line form of production. That's not even taking into account the problems in body construction from Molded Fiberglass. A car that required so much handwork couldn't be mass produced with any level of quality control as Studebaker discovered...and one that was rushed into production with insufficient testing.

Nate Altman realized the only way the Avanti could be produced profitably was to do it as a deliberate low volume vehicle and use the man-hours involved to make it a quality product. That...and the bargain basement price Studebaker sold him the parts, tooling, buildings and documentation for certainly didn't hurt in getting the whole enterprise off the ground. It was a shoestring operation that paid off for Nate and even then...without Nate's vision, dedication and conservative business practices it likely wouldn't have worked.

I've said before...all Avanti aficionados...whether they own an Avanti or not...Studebaker and Avanti II alike...owe Nate Altman a great debt for what he accomplished.

And the continuation of the species!!
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An R2 Avanti, 63R-1004, the fourth production car, has sold for a record $74,800 at the Gooding & Company auction on January 18, 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

www.theavanti.net/r1004.html A beautiful specimen. But, I'm sure that some of us out there have one almost as nice. I think I do! You probably do too!! We're soon to be the idea who's time has come, I truly believe that! What will you do when you car is worth six figures? I'm not sure myself.

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To anyone in the Newtown Ct. area, there is going to be a car show Sept. 28, at the Stop&Shop supermarket plaza on Sand Hill Rd. It will be a fund raiser for a local food pantry. 100% of the proceeds will be donated. Food and a dj will be there. There is no cut off. All vehicles are welcome. Each car will have a box in front of it. The more votes a car has, the more food in it's box. There will be no trophies given, except maybe bragging rights! So, if you're in the area, please give a visit. Also, visiting that day is Joe Morris of the 1987 Superbowl winning Giants. So as they say "Come on down!"

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An overcast day. Took my baby out to run a few errands with my wife. As she was shopping, I parked in a semi safe place. As people went in and out, I got several serious glances...mostly from men. (which seems to be the case!). A man, walking towards the door saw my car, and gave me the thumbs up sign.

I waved through the sun roof, and he changed his direction and walked towards me, as he did I lowered my window. "I've always loved these cars!" he said. We talked a few minutes, and as we did, many of the people who came out gave us a good long look...recognition! The conversation ended with a sincere handshake through the car window. Another seed planted in the firmament!

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In my rounds today at every stop someone asked me 'who made it'. Many thought the mark was Italian. I explained it came from Youngstown Ohio...and that led to romancing the Studebaker story.

In my former life I would say marketing (broad-based communications) can build demand. Too late for Avanti. Best we can hope for is word of mouth and the occasional appearance in the marketplace.

Yes, but over time, don't you think that will build momentum, like a snowball rolling down a hill? Edited by James Bond
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Yes, but over time, don't you think that will build momentum, like a snowball rolling down a hill?

I have a friend who has a 1950 Stude Champion. A daily driver, but beautiful nonetheless. He's of the opinion that the odd ball cars, like his, (and ours), don't appeal to the Mustang/'Vette/ muscle car crowd. I guess it's a herd mentality. Although, by the same token, we want to relive our youth, have the cars we would have had, which now we can afford. How many of us said as a youngun' "I want an Avanti!!!" Not many I fear, although I was one. PR is not on our side. Yet, perhaps over time, this automotive orphan will be adopted by the car cognoscenti.
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There are ways to improve recognition and perception. It would cost big bucks and for what purpose except personal (owner) satisfaction.

I don't think AOAI has the money, the incentive...and I know it does not have a plan. Keep Avantis on the road not in hiding...

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One more issue. When you do show your car, stay with it and answer questions.

I know it sounds simple but some guys don't do it. At our recent SCDC meeting a member (with a lot of cars including an Avanti II) said he doesn't like people who "Sell" (not literally) their cars at shows.

To me it's just common sense to answer questions, especially with a little seen car like the Avanti.

Still, it takes all kinds.

Edited by J Boyle
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I've often found while at a car show, it's difficult to get away to see other cars due to answering questions about my Avanti. As others are very curious about it, I see no reason not to talk Avantis up.

Then...there's always a few who try and impress me with their vast knowledge of Avantis...telling me that they were all built in Canada, had a Ford 289 engine, and came with turbochargers rather than superchargers. Those who know little or nothing about Avantis I'm more than happy to talk to and answer questions. Those that try and tell me I usually let them believe what they want...they're not interested in facts...only in showing their intellectual prowess...and smartening them up only creates problems in a public place.

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I've often found while at a car show, it's difficult to get away to see other cars due to answering questions about my Avanti. As others are very curious about it, I see no reason not to talk Avantis up.

Then...there's always a few who try and impress me with their vast knowledge of Avantis...telling me that they were all built in Canada, had a Ford 289 engine, and came with turbochargers rather than superchargers. Those who know little or nothing about Avantis I'm more than happy to talk to and answer questions. Those that try and tell me I usually let them believe what they want...they're not interested in facts...only in showing their intellectual prowess...and smartening them up only creates problems in a public place.

You're absolutely right! These people you have to just let talk. One tried to tell me about a "Cadillac Avanti"...huh? I just smiled and nodded my head, "I'm not gonna change this guy's mind!" kept running through my head. He was pleasant enough, but obviously dead wrong. I tried to explain it might have been a dealership thing, but he would have none of it! So like I said, I just nodded my head. On the other hand, there are people quite interested in the car. When I show it, I prop up a copy of the original invoice against the spare tire. This minimal bit of information is quite popular, most people are impressed by the price of the car in 1989. I guess what I'm saying is Gunslinger, you're right. Show it, stay with it, be personable, friendly. Learn 'em as best we can!
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I like to tell the Avanti story. I guess folks who attend car shows should be interested. OTOH one can waste a lot of time talking to people who have no continuing interest or influence over what happens to our Avantis. My suggestion is to put a FOR SALE sign with a price to weed out those of little interest. (Price should be high enough so no one makes an offer!)

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I like to tell the Avanti story. I guess folks who attend car shows should be interested. OTOH one can waste a lot of time talking to people who have no continuing interest or influence over what happens to our Avantis. My suggestion is to put a FOR SALE sign with a price to weed out those of little interest. (Price should be high enough so no one makes an offer!)

LOL!! You're right, there's a lot of waste of good air talking up our cars. That's the price we pay. As far as price, let's say you put an outrageously priced sale out...and it was accepted! What would you do then? I know I've asked this question before, but I think it's something we should consider.
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If it were $10K more than I had "invested" in the car I would sell it. 'Love' is a many splendoured thing...

Although I have a little more invested in my baby, I don't know what I'd do. If someone offered 2-3 times what I paid, I'd have to consider. Thinking about it, twice the price would not be enough. My baby means too much to me to let it go so cheaply. Unfortunately, right now, this is an exercise in fantasy. But not for long!!!
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  • 2 weeks later...

I was going to drive my baby to work this morning, but they talked about rain so I decided against it. After work, though, was another story! The afternoon was beautiful. Medium warm temps, bright sunshine, and a slight breeze. Perfect!! So me and DW fired my baby up. I tried to get as much exposure as possible. Going along well traveled roads, the highway, to show it's power, and along the parking lot where I work. It was an extended ride. One of the longest I've taken. Maybe it's me, but my baby seemed to run better the more I drove it...it seemed happy

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Gunny,

I agree with your astute comments. (Makes me astute too.)

I have tried to communicate this to AOAI president Steve James along with my offer to help with association "marketing". So far no acknowledgement. Far as I can tell there is no plan that would try to change your picture. There may be organizational issues as well.

Comes down to 'communication' within and outside our "cultish" Avanti community.

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The reason we may seem insular, or as you say "cultish" is that right now, we're in an echo chamber. Yammering amongst our selves. We know we have to expose our cars to the public, Showing your car is a great idea, we should continue to do it. But we need more power, more oomph behind us. Perhaps a concerted campaign by the Association to open people's eyes could be the spearhead of a "brand recognition" this car deserves. Preaching to the choir, whether here or in print is not enough. The echoes only go so far.

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