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A couple of nice (and not very expensive) upgrades for an Avanti...


Gunslinger
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I've found that after having been spoiled by newer cars that have an integrated center armrest between the seats that my right arm just kind of hangs there uncomfortably when enjoying my Avanti. There's also the very real chance of damaging the paint under the fuel filler with the fuel nozzle at a gas station. I decided to do something about each and neither solution was expensive nor took any kind of permanent alteration.

For the armrest issue, I found that the aftermarket armrest for a 3rd generation Corvette fits just fine. I have a '69 Corvette and tried the armrest I had for that and it fit well. I ordered an armrest for a '78 Corvette from Corvette Central as it was the only year that had a close color match. While not an exact match, it works well and is, as they say...close enough for government work. It's close enough that there's no reason to have it covered by exact matching vinyl (the armrest I purchased is leather).

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Now, this will only work with '63-'75 Avantis as in 1976 the parking brake was moved to that location and eliminated the console storage. This armrest simply wedges in between the seat backs and lifts out for console compartment access or judging in shows if that matters. The cost was about $75...vinyl armrests are less expensive. Simply go to a Corvette supplier website (I used Corvette Central) and look at their C3 section and browse the different years for the correct color you might want. There may or may not be an exact or close color match, but it's worth a look for more comfortable driving.

For the gas filler, from Corvette Central I purchased a rubber protector sheet made to fit a '78 Corvette...some earlier Corvettes used a large, racing style fuel inlet. This fits right around the filler neck and folds up neatly when the fuel door is closed. This does a lot to protect the paint from dings from a jostled gas nozzle and any spillage would likely land on this rather than the paint. If you have some sheet rubber or old inner tube lying around you can probably make it yourself, but for less than $10 I saw no reason to do it myself when I wouldn't be able to cut it as neatly as this.

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Great idea. My '79 has the Corvette style hand brake. I am going to take another fabrication class

this summer, and an upholstery class, so I can easily make an armrest base and padded cover to fit over

the handbrake and have some additional storage space too. Easily removable and being higher,

a place to actually rest my arm. Maybe even a tidy drink holder too.

I don't use the handbrake anyway. Texas be flat!

Great idea Gunslinger.

By the way, excelent interior.

Boogieman

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Boogieman...if you check the classifieds in Avanti Magazine you'll find that one of the members already makes and sells an armrest for cars with the parking brake lever installed between the seats. You might check that out first.

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There's no online version. I looked it up and the email contact is <northeastavanti@aol.com> or the phone number is 401-965-1341 in the evenings for information or pics. The ad says the armrest is mounted on a hinge and flips up for access to the parking brake handle.

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I have one of these armrests from "northeastavanti@aol.com" in my car. Super happy with it. This is some sort of imported car console that the seller modifies slightly and fabs up a special bracket. I got mine from him in the velour material as he acquired it and then had my local trim shop re-upholster it in a blue that looked close. The flash in these photos really makes the blue look brighter than in it is real life.

https://plus.google.com/photos/102481779718767426915/albums/6015658376191253905?authkey=CIOMkeTA5Z7yrAE

Installation was straightforward and all hardware is included along with photos and instructions.I highly recommend it.

James

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Gunny,

Both items are good ideas. My 76 did come with a black vinyl flap glued to the body the folds up over the gas cap, completely storing inside the gas door. I re-glued it several times before gluing and screwing it in place, providing much needed protection for the fender while filling. The Corvette armrest pad is much more compact than the accessory that Avanti Motors used in the 70's for an arm rest in the front or back seat area.

I also had gotten the arm rest from Northeast Avanti after seeing one in a car at the Colorado Springs meet last year. I still have the original Acorn vinyl interior in my '76 and my upholstery shop found some vinyl that was a really close match. They replaced three sections in the seats that were cracked and perforated due to being used as a cat scratching area as well as covering the arm rest and everything turned out great. I have a nonpermanent solution for the cup holder the has a long side that slides between the passenger seat and console, resting against the side of the arm rest for stability. It can easily be removed for a passenger as it does take up some space needed for more full figured people.

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