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First Avanti I Ever Saw!


mfg
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I never really liked the Avanti that much. I saw them in books etc but they never really appealed to me. Then in the early 90's I saw a friends 63 (R4) and I was in shock.

It was beautiful, I couldn't look at it enough. I couldn't  believe how modern it looked and that it was the same car I saw in those books. I had to have one from that point on.

I figured that maybe Avanti's aren't that photogenic and really need to be seen in the raw to get a full appreciation.

pb

 

Edited by 1963r2
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  • 3 weeks later...

Summer of 1963 I was a teenage caddy at the Evanston Golf Club in Illinois.  There it was in the parking lot, my dream car, a turquoise Avanti - Big round headlights and everything! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The first Avanti that I saw was the first one delivered to the local Avanti dealer - Knight's Garage, Wappingers Falls, NY.  They wouldn't let others drive the car.  A friend of mine, that had a Corvette and a good job as an engineer, was interested in buying an Avanti.  They took him for a ride in it, but they would not let him drive it.  He went off and bought a new Corvette.  He is still a strong Chevrolet man

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9 hours ago, studegary said:

The first Avanti that I saw was the first one delivered to the local Avanti dealer - Knight's Garage, Wappingers Falls, NY.  They wouldn't let others drive the car.  A friend of mine, that had a Corvette and a good job as an engineer, was interested in buying an Avanti.  They took him for a ride in it, but they would not let him drive it.  He went off and bought a new Corvette.  He is still a strong Chevrolet man

Definitely a mistake not letting him drive the Avanti!....With a salesman in the car with him, I don't see a problem.

Bad 'salesmanship' I'd say!

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  • 1 month later...

I was about 12 years old either late 1962 or early 1963.  I got my great uncle to take me to the Studebaker dealer in National City (in the San Diego area).  I was trying to convince him to buy one.  It was white with orange interior.  My uncle was a GM guy having owned Oldsmobiles, Chevy's and a Buick.  I was not able to convince him to buy a Studebaker!

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  • 3 months later...

Besides the Revell model kit I built as a kid in the 70s, the first real Avanti I even saw was a 63 Avanti abandoned on Pearl Harbor Naval Station in the early eighties.

I was stationed at Submarine Base PH on the USS Tautog, when I drove over to the 'surface' side of the base where they parked the big grey targets. 

Over near the shipyard was a very sad looking red Avanti sitting on the ground with no wheels. It had been there so long that it had become fenced in at the intersection of three chain link fences, so you couldn't get very close to it.

No idea on the back story for the car or whatever became of it.

Sad.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I remember the day.  It was Denver, Colorado.  1970.  It was a white Avanti, you know the white, like a cloud color but this was like no cloud I ever saw.

There it was, parked alongside a radiator shop, or maybe an auto electric place or an alignment business, it was always that kind of place that seemed to attract this kind of a car;  they would be on the side or in the back, patiently waiting for someone or something.  Sometimes they never moved, and years later the place goes away along with the cars, and  you wonder, what happened....

A DAF, or Simca, or ancient Renault, an Arnolt-Bristol under a torn tarp,  a Bradley GT with a Porsche motor that never ran, the kind of place that maybe had a "Muffler Man" standing tall outside;  those places always had these cars

Of course, it was in better shape than the rest, someone loved it--maybe the owner got it for a song--transmission blowout--financial blowout.  I asked my dad as my stare went from the tail to the amazing front end--Dad what is that?  And his reply, that is an Avanti son!

It was no bubblegum baseball cards, or Eldon slot car racing, or GI Joe adventures for me after school the next day, it was library time and a book called World Cars or something--Every make had an entry, and of course, there was the famous slanted picture of another white Avanti, and I was more amazed than when I found out that Checker made regular cars, or that Porsche and Volkswagen were related, or that there was a GTO Ferrari and not just a Pontiac.  It needed no explanation for what it was, it was simply that, an Avanti.

My mind flashed back to that for years, the grey sky day, the white building with the whiter Avanti, it sitting there, passerby's not knowing what was right there, that car that looked like nothing else and I got to see it and I knew where it was, and what it was.

That's the first time I saw one.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I too "discovered" the Avanti on a plastic model box. The model was in a boardwalk store at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on a rainy afternoon in 1975...being born in 1965, I was not too aware of Studebakers when I was 9 or 10 years old in the1970's. That AMT box changed that. I saw my first Avanti in person later that summer in a parking lot near Foscone's Go-Karts in Reading, PA. It was a black early Avanti II with wide rear tires and a rear suspension that had been "jacked up" to give the car a pronounced forward rake. I didn't come to know the Avanti II story until a little later when a neighbor's dad with a used book hobby/business sold me a copy of the Automobile Quarterly issue that featured Studebaker and had an article on Newman and Altman.

After that I was different, my friends liked Mustangs and Corvettes, I liked Avantis.

Edited by drn1965
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  • 1 month later...

I'll never forget the first Studebaker Avanti I saw.It was January 1969,I was 12 years old attending Conniston Jr. High School in West Palm Beach,Florida.The band teacher bought a used 1963 R1,white with tangerine and fawn interior,a/c and power windows and brakes.Seeing that gorgeous,unique car, it was love at first sight! I became obsessed,and read everything that I could find that had been written about the car,even writing to Avanti Motors,and receiving a nice informational packet from Charles Solliday containing the "Avanti Still Means Forward" article(the packet,of course,I still have!).Fortunately,I had selected band class as an elective,and when the band performed elsewhere,and we had to caravan to our destination,the band teacher,knowing how crazy I was for an Avanti,always made sure I was a passenger in his Avanti.Riding my bike home from school one afternoon,I spotted another Avanti,and I rode as fast as I could to catch up to the car,yelling for the driver to stop so I could see another gorgeous Avanti-he must have thought I was crazy.Fortunately,he stopped,and I got the chance to see his (also) white with tangerine and fawn interior,automatic with a/c car, and talk Avanti with him.It turned out that Fred was a Studebaker man,and,when production ceased in South Bend,he knew what a special car the Avanti was,and realized he better seek and find an unsold new Avanti from a Studebaker dealer. Fred's driver was a black '62 G.T Hawk,so the Avanti was purchased for his wife Connie.The car was always garaged and babied,and used sparingly. Fred was fairly impressed with my knowledge about the Avanti,and he and I became friends, always keeping in touch over all these years.I got a call from Fred in 2008,telling me that he was turning 80 and it that was time for him to let go of the Avanti.He went on to explain that he had had lots of people wanting to buy the car over the years,but he had decided a long time ago that there was only one person who would end up with the car.Unbeknownst over all those years,that person was me!.Fred and Connie's Avanti has been treasured by me for the last 9 years,and I periodically stop by to see Fred,and we'll go to lunch in "our" car.When I look down at the plaque that reads "Avanti-Expressly Built for Fred and Connie Splain"-I know things are just how they're supposed to be!!

Edited by murph the surf
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