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Avanti Stinger...


Gunslinger
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Mr. Altman was a beekeeper. It was there he got the design for soapbox derby Avanti. Mohammed Ali later adopted it as his theme. The automotive world was buzzing and the pugilistic world puzzling.

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Since no one has come close I'll let everyone in on this...it may (or may not confirm) an Avanti II rumor or myth...

1969-Avanti-II-Stinger-Ad_zps14746012.jp

I don't know what news source this came from or the date but can give an educated guess as to the time frame. It sure appears Nate Altman intended to make a special order Avanti among all Avantis which were special order. This must be dated about 1970 as that's the model year Avanti first began installing 350 engines. The "Stinger" edition refers to the "350-cubic-inch Corvette maximum performance engine" which must refer to the 370 horsepower, solid lifter LT-1 which was being installed in Corvettes and Camaros as well as over-the-counter in Chevy dealerships. The LT-1 was also introduced in the 1970 model year and ran through 1972.

I think we've all heard rumors about seemingly mythical Avantis factory equipped with LT-1 engines, though I've never actually seen one or documentation for one. This may well be the evidence that LT-1 Avantis actually were built or at least were planned by Avanti Motors. Nate Altman always seemed more concerned with the whole Avanti package and less with pure performance, but this shows he wanted to build a performance version factory Avanti as well.

Were any of these Avanti Stingers ever built? I don't know. If they were built, did the production orders have a notation of that name? Was the "Stinger" edition name only listed on the sales invoice? Did any "Stinger" models, if any were built, have a higher red line tach as the LT-1 engine carried a 6500 rpm red line. Also in Corvettes and Camaros no a/c was available with the LT-1 engine due to fears the high revving would throw the a/c belts off. A/C was available on '72 LT-1 cars but sported a lower, 5600 rpm red line tach (only about 240 cars came that way). Did Avanti Motors address that lack of a/c with those cars possibly produced by making a/c not available with them?

Like I said...this really floored me when I discovered this news release. It possibly answers some questions but brings up even more. Unless someone has copies of factory documentation regarding this...memos between Nate Altman and Gene Hardig for instance or Charles Solliday (Avanti sales manager) regarding this. There may not have been written notes regarding it...it could merely have been done verbally between them. It was a small concern and formal minutes may not have been taken outside of formal corporate meetings and required for legal reasons.

The only way this might be answered (maybe) would be to review every production order for every Avanti II beginning in 1970 when the 350 engines were installed in Avantis. Notations would presumably have been on build sheets to show what engines were installed with 4-speed cars. It may not have "Stinger" noted on the production sheet but engine numbers would give what kind of 350 engine would have been installed. Holley carburetors would have been factory equipment on LT-1 engines as well. The production sheet would also note the performance exhaust system, Twin Traction rear and other special, dedicated items.

In 1973 the LT-1 was replaced by the hydraulic-lifter L-82 which became the top horsepower small block. Were any of these installed in Avantis?

Outside of this, I've never heard any mention of a special "Stinger" model...not in advertising, the AOAI or SDC forums...no mention anywhere.

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