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mfg

First Avanti I Ever Saw!

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mfg    0

l clearly remember the very first '63 Avanti I ever saw. It was delivered to my local Studebaker dealer in Brockton, Massachusetts. The specifics of that Avanti were.....Avanti Gold, R2, 4 speed trans, Firestone '500' whitewalls, and an orange and fawn 'Deluxe' interior. The crew from the Studebaker garage constantly 'road tested' (hot-rodded) that Avanti around town, and with its 'nose down' mean shape and 'straight through' glasspack exhaust system....it left quite an impression on me.

Does anyone else on this forum remember the very first Avanti they ever saw? Comments welcome!

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plwindish    0

I was a freshman in high school on a field trip to the Farm Progress Show in Morton IL September 1962. Studebaker had a tent with several cars and trucks with at least 1 Avanti being the centerpiece of the display. It made such an impression on me that in April 1966 I bought a '64 round headlight Black R 1 with 5000 miles on it from our local Studebaker/Dodge dealer.

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GAWen    0

I will never forget the first Avanti I saw in person. It was just after the New York world's Fair, I was working at Catanese Brothers Studebaker in Russellton, Pa. The car carriers called a strike and the drivers were instructed to drop their loads at the nearest dealership. The carrier dropped off a Champagne with Elk interior, 1963 R2, 4 speed, P/S, P/B. The person (Henry) who bought that car, had a deposit on a 1963 Daytona R-2 4 speed Convertible, which he immediately transferred to the Avanti. Henry drove the Avanti like he stole it. Always pedal to the fiberglass. Within the first 18 months of ownership he destroyed the original engine, then the original supercharger, and then the 4:10 rear end. Paxton sent us a new R-2 engine, and a new R-3 supercharger. The rear axel I found in our wrecking yard (a 3:55 TT).

George

RQB 1600

Edited by GAWen

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Pat K    0

I never saw one in person in 62-63 but seeing the pics and reading about the performance, I was in love and vowed I would own one some day. I had an opportunity to buy one from a Dr. in Kirkland WA for $3500 IN '67, but that was way out of my league (I was making $500/month back then). So the dream had to be put away - until last year. 50 years later, there is a black '85 in my life. I have about 10 years left before my kids take my keys away from me, so I am going out, in style.

Pat K

RQB 4143

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mfg    0

Yes, Studebaker Avantis were like the '55-'57 two seater T-Birds in that respect. They never really sold cheap. When a nice '56 Ford sedan could be had for a few hundred dollars, a '56 T-bird would bring a couple thousand. When a nice, low mileage '64 Studebaker sedan could be bought for five hundred bucks, a '64 Avanti would bring $2500-3000.00. (I'm speaking of the '65-'70 era here!)

Edited by mfg

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Gunslinger    0

I honestly cannot remember the first Avanti I ever saw...just that I've always been hot for them. I was ten when the Avanti came out in '62 but my first memory was reading an ad for plastic models. I was big on building models back then...cars, planes, ships, etc. I don't remember if the ad I saw (I believe in a comic book) was for AMT or Aurora, as they each built Avanti models. In the ad for several cars in their line it had a line drawing saying "The Great Avanti". I've never forgotten that and lusted after Avantis ever since.

As I said, I can't remember the first real Avanti I ever saw. I do know that a fellow in the town where I live owned a '67 Avanti II...I saw it in his carport every time I went by his house. As a matter of fact, I ended up meeting his daughter and dated her for a while way back when...though her dad owning the Avanti was a side benefit, not the reason I asked her out. Some years after that when I was working in an auto center, her dad drove in one day and I sold him a battery for his Avanti. By then, his car, while mechanically very good, suffered from bad lacquer checking of the paint. And even just a few years ago, I ran into someone who saw my Avanti and told me owns one...the very same '67 I knew from years before. He bought from the fellow I knew who was elderly and ill and really didn't want to part with the car but he couldn't drive anymore. The fellow who purchased it had plans to do some big modifications to the car but I've not run into him since so I don't know the status of the car.

The first Avanti I ever drove was one for sale by Roger Penn, a long-time Avanti dealer in Northern Virginia. This was about 1973. He was advertising a '63 and I wanted to see it. It was a nice base model...automatic transmission but little else. The asking price, while reasonable, was simply more than a full-time college student could afford at the time. What I didn't realize (and Roger Penn didn't either when I saw him a few years ago), was that Avanti was one of the few prototype cars. When about three years later when I bought my first Avanti, I became voracious at learning everything I could about them and their history (some was myth as later research showed). From what I read, the prototype cars had the rear view mirror mounted in a ball-socket on the dash...production cars had mirrors mounted on the windshield. This car had the mirror mounted on the dash. I remember that clearly as my dad once owned a '61 Chrysler New Yorker that was like that. I could have owned a prototype Avanti and never knew it...I would have found the money somehow to buy it, but that's hindsight.

But as I said...I cannot for the life of me remember the first actual Avanti I ever saw then the plastic model kits.

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PackardV8    0

At Vines Motors in Bessemer, AL, fall of 1963, a white car with black interior. I still think it's one of the classic body designs of all time.

jack vines

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mfg    0

The Brockton, Mass Studebaker dealership I mentioned above only delivered one other new Avanti,...but this one was cut from a different cloth than the gold Avanti I described in my post #1. This one was 'Avanti White', with a turquoise and fawn 'Regal' interior, R1 engine, auto trans, quiet exhaust system. I remember the front buckets were covered in clear plastic from the factory to keep them 'as new'. That White '63 Avanti sat in the showroom only a few days before it was delivered to its first owner.

Edited by mfg

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jvespey    0

First Avanti I ever saw in person was at the factory in the summer of 1984 - http://avanti4245.wordpress.com/2012/09/

I had learned about the car from a book titled "Elite Cars" that was given to me by my brother when I was 14. It must have had an effect on me as looking at it now I have owned or own several of the cars featured in this book!

First Avanti I drove was RQB-3515 - at the time (2000? 2002?) it was for sale on eBay just across the river from St. Louis in Illinois. Came close enough that I bought the build sheet for it from Nostalgic - which I still have in my files here. In the end, I remember it not being exactly what I wanted in terms of color combination so I passed on it.

I notice that the car is listed on Bob Johnstone's registry as listed on Ebay in 2007 with lower mileage and a different history than I was told at the time...wonder where it is now?

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First Avanti (II) I ever saw was my gramdfather's and the same one that now resides in my garage. :-)

Amazing I had never seen another one in person until this year when I met some more local avanti owners.

I've spotted a few in the background on TV before. I keep hoping they'll do an Avanti on overhaulin. An Avanti II would be perfect for the show because there are plenty of parts available and they can use a chevy crate motor and transmission. I would love to see Chip Fooses version of and avanti.

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Pat K    0

Let me know if Chip, or one of the other auto shows that have become so popular, decides to overhaul an Avanti.

I wouldn't want to miss it.

But seriously, what could any of those guys do that would improve Avanti's already perfect look?

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mfg    0

The nicest 'custom' '63 Avanti I've seen was done many years ago by a gent named Tom Tomkins. It was painted a medium gold and had subtle body mods, such as mud guards moulded into the fenders, and european headlamps moulded into the front panel. It was shown at many auto shows in the New England area. Unfortunately, the car was later stolen and subsequently burnt.

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GlennW    0

Can't remember if it was in '63 or '64 or had round/rectangular headlamp bezels but mine was a white w/ black interior. Walked to grade school in Port Chester, NY (1½ miles, uphill each way ☺)and a kid in my class got a ride to school from his mom or dad every day. If I was still a block or two from the school when that fine white car went by, I knew it was time to start running. I knew I would own one some day...and a '64 Riviera......and a '67 Mustang 2+2 and...

Edited by GlennW

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bigdaddy    0

My first look at an Avanti was the summer of '63. I was in our front yard with my Dad, ('50 Bullet nose in the driveway). We lived about 1/2 block from a Stude dealership, "Harry Smith Motors", Jerseyville, Il. As my Dad and I were talking, I heard what sounded like a jet taking off. As we both turned to see what in the world was happening, I saw my first Avanti. This guy left the dealership so fast that all I saw was a red streak. I do remember that it was a 4 speed R2.

My Dad said that he would own an Avanti some day, but never did. I've owned a couple Studebakers over the years, but always wanted an Avanti. A few years ago I told my wife that an Avanti was on my Bucket list, found mine in South Bend, In. It's a '63 R1. I also have a 1928 chevy coupe (streetrod) and a 1935 Ford (streetrod). I've redone many cars in my life, but this Avanti restoration is for my Dad, who introduced me to "Studebakers".

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mfg    0

My first look at an Avanti was the summer of '63. I was in our front yard with my Dad, ('50 Bullet nose in the driveway). We lived about 1/2 block from a Stude dealership, "Harry Smith Motors", Jerseyville, Il. As my Dad and I were talking, I heard what sounded like a jet taking off. As we both turned to see what in the world was happening, I saw my first Avanti. This guy left the dealership so fast that all I saw was a red streak. I do remember that it was a 4 speed R2.

My Dad said that he would own an Avanti some day, but never did. I've owned a couple Studebakers over the years, but always wanted an Avanti. A few years ago I told my wife that an Avanti was on my Bucket list, found mine in South Bend, In. It's a '63 R1. I also have a 1928 chevy coupe (streetrod) and a 1935 Ford (streetrod). I've redone many cars in my life, but this Avanti restoration is for my Dad, who introduced me to "Studebakers".

Great story!

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gold63    0

Didn't know what an Avanti was til the spring of 1982. My Uncle Ted was always an avid sports car collector and I went after graduation to CA to work with him.

After giving me the house tour and of my living quarters, we stepped into the garage and there was 63R1135. WOW! What a car! He had a lot of other cars through the years but that car was "a keeper".

He commented on the fact that this car was different from the everyday run of the mill vehicles out there, and he liked getting noticed in a car that not too many people had.

I was already a car/pickup nut and this just fueled my love for classics.

Some years later I was able to acquire it from him as he couldn't drive anymore. Whenever he flew back to NE I would pick him up at the airport in the Avanti so he could ride in it again. I always felt very honored that out of all my cousins and relations that I was the one that he trusted to take care of it and keep in the family.

The car had 34K when I got it, now has 89K. I have driven it more miles than he did. My children have grown up with it, is part of the family, and definitely is "a keeper".

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mfg    0

Didn't know what an Avanti was til the spring of 1982. My Uncle Ted was always an avid sports car collector and I went after graduation to CA to work with him.

After giving me the house tour and of my living quarters, we stepped into the garage and there was 63R1135. WOW! What a car! He had a lot of other cars through the years but that car was "a keeper".

He commented on the fact that this car was different from the everyday run of the mill vehicles out there, and he liked getting noticed in a car that not too many people had.

I was already a car/pickup nut and this just fueled my love for classics.

Some years later I was able to acquire it from him as he couldn't drive anymore. Whenever he flew back to NE I would pick him up at the airport in the Avanti so he could ride in it again. I always felt very honored that out of all my cousins and relations that I was the one that he trusted to take care of it and keep in the family.

The car had 34K when I got it, now has 89K. I have driven it more miles than he did. My children have grown up with it, is part of the family, and definitely is "a keeper".

That's a great story!

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wopony12    0

I do not remember when I saw my first Avanti. I do remember when I drove my first one. In the summer of 1964,as a kid of 17, Chuck Gross, owner of D D Gross Studebaker in Moline, Ohio let me drive a red 64 R2 4 speed. I wanted one since that day. At the time I had a 58 Silver Hawk. Before I was 20 years old I had also owned a 58 Golden Hawk, 58 Packard Hawk and a 63 R1 Hawk. But, never an Avanti. I always used to look and see what was for sale. With raising 3 kids and other things, the Avanti wasn't possible. All I could do was think and dream of one. I told my wife this story in Feb. She said to go for it. I started showing her pictures of ones for sale and kept looking. One day when she came home form work she saw me sitting in a chair in the middle of the driveway. She asked why I was sitting in the middle of the driveway. I said I'm waiting for the carrier to come around the corner with my Avanti. My wife went in the house and returned with the camera and waited for the carrier to come around the corner with me. I now own a 1987 Avanti (#51) once owned by John Seaton and the steering wheel signed by M E Kelly. Dreams do come true.

When my wife takes a spin with me and people point and stare, she always says, you like that don't ya. My reply is always yea.

During this 50 year period there were many times I gave up hope of owning one, but always keep dreaming. I am amazed at how many people do know what it is and it always draws a lot of lookers at shows or cruise ins.

post-10960-0-08568500-1410380808_thumb.jpg

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mfg    0

Your '87 Avanti is pristine!...Great story...and I think that there were several of us driving Hawks and Larks in that '63-'72 time period who lusted after an Avanti, but never could quite afford to buy one. I know that I was a member of that group!

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Devildog    0

I was a freshman in high school on a field trip to the Farm Progress Show in Morton IL September 1962. Studebaker had a tent with several cars and trucks with at least 1 Avanti being the centerpiece of the display. It made such an impression on me that in April 1966 I bought a '64 round headlight Black R 1 with 5000 miles on it from our local Studebaker/Dodge dealer.

I was at the same Farm Progress Show and saw the Avanti. I thought how can anyone earn enough money to buy a car like the Avanti, seemed impossible at age 15 to go from a John Deere R to an Avanti R2

Joe

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boogieman    0

I was a junior in high school in '64 -'65. There was a brother and sister,

Billy and Cindy Smith, who's dad owned the local import car market, namely Renaults,

Jags, and the like. Snuffy Smith Motors to be exact.

I was very familiar with the Avanti being an avid reader of everything

automotive, Motor Trend, Car and Driver, Hot Rod, etc.

Coming back after Christmas, the first week of January '65, the "gear heads", like me,

were stunned at what pulled into the parking lot.

Billy led the procession in his new '64 Red Avanti with white interior and

immediately behind him was his sister in her new White with red interior Avanti.

Both identically equipped with automatics, R1 engines, A/C, full power equipment, hard loaded.

Needless to say those cars made my '62 Sport Fury Hardtop look slow and dowdy in comparison.

Never imagined that someday I would own one too. But the seed was planted.

I still have vivid memories of that day.

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mfg    0

Slightly off topic, but a Stude buddy of mine owns an unusual Avanti which he purchased back around '67. The Grossman Building Materials Company here in Massachusetts purchased several new Studebaker cars and trucks to be used as company vehicles in 1963...including a couple of Avantis. My friend owns one of these '63 Avantis. it's been off the road since he purchased it in '67, and has very few miles on it. What's really unusual about this Avanti is the exterior color applied in '63, after Grossman's purchased it. Grossman company colors were orange and white, so this originally 'Avanti White' car was painted a bright orange color EXCEPT for a white 'racing stripe' area left on the raised section of the hood, over the roof panel, and down the trunk lid! The front header panel also had an area left white which aligns with the hood 'raised' section. Very unusual, and one could definitely see these 'Grossman Avantis' coming back in the day!

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mfg    0

As I mentioned in post #1, the very first Avanti I ever saw 'in the flesh' was a gold R2 model...and their is something else I recall about this car...Today, when one looks under the hood of an R2 powered Avanti, one most always sees the Paxton Supercharger painted a bright 'Chevy Orange'. (My own car is this way) But when these cars were brand new, as that gold R2 was back in '63, the superchargers definitely left the factory painted gloss black...Not as 'flashy' as orange...but black was 'original'.

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mfg    0

I remember the very first 'Avanti ll' I saw........It was in 1967, and was a brand new car ordered by a friend of mine (and Studebaker fan) Paul Savard.

At the time Paul owned a couple of very nice Studebaker Avantis, and when he learned about the 'new' Avanti ll, he had to have one.

He took me for a ride in the car, which was painted a dark green metallic, with a lighter green fabric & vinyl interior....I remember thinking how 'new' that Avanti smelt!

That Avanti unfortunately developed a serious electrical problem shortly after Paul purchased it...resulting in some burnt wiring.

I remember that the Avanti factory people shipped Paul a new wiring harness, and paid for a local (Brockton, Mass) electrical shop (Myron Oberg's) to do the install.

Everything worked out just fine!!...Ed

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