: Avanti!



I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-21-12, 11:52 PM
Can we show some love for the 1963-64 Studebaker Avanti?!

I remember going to my grandpa's house when I was a little kid and looking through his big automotive encyclopedia and stumbling across these and telling him that I thought the car looked backwards....the back looked like a front and the front looked like a back.

Recently, I stumbled across a picture of an Avanti and saw it's styling as a mid century American classic. It's SO Kennedy era it's not even funny and that's what I like about it now. Everything about the car was inspired by aircraft, from it's performance, to interior details like the overhead switches...it's such a neat car, kind of forgotten and passed over by cars from the big 3.

Has anyone driven one of these, have any experience with one?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1963-Avanti-R-2-Supercharged-4-speed-manual-Great-Condition-/150966805083?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item232652a25b#ht_24782wt_1167

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/$(KGrHqZHJ!4E+OP9bW6mBQD(m40W(!~~_4.JPG

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/$(KGrHqJ,!owF!G((kJBbBQD(nGZfHw~~_4.JPG

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/$(KGrHqF,!qcE-+kNsFHbBQD(rUjUvg~~_4.JPG


http://i.ebayimg.com/00/$(KGrHqR,!rIE+8cTtSiEBQD(upKnFw~~_4.JPG
(http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1963-Avanti-R-2-Supercharged-4-speed-manual-Great-Condition-/150966805083?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item232652a25b#ht_24782wt_1167)

talismandave
12-22-12, 12:02 AM
Just another story of a car ahead of it's day. When you compare them to every other offering of those years, it stretches the imagination that it came from an American company. The work of an american master designer that unfortunately worked for an underfunded floundering company. It would look at home parked next to supercars of the day.

thebigjimsho
12-22-12, 12:17 AM
Nope, no love from me...

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-22-12, 12:22 AM
Just another story of a car ahead of it's day. When you compare them to every other offering of those years, it stretches the imagination that it came from an American company. The work of an american master designer that unfortunately worked for an underfunded floundering company. It would look at home parked next to supercars of the day.

The story of the Avanti is fascinating.

To sum it up:

Studebaker was consistently losing market share since the early '50s, so in about 1958 a new CEO was hired, who secretly called on world known industrial designer Raymond Loewy to design a new sports car, to show the world that Studebaker wasn't going down without a fight. The whole car was designed and sent into production in record breaking time and was unlike anything else on the roads. It was built in '63 and '64, then discontinued. Shortly after, Studebaker folded up and the remains went into AMC, which soldered on until the Chrysler buyout in 1987.

vincentm
12-22-12, 12:24 AM
Nope, no love from me...

Ditto

talismandave
12-22-12, 12:46 AM
The Avanti lived on and off in a couple of companies that produced the into the 90's as hand built but they all kept going bust. The last one I remember was no longer the original design and was a Camaro that was re bodied to look like an Avanti IIRC.

101457


Here is a story about the undead Avanti...
http://www.startribune.com/autos/159788695.html?refer=y

77CDV
12-22-12, 01:58 AM
The Avanti was a very clean, contemporary design, probably one of Loewy's signature efforts other than the Coca-Cola bottle. I never warmed to them myself, but I can see how others would. Studebaker just didn't do great designs in the post-WWII era, starting with the 1947 Starlight coupe and the needle nosed front end. Another one that people asked "which way is it going?"

MrHolland
12-22-12, 09:02 AM
Eh,,,No.

orconn
12-22-12, 12:29 PM
The Avanti was a very clean, contemporary design, probably one of Loewy's signature efforts other than the Coca-Cola bottle. I never warmed to them myself, but I can see how others would. Studebaker just didn't do great designs in the post-WWII era, starting with the 1947 Starlight coupe and the needle nosed front end. Another one that people asked "which way is it going?"

Actually Studebaker did some great designs. The late forties "which way is it going" Studies were sales leaders in their price class. The pointed nose cars of 1950 and '51 were also very popular, especially the wrap around rear windowed coupes.

And the the 1953 Studebaker Starliner coupe was considered by many styling experts to be one of the finest designs of the 1950's.

101464


All of Studebaker's post World War II car designs (with maybe the exception of the Lark) came out of Raymond Loewy's design studios, not just the "Avanti." I had the opportunity to drive an Avanti in the early 1990's. To be honest i can't remember if it was a original Studebaker built car or one of the Chevy engined ones that came along from a later Avanti builder. I wasn't impressed, as it suffered from the all the "squeak and rattle" problems that early fiberglass cars like the Corvette suffered from. But as I said I don't know how old the Avanti I drove actually was, although it was in very nice shape. For me the Avant was a nice design poorly executed and belongs in the same pantheon as the coffin nose Cord, another Indiana product!

MotownPimp
12-22-12, 04:23 PM
I drove one. I almost bought one. Loved the look of it from the first time I saw it in 1962 or 63. It was between the Avanti and a T-Bird vert; both were about the same price. Chose the T-Bird because Studebaker's reputation was terrible. Plus I was always kind of a Ford guy.

I remember diddly squat about the test drive.

cadillac kevin
12-22-12, 04:31 PM
I saw an early 00s "avanti" (rebodied mustang) at a local car show (this would have been 5+ years ago). The owner got pissed off when I said it was obviously a rebodied mustang (it shared the entire interior, greenhouse, and I believe door skins with the early 00s mustang.

orconn
12-22-12, 05:38 PM
Nothing wrong with a "re bodied" something or other, after it's your money to spend anyway you want!

----------

Wise choice, Motown, my recollection of the early Avanti that were produced by Studebaker seemed more like "kit cars" than a production car from a major manufacturer. But they were good looking!

The Avanti advertised here appears to have been well massaged over the years, many of the fifties cars when owned for long periods of time by loving owners had their poor production defects and glitches corrected and today present a much better picture than they did on the showroom floor when they were new. I remember even in the early eighties going into an AMC showroom and looking at a Jeep Wagoneer and being shocked at door handles falling off and misaligned upholstery ... I never test drove the thing because it was so poorly put together. If you go back and read the road tests from and see the owner's complaints about their "new" cars (Cadillacs included) you will see a high percentage complaining about sloppy workmanship, parts missing, etc , etc .... even then they were moving the assembly lines too fast and the assembly workings were more interested in "what's for lunch" than taking "pride" in the quality of their workmanship!

The robots of today are doing a much better job of assembling our American cars today than they did in the much vaunted "Golden Age" of Detroit!

MotownPimp
12-22-12, 05:46 PM
My third option back then was a Vette. It was eliminated due to no back seat!

orconn
12-22-12, 05:58 PM
^^^ Again saved from a possible mistake, those early sixties Corvettes rattled and exhibited "cowl shake" like it was part of their design! Several of my friends had them and even on a smooth surface those Corvettes sounded like you were riding in a Conestoga wagon! Again great to look at not so hot to own and live with!

Koooop
12-22-12, 10:31 PM
^^^ Again saved from a possible mistake, those early sixties Corvettes rattled and exhibited "cowl shake" like it was part of their design! Several of my friends had them and even on a smooth surface those Corvettes sounded like you were riding in a Conestoga wagon! Again great to look at nots so hot to wn and live with!

You aren't kidding, my 69 Vette is the ultimate rattle box and it leaks wind and water.

But it looks so damn cool.

talismandave
12-22-12, 11:08 PM
My friend from school who had the family car collection had a 74 Vette that I borrowed a couple of times and the same was true for it.

Don't forget about the heat coming through the firewall and floor. No amount of air conditioning could make your legs or feet not be on fire! I always thought his was just a bad one but when I got older and met more people who owned them I learned it was just the way they were.

Beautiful, stupid fast, fun, but a pain to live with.(Insert girlfriend joke here.)

orconn
12-22-12, 11:21 PM
Ah, what we abide for beauty and our self image! But from what I hear from several of our young forum members ..... the younger generation isn't willing to put up with a lousy sound system, air conditioning in name only ..... and Lord forbid a manual transmission, or vinyl instead of "real" leather upholstery! However I have noticed that they are willing to put up with downright ugly automobiles!

talismandave
12-23-12, 12:00 AM
Ugly at least implies interesting, the cars today suffer a far worse affliction than ugly.....they are boring.
Not in speed or performance, but in design.
I find boring to be far more objectionable.

orconn
12-23-12, 12:40 AM
^^^ Touche, I tend to agree!

MotownPimp
12-23-12, 12:51 AM
Well, lo all these years later you guys have reinforced my choice in the T-Bird. The decision was based on looks & having a back seat for girls! Any mechanical/performances factors were a distant third!

Did buy a 64 BSA lightning for when the need for speed gripped me! It would clean the clock of anything on 4 wheels.

EChas3
12-23-12, 07:03 PM
Mechanically uninspired head-turner.

MotownPimp
12-23-12, 10:50 PM
The T-Bird, EC? Hey, the girls loved it; that's what counted.

gdwriter
12-24-12, 12:08 PM
The Avanti is interesting, but if I were in that market when the car came out, I'd be at the Buick dealership buying a Riviera.

thebigjimsho
12-24-12, 04:17 PM
Indeed.

MotownPimp
12-25-12, 04:00 PM
Yeah, thought about the Riveria as well. Same price range as others. Thing about the Avanti is that it looked so futuristic

02603sec
12-26-12, 11:54 AM
My next door neighbor, dr. C had a silver 63 avanti as well as a bright red 69 rs/ss convertible. He had lucky kids.

orconn
12-26-12, 12:01 PM
The Riviera would have been my choice too, unless I really wanted a convertible .... then an Olds Starfire convertible would have entered the picture!