Sunday, January 29, 2017

Avanti by Avanti

What is it with Pennsylvania and the Avanti? I have seen exactly 4 Avantis in my adulthood and 3 of them were in PA (the other is behind a chain link fence somewhere near JFK that I saw from the back of a passing cab). Regardless much thanks to Sarah from Everywhere for sending these pics a few months back:
This is a 1965-1981 Avanti II in some sort of red. The Avanti started life as a swan song for the ailing Studebaker company designed by the legendary Raymond Loewy. As beautiful and groundbreaking as the Avanti was it couldn't stop Studebaker from folding. However a couple of local Studebaker dealers bought all the tooling, production space, and manufacturing rights to the Avanti from the defunct company in order to continue making the car. This is an example of one of those post-Studebaker Avanti IIs.
Outwardly it is very difficult to tell the difference between the original and an Avanti II. The area surrounding the fuel filler door is pretty nasty on this ride. However if this was a Studebaker it would have a square chrome emblem on the sail panel in front of that door.
Aye aye Cap't! Awesome Skipper hat from Gilligan's Island on the back deck.
The Avanti emblem is taking the place of the Studebaker one on the original.
The interior is on the far end of salvageable in this ride. When dealing with white or cream colored leather it's easy to allow filth to penetrate, especially when you're resting a spare wheel on the seat! What are you thinking Avanti owner? Unfortunately I've run across so many cool older cars that were obviously owned by a mechanic who thought nothing of driving in grease covered work clothes.
Even in this forlorn condition roosting in the yard this is a beautiful car. The Avanti II came with either a Chevy 327, 400, 350, or 305 V8 (in that order over the years from '65-'81). The chassis was a Studebaker design through the early '80s. Obviously an original Studebaker would be the most valuable but if you can score one of these in running condition you'd be guaranteed to have to coolest ride on the block.

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