Sunday, May 27, 2007

Rarest of Avanti's a lot of Avanti history.. what really stuck in my mind from this source was the poor quality of the Studebaker Avanti's.

The Avanti II; which was made by a the Altman / Newman organization - the Avanti Motor Corporation, which surprisingly in view of Stdebakers failure, always ran in the black (financially) and sold every car they made, with no dealerships!

"By the 1970s, Avanti Motor Corporation was perhaps the only significant auto maker in the world with virtually no dealers, and very little in the way of active marketing--and still sold all the cars it could produce. "

1967 Avanti II cost $8500 significantly more than a Corvette at the time.

So why show you pictures of this particular Avanti? Not because I couldn't take better pictures outdoors of another... but because this is a one of one. Supercharged? Yup. This is one of the Granatelli Avanti's that went to Bonneville and set a speed record. It was nicknamed "The White Wheel" Whic annoyed some manager (whose name I can't recall) who had it repainted red, just to get rid of the nickname!

Notice the unusual hood. Not found on any other Avanti's photo's I found on the internet.

"Incredibly, the Studebaker board approved the Avanti's construction five weeks after the Loewy team began work on the new car. No American automaker--even Studebaker--had ever worked so fast to build a car, let alone such an advanced one. But desperate Egbert didn't know any better because he had no auto company experience.

The Avanti got a fiberglass body because Studebaker couldn't afford the tooling for a steel body. Using fiberglass also made it easier to make the rakish body with all its sensuous curves.

The Avanti's price was held to $4,445--about the price of the less practical two-seat Chevrolet Corvette--because Studebaker used many items from its parts bin. They included its venerable V-8 and a rugged convertible chassis, which was beefed up to provide sharp handling.

The supercharger came from auto race car builder Andy Granatelli's Paxton supercharger company, which Studebaker acquired."