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STUDEBAKER AVANTI

Hope I can get a lot of info on this once-great
name.I understand that AVANTI has had two
rebirts-once after the Studebaker operation shut
down (the car was made by Nathan Altman?)till the
late 70's.
Afetr his death, the plant was sold to another
entrepreneur, who ran it into the ground.
My question: who owns the righs to the name, and
any interest in revival of the marque?
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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,834
    I think your history is about right. Studebaker ditched the car in 1964, and two dealers took it over until 1982...then it went to someone I can't recall, and, as you said, was on the rocks by 1990.

    I don't see any future for a car like this. It's really of another era, and given the tremendous challenge of meeting current emissions, safety and
    fuel consumption requirements, and the need for more modern styling, I feel it would be a hopeless venture. Even the collectible car market is quite lukewarm to the Avanti, and it just hangs around the $12-15K mark year after year for restored cars--less than many far more common American cars of the era.The Avanti seems destined to a back shelf in automotive history as an interesting curiosity, like Delorean, etc...again a case of "what could have been" (another Corvette? an American BMW?), but seriously neglected in terms of technology and marketing by undercapitalized companies trying to survive.

    I think Avanti had its big chance in 1963 and blew it.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,691
    Just how long they lasted. I have to wonder just how many were sold in the later years?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,834
    They poked along with about 100 cars a year. The earlier ones were the best, being Corvette-powered with a respectable 300 HP. But as time went on, emissions requirements forced them to use the weaker GM powerplants and by the mid 1970s the Avanti II was a mere shadow of the hairy beasts that Andy Granatelli took to Bonneville in the 60s, when the hotter Avantis were still supercharged Studebakers. I think that near the end of the line the cars could barely top 115 mph.

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  • gkelly3gkelly3 Posts: 38
    Mr. Shiftright:
    a few years ago I was driving up Rt. 281 in western NJ, and spotted a Packard sign on an old factory building. I pulled off at the next exit, and found the place. Turns out it was owned by a nice old guy, who restores and supplies STUDEBAKER and PACKARD OEM parts. I forget his name, but believe the location is in BOONTON, NJ. He also had a number of FACEL-VEGAS as well. Is the PACKARD name owned by anyone at this point?
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,346
    I've passed that sign many times on 287 and never realized it was more than a curiousity! Guess I'll have to check it out!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,834
    I'm sure the Packard name is owned and technically, I think someone could force the gentleman to stop using it. But obviously nobody cares at this point. I think the logo is usually guarded more jealously than the name, when it comes to cars.

    I do know, for instance, if you hang a Porsche logo on your building, they'll be all over you like a cheap suit. And they won't be nice about it, either.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,691
    In downtown L.A. there was a Studebaker dealership that stayed in operation until at least the 80's. I don't know when or if it finally closed. It was Frost & French. Even though they didn't have any new Studebakers to sell, the parts and service departments were alive and well...busy! In 1973, I bought a PERFECT 55 Studebaker from an estate - 16,000 actual miles!! It had one problem, a broken door handle. Frost & French had dozens in stock! The parts guy told me at the time that there was no shortage of NOS Stude parts. The service drive was lined up with little old ladies waiting to have their cars fixed. The showroom had several old original and restored Studes on display and for sale.

    I wonder if the place is still there?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,834
    I know there's a big Avanti restoration shop down there, maybe the re-incarnation of that place?

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  • pomy11pomy11 Posts: 23
    Toured the Avanti plant in SouthBend Indiana, around 1981, they then went bust. Like the car, way ahead of its time, including the ice chest in the rear window! What an idea.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,834
    Now you know why they went bust....it may have been ahead of its time style-wise in 1963, but getting long in the tooth in 1981...the market always demands new styling and new gadgets. If you stand still in the auto business, you're a dead duck.

    MODERATOR

  • I saw an ad in the Riverside, Ca paper last week for a 1963 Stude Avanti R3 (supercharged), just like I owned 65-68, for $27K.
    In the 80's there was a Studebaker parts place in Long Beach near the port area and across from a popular Italian deli. I've forgotten the name and the street but anyone seriously interested can email me and I will find out if it is still in business
  • I read a couple of items in here asking about Studebaker Parts companies in L.A. Frost and French on Western Ave. was mentioned. Frost and French is no longer there. They went away about 1985. Also, someone inquired about a Stude parts company in Long Beach. Studebaker of California was located in Long Beach, Ca. for many years. Ed Reynolds, the owner, relocated the business to South Bend, Indiana earlier this year. Actually, Ed merged with Newman and Altman of South Bend. I really miss Ed and his parts business here in L.A....but there are other Stude parts guys around here too...if anyone would like information on them, drop me an Email at: bob.studebaker@latimes.com.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,691
    It's a good thing that some people keep the marque alive by trading and selling parts, information etc. There probably wouldn't be anybody making reproduction parts for a Studebaker as they would for a 55 Chevy!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,691
    I read an article that I meant to keep last week. A couple of guys are giving it another go!

    Who would ever buy one?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,834
    WEll, there's a small market for "something different", but I agree, it's time to give it up with the Avanti, and let it enjoy its place in history.

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  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    One of the lesser-known performance Studes (and that's not a self-cancelling phrase) was the '56 Golden Hawk, with the Packard 352/275. I owned one briefly, until I broke an axle (I thought it was a Mustang). The car was quick in a straight line (mine had overdrive) but the Packard V8 weighed something like 800 lbs., and the front tires would roll under just making a low-speed u-turn.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,834
    I had that very same car! It was supercharged and went like hell in a straight line. But it sure wasn't a sportscar! Mine was an automatic, which I think is better for big brutes like that.

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  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I paid $250 for mine back in 1971. I had passed it every day on my way to and from school, and I finally decided to stop and ask whoever answered the doorbell if he'd like to sell the car. He did, and for the next 14 or so years I made a regular habit of doing that. That's why I won't be able to retire until I'm 93.

    Speaking of Stude automatics, I also had a '56 Power Hawk, with the 259 Stude V8 and Borg Warner automatic. I thought it was just a two-speed, and then one day I discovered that by putting it in low I had a real first gear. Shortly after that the tranny went south on me, but I think that's just coincidence. I had every intention of putting a Cadillac 331 and Hydro in it--in those days, you could buy a remanufactured early Cad from JC Whitney for next to nothing (and that's probably what you got). As usual, lack of funds got in the way.

    Just off the top of my head, I can't think of a prettier American sedan than the '53-54 coupe. Having a real drivetrain in one of those would be icing on the cake.
  • If anyone has any questions about the 2001 Avanti, you can go to Avantimotores.com. I was at the new plant in April. The location is Villa Rica, a.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    just printed a picture of the new one;designed by one of the original stylists as if it had never gone out of production, but had progressed over time. Uses F-body GM drive lines. THAT is suspect for me since that platform is being discontinued soon is it not? At over 120,000, I don't see it as "bringing the Avanti back" as it is some run out of available F-body running gear. Scam or genuine attempt at production?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,834
    You know, you'd think that after so many failures with this car, someone would just give it up and let the original rest in peace as a very good try to build something unique.

    No, I don't think it's a scam really, just a misguided car lover probably. There are far worse crimes in the world than pursuing a flawed dream, that's for sure. What the hell, build it if you want to!

    MODERATOR

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,691
    Who would want one?
  • My cousin owned a 1963 Avanti with the serial #63R2075, we have been trying to trace its history since he sold it and find out who owns it now, any information would be greatly appreciated,
    Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,834
    That's an Avanti Owner's Club question...they may have access to some factory records, but privacy issues may prevent you from knowing former owners.

    MODERATOR

  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    The car is not to bad looking, but the wheels are awful. They look like cragars from the mid '80s.
    Also the rear tires are to close to the fenders.
    The big tires in the rearneed to be a size or two narrower.

    Some bbs wheels would do wonders for the car.
  • sandyboysandyboy Posts: 114
    Avanti II Production Under Newman & Altman
    1965: 45 Made
    1966: 59 Made
    1967: 66 Made
    1968:100 Made
    1969: 92 Made
    1970:117 Made
    1971:107 Made
    1972:127 Made
    1973:106 Made
    1974:123 Made
    1975:125 Made
    1976:156 Made
    1977:146 Made
    1978:142 Made
    1979:175 Made
    1980:168 Made
    1981:195 Made
    1982:188 Made
    Altman Dies, Newman retires & sells to Steve Blake:
    Under Steve Blake....
    1983:289 (including 26 20Th Anniversary Models)
    1984:200 (including 50 "Touring Coupe" models & 44 Convertibles)
    1985:100 (including 22 Convertibles)
    1986: Company Goes Bankrupt > No vehicles made!!
    1986: Steve Blake Dies of massive cancer
    New Owner:- Mike Kelly
    Under Mike Kelly...
    1987:200 Made (Including 40 Limousines & 44 Convertibles)
    1988:150 (Including 50 Convertibles)
    Kelly sells to J.J. Cafaro, Land Developer
    Under Cafaro, the company went to H in a picnic basket!!!
    1989:150 (Including 100 Convertibles)
    1990: 90 4-Door Sedans
    1991: 15 Convetibles
    Company Dies in April of 1991.

    2001 Company Re-Born in Georgia, Headed once again by Mike Kelly
    2001: (?) I heard that so far the number is under 20. BUT the price is
    $70,000 for the Coupe & $89,000 for the Convertible
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 581
    Located in Downtown, just across the tracks from US Hwy 78.
  • Above, under 1987, "40 Limousines" were NOT Limousines, they were 40 stretched Coupes, stretched about 7 inches or so, with a longer roof. They somehow didn't look 'right' ! Kinda ungainly, and they were discontinued at the end of the '87 model production. There was one 4-Sale on Auto Trader around July of 2001.
This discussion has been closed.