Avanti

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Martin Hash
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Avanti

Post by Martin Hash » Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:30 am

On 6-6-66, my grandfather bought a 1953 Studebaker “Champion.” My first memory was of him and my dad rebuilding the engine out on my grandfather's carport, then I remember my mom driving my sister around in it; and when I turned 16, I drove it until I could buy my own car, a 1970 Fiat 850 Spider. A few years later, when my wife, Gwynne, needed a car, we brought the Studebaker up from California to Washington where we lived, and drove it for several years. My grandfather passed away and the Studebaker sat uncovered in the backyard for a couple years before we sold it to somebody who was going to restore it. That Studebaker got a lot of use, and it never goes unmentioned when I'm talking about old cars, which I do a lot, but it wasn't the car my grandfather really wanted; he wanted a 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2, the first Supercar, but he couldn't afford it.

Studebaker with Cass.jpg

Studebaker started out making horse-drawn carriages, then switched over to building automobiles at the beginning of the era. They were known for state-of-the-art, edge-of-the-envelope designs, that everyone recognized as beautiful & amazing but few people bought because they were to edgy & expensive. Studebaker also got into the petroleum business; the ubiquitous STP brand, for Studebaker Treatment Products. STP is still around but the Avanti was Studebaker's last chance and last hurrah. It was designed by the unsurpassed Raymond Loewy; beautiful & edgy to the max; and like always, everybody was amazed by it but nobody bought it, even though it set 29 Speed Records on the Bonneville Salt Flats, and was recognized as the “most advanced car,” with it's factory disc brakes, built-in roll bar, anti-sway bars, flat door latches, padded interior and it's famous supercharger. The Avanti was the fastest production car on the planet, listed at 178 mph but was clocked over 190 mph during parts of the time trial.

As you would expect, there aren't many Avantis around, let alone one of the 1818 supercharged R2s. In fact, Gwynne had never seen an Avanti, nor ever heard of one for that matter. “Sure you have,” I assured her. “Every time I see one I point it out.” But I couldn't think of the last time that happened, or if it ever had happened, but if it did happen, I was sure I'd would have. My friend, John, collects supercars, mostly Ferraris, but he's most proud of his 1963 Aston Martin DB5, James Bond's car. He knew I liked Avantis, and he sent me a link to a Sotheby's auction that had one for sale out of a collection. “It doesn't have a reserve,” John said, encouragingly. “You should bid on it.” I'd never bought a car from an online auction before; that experience alone was worth the Buyer's Premium, but it seemed unlikely I could get an Avanti R2 for less than the cost of a small house, reserve price notwithstanding. However, as these things go, a week later, when Gwynne got back from wedding-dress hunting with my daughter for her upcoming nuptials; it was fair to say she was surprised by the white 1963 Avanti R2 in our driveway. “They could use it for the wedding,” I told her. “And when the financial crash comes, it will be a hedge against inflation… Or we could live in it.”

1963 Avanti R2.jpg
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Martin Hash
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Re: Avanti

Post by Martin Hash » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:59 am

58 Corvette & 63 Avanti.jpg

They look good together.
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Re: Avanti

Post by Martin Hash » Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:20 pm

Yesterday was Avanti Christmas in the mail. After a flurry of ebaying last week, I was able to score an "Avanti" key fob, tire iron, chrome valve stems & caps, pit crew shirt, model, and most impressively, an Avanti-themed comic book which I put into the glove compartment of the car.

Avanti Christmas.jpg
Archie Comic.jpg
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Haumana
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Re: Avanti

Post by Haumana » Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:56 pm

Martin Hash wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:20 pm
Yesterday was Avanti Christmas in the mail. After a flurry of ebaying last week, I was able to score an "Avanti" key fob, tire iron, chrome valve stems & caps, pit crew shirt, model, and most impressively, an Avanti-themed comic book which I put into the glove compartment of the car.


Avanti Christmas.jpgArchie Comic.jpg
Is that Jughead driving?

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Martin Hash
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Re: Avanti

Post by Martin Hash » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:15 pm

Haumana wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:56 pm
Martin Hash wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:20 pm
Yesterday was Avanti Christmas in the mail. After a flurry of ebaying last week, I was able to score an "Avanti" key fob, tire iron, chrome valve stems & caps, pit crew shirt, model, and most impressively, an Avanti-themed comic book which I put into the glove compartment of the car.


Avanti Christmas.jpgArchie Comic.jpg
Is that Jughead driving?
Reggie

Don't you know your Archie? Jughead drives a jalopy.
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Re: Avanti

Post by Haumana » Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:18 pm

Martin Hash wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:15 pm
Reggie

Don't you know your Archie? Jughead drives a jalopy.
Obviously not. Much apologies. Reggie never made it into the memory bank. Nice score though!

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Martin Hash
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Re: Avanti

Post by Martin Hash » Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:25 pm

I put up a shrine by the main staircase. (I made that model; first one since I was a teenager.)

Shrine.jpg
Shrine 2.jpg
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Don't propagate lies
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