Classic YouTube: Running An Avanti Down The Strip At Barona


Classic YouTube: Running An Avanti Down The Strip At Barona

A real-deal Studebaker Avanti or one of the early, Studebaker-powered post-shutdown Avantis is a solid find and is usually held in high regard. With Studebaker V8 power, styling and safety features that were well ahead of their time and the option of adding on a Paxton supercharger, the Avanti was an amazing final flame from a car nameplate that was about to go under. The strange deal concerning the Avanti is that the model outlasted the company that made it: Studebaker folded up in 1967, having closed down the car manufacturing side of the house in 1966, but the Avanti stuck around through a series of owners until 2006. For a model that ran for forty-four years, you don’t see many of them outside of shows and special events. Even considering later model’s low production figures, that still doesn’t explain the lack of the bottom-breathing coupes. Where are they all? It’s not like they are too funky to work on…later versions were based on the G-body Chevrolet Monte Carlo, and the last ones were based on the Ford Mustang. We’ve seen real-deal Avantis screaming at Bonneville, but we wouldn’t mind seeing one running as a small-tire screamer, would you?


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2 thoughts on “Classic YouTube: Running An Avanti Down The Strip At Barona

  1. geo815

    This might be splitting hairs among the chop, cut and call it restored crowd, but the Studebaker 289 disappeared from the car after the 1964 model year. After Newman and Alrman purchased the tooling and remaining parts, they were called Avanti II’s.There are rumors that Newman and Altman sold Stude-powered Avanti’s when they began production in 1966, but as far as I can tell, the Newman and Altman only sold their models with the 300 HP 327 Chevy engine, until they ran out of frames and were forced to find a different platform to keep producing the car. That’s when they went to the Caprice, and later the Monte Carlo platforms (did that up until 1985, I believe. 2000-2004 used the Camaro platform with the experimental body, and 2005-2007, the Mustang platform was used. There’s even a 4 door version of the latter models that’s ugly as home-brewed sin.) The Studebaker 289 availability disappeared after the South Bend engine plant shut down, so Newman and Altman took the same approach that Studebaker did with their Canadian-built, last gasp 65-66 model “Commanders,” which most refer to as the Larks. The Commanders used 194 I6’s and 283 V8’s, with the same transmission/differential lineup.

    Everything else in the early Avanti’s was Studebaker-spec. Same Borg Warner transmission (automatic version), same “Twin Traction rear, radiator, electrical, etc.Newman and Altman Avanti’s still had the badges in place where the Studebaker crest went – it was just blacked out. The stainless lettered “STUDEBAKER” across the rear of the car was also removed. Those are the only differentiating factors between the South Bend models and Newman and Alrman’s.

    I think that some of the confusion comes from Studebaker dealers remaining open quite a while after production ceased. There could have been Studebaker Avanti’s sold in 1965 that were, in fact 1963-64 Studebaker models. Toward the end, the remainder of the Studebaker lineup became a blur. The trucks have whatever the hell Studebaker had on hand. You’ll find 1957 289’s as original engines in 1960 models, and so on and so forth.

    I don’t like to give the NY Times any press, but they did publish an article about the last Avanti to roll off the assembly line. Quesiton is, is it true, or just “fake news?” haha

    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/20/automobiles/the-note-in-the-trunk-of-the-last-studebaker-avanti.html?_r=0

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