Studebaker Avanti Classic Cars for Sale
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The Studebaker Avanti was a luxury coupe manufactured between June 1962 and December 1963 by the Studebaker Company. It was the first mass-produced fibreglass-body four passenger American car.
The history of the Studebaker Avanti
The concept of the Studebaker Avanti was developed by the Studebaker Corporation's president, Sherwood Egbert who designed the theme of the car in February 1961 in a series of sketches whilst flying from Chicago. The Studebaker Avanti was launched at the Annual Shareholders' Meeting and at the New York International Automobile Show at the same time in April 1962. The car bodies were to be manufactured at Molded Fibreglass Body Company of Ashtabula, Ohio. However there were ongoing production difficulties which resulted in delays and cancelled orders from the supplier. This led to customers moving on and purchasing other makes despite the initial enthusiastic public reception of the car. Fewer than 4600 Studebaker Avantis were produced during 1963. Studebaker stopped car production in December 1963 with the manufacture of the last 1964 models. There was a relaunch, the Avanti II, later in 1964 led by ex-Studebaker employees and dealers but these cars were more for the collector market and very few were made.
The design of the Studebaker Avanti
The design of the Studebaker Avanti was developed from Egbert's concept, by an assembled team led by Raymond Loewy and including Tom Kellogg, John Ebstein, and Bob Andrews, during an intensive 40-day design program. It had a ground breaking fiberglass chassis mounted on an altered Studebaker Lark Daytona 109-inch convertible body with a modified 289 Hawk engine. It had a highly aerodynamic shape which allowed it to reach nearly 200 mph. Instead of a conventional grille, air for the engine, which was mounted at the front, entered from underneath the front of the car in one of the earliest Bottom breather designs. The Studebaker Avanti was fitted with large 11.5-inch (292mm) Bendix discs designed by Dunlop. The Studebaker Avanti was the first American car to feature these. The Studebaker Avanti also had advanced safety features including a built-in roll bar and a padded interior. After launch, numerous design alterations were made, most in August 1963. These included a new grill for the radiator scoop, chrome drip moldings above the doors and redesigned parking lights. Only 3834 Studebaker Avantis were built in 1963 and only 809 of the 1964 model, the difference being that the 1963 Studebaker Avanti had round headlight surrounds and the 1964 model had ones that were square.