AMT Studebaker Avanti

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Don't forget Aurora's 62 Ferrari GTO that became a Monogram then RoG that was so off. I tend to agree with those who stated that it started out as a 250 GT that was converted mid-design

Aurora put a lot of effort into being first to market with a particular kit. Accuracy often suffered because of that. In the case of the Ferrari, the kit started out as a model of one Ferrari, then changed to another that was introduced while Aurora was developing the kit. Aurora's Avanti was out way before AMT's kit, and likewise isn't as good as AMT's. From what I can determine, AMT's kit came out in late '64 or early '65. Studebaker stopped building Avantis in late '63 when they quit assembling cars in South Bend. (They built engines there for cars assembled in Canada to finish up the '64 model year.) I don't think Newman and Altman had started building them yet; if they had, AMT would probably have changed the engine and introduced the kit as an Avanti II...

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These aren't new, though at some point they may have been retooled also since they were used in so many kits. The two different sizes of this tire might be due to retooling, or perhaps different materials being used, with some tires shrinking and others not.

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IMG_5155.jpg

Does anyone know why there are cut lines on the underside of the hood? You can just make out the thinner square area toward the front of the hood in Eric's picture above.

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I'm not sure what that was used for. I hope that someone can come up with the answer. :) Dan

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Does anyone know why there are cut lines on the underside of the hood? You can just make out the thinner square area toward the front of the hood in Eric's picture above.

One of the earlier issues may have had an optional thingy that stuck through the hood that required cutting the hole out..

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Does anyone know why there are cut lines on the underside of the hood? You can just make out the thinner square area toward the front of the hood in Eric's picture above.

Well we know the kit comes with optional dual paxtons, so I'm betting there was at some point a salt flats racer version of this that had the supercharger intakes poking from the front of the hood or some sort of scoop.

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The whitewall Firestones are newly tooled. The newest tire pack has two sets of these: one with thin whitewalls like those pictured, the other set has wide white sidewalls. This latest version of the tire has accurate tread; prior to these, the tread was simply concentric straight lines like an implement tire. The sidewall detail is a bit more accurate too. Over the years, that tire (usually thought of as the "Trophy Series" tire) has been tooled numerous times.

WOW... I hadn't heard of the new Firestone pack! If they're sellin' 'em, I need several. Hope they do the same with the new Polyglas tires too - much as I detest the notion of G$$$Y$$$ getting ANY licensing revenue, there's just too much muscle outta Dyersville and Des Plaines on totally unsuitable rubber.

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I am wanting to build a showroom stock Avanti. I have noted there are several issues of this model. I I know the Millenium issue has racing options. For the purposes of showroom stock is any one issue or reissue better than another? Thanking this brain trust in advance!?!?

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I don't think there are huge differences between the different issues. I have an older one, and a more recent issue, and I believe they're identical.

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They are the same as far as I can tell. Get the latest reissue, it has the new tires in it that look very nice.

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Windsor Hobbies is blowing them out at $12.98 each....

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The original issue had seperate taillight and back-up lenses.

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I got the latest reissue, from last year or something like that. Can be built stock aswell as custom. Looks like a very good kit.

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Still one of my favorite cars and favorite kits. Very happy with the latest reissue. Waiting for the 1/32 scale version, any day now.

Scott.

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post-376-0-08198300-1418953756_thumb.jpg

Here's pic of a 1:1 R5 twin supercharged motor that is in kit. Not a ton of info out there, good pics not exactly out there.

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Factory called a couple cars the Due Cento (200, as in MPH)

Factory car had fuel injection, that's the silver box in front, with air intakes going out to the blowers, then pressurised intake charge going back to heads via the black hoses outboard. Pretty trick for 1963 or so. Granatelli had involvement via Paxton.

2138770016_49fdd059e9_o.jpg2138770570_8c6e2c8396_o.jpgavanti-at-bonneville-andy-g.jpg?w=640avanti-at-bonneville_1962.jpg?w=640

Edited by keyser

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The early issues (through the mid-Seventies Modern Classic) had separate red taillight lenses and clear backup lenses. I'm surprised the Modern Classic issue has those, because other kits in that series ('68 Shelby GT500, '57 T-Bird, '53 Studebaker) have the lens detail engraved into the taillight bezels. AMT was on a cost-cutting mission during that period, and unfortunately a number of kits got that treatment. The Modern Classic and Reggie Jackson issue Avanti kits have a number of optional parts deleted (stock version remained intact). Most of those parts were restored to the Prestige and Millennium issues, but the Halibrand wheels didn't come back until the Round 2 reissue.

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There's much misinformation as who designed what @ Studebaker in the late '40s thru the mid '50s. . .Raymond Lowey was under contract w/ Studebaker during that period. Lowey was a promoter-type razzle-dazzle showman, and grabbed all the glory for any successful design work that came out of his studio - even if he hadn't anything to do w/ those designs. He was not prone to share any of the glory w/ his talented employees, either. That also pertains to his studio's industrial design work, and the massive, art-deco styled locomotives he 'designed' for the Pennsylvania RR.

To give proper credit where credit is due - it's true that Raymond Lowey largely styled the Avanti, but he had almost nothing to do w/ the design of the '53-'55 Studebaker cars, esp the hardtop & coupes. Most of the design work, esp the styling, was done by an employee of Lowey's named Bob Bourke, who had been a Studebaker employee before joining Lowey when Studebaker decided to cut costs and contract out their design & styling projects. Mr. Bourke has never received the accolades that he so highly deserves for what many consider one of the finest & refreshing designs from any US automaker in the '50s. Bourke also contributed to the design of the then revolutionary styled '47 Studebaker cars, and is credited w/ doing the revised '50-'52 Studebaker passenger cars, the '49-'55 Studebaker trucks, and the original '56 Studebaker Hawk (that were closely related to the '53 coupes & hardtops). It's worth noting that Bourke unsuccessfully fought Studebaker management re: the gobs of chrome that they insisted be lathered all over the '55 cars, ruining the styling of the elegantly styled multi-award winning '53-'54 design.

Anyone interested in more info about Bob Bourke, I recommend "Bob Bourke Designs for Studebaker" authored by John Bridges (and, there's much more worth learning about Mr. Bourke, such as how his drawings on some napkins & clay modeling on a Formica-topped kitchen table were enthusiastically adopted by Ford for their '49 cars - and, that Bourke did that behind the scenes - so to speak - to help out a close friend & former fellow employee of his (Dick Caleal) to land a job w/ George Walker who had been under contract w/ Ford at that time. . . Walker ultimately hired Caleal based on his submission for what became the '49 Ford. Unknown to Walker then, it was actually the collaborative work of Dick Caleal, Bob Bourke & Bob Koto, who later worked w/ Bourke on the '53 Studebaker cars. Although Walker hired Caleal, he never paid him a dime for his work, Not only did Caleal not receive any recognition for his '49 Ford design, it was Walker who claimed 100% credit for it; just like the showman Lowey had been doing. . . Walker later joined Ford as their VP of Styling)

Edited by buffalobill

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I agree with much you wrote, usually in 30-60's the boss got credit for employee work, certainly in styling and advertising :)

However, here's a Loewy sketch from 42 that demonstrates a direction, if not final finish, which was usually left to staff.

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Here's a bullet-nosed 53 Starliner concept drawing

RL did a Jag XK140 about the same time, which used many features of the 53 Starliner. Car built about same time, but more extreme.

exner-studebaker.jpgloewyjaguar11.jpg

A member of the Stude club owns this prototype, which was cut down from a 51 Starlight coupe as styling model.

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RL's personal BMW 507 with many features of Avanti. Sadly far uglier.

Patented 1959

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Here's a fun annotated drawing of an Avanti proposal from a desert trip in '61. RL made change comments on drawings. Set of these sold for $$$

raymond-loewy-avanti-02.jpg

Edited by keyser

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Posted · Report post

Sorry to ask, but should I stop posting the stuff I have on Studes? I think it's pretty cool, and I found some pics of the Due Cento at Bonneville with Granatelli and fender skirts I've never seen before. I have to put those on the version of that I'm doing.

Takes a lot of space, and time to post. If it's not helpful, I'll just punt.

LMK please, and thanks.

L

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This illustration is more or less a composite of an evolving design study that was actually done by Bob Koto who had been working on alternate designs, along w/ Bob Bourke, during the early stages of designing what was only to have been just a show car, but later was developed into the '53 Studebaker coupe & hardtop (ref "Studebaker's Finest" by John Bridges pgs 46-52). It was done up as a 1/4 scale clay model - just one side of the car - while Bob Bourke worked on his ideas on the other side of the same clay model. The hint of a bullet nose can be seen - that was Bourke's idea that was later - thankfully - dropped in favor of the much more attractive front end on the '53 production cars. . .(fyi - my very first car - when I was 17 yrs old - was a low mileage, but horribly rusted '54 Studebaker Commander coupe that I paid $50. for in 1962. Owning that car made me learn the fine art of slinging Bondo, and how to keep a car running using only junk yard parts; and after nosing & decking it, adding Fiesta hub caps, narrow Porta-walls, a '55 coupe's red vinyl interior, a Schaefer Beer tap for a shift knob, and black primer shot thru a reversed-flow Electrolux 'bullet-type vacuum cleaner, I had what I thought was the best looking car in my high school!)

exner-studebaker.jpg

Edited by buffalobill

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Posted · Report post

You probably did, at least design-wise :)

IIRC Bourke didn't want 1/4 windows, but I may have that confused. In progress design stuff is always cool. I've got a lot of PF drawings, love great looking cars. Starliner still one of the best.

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Are you kidding? This is cool stuff. Pretty much on topic too. Well, not strictly so, but very rare and informative info and photos. I vote keep em coming.

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Second

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Same here ~ keep it coming. Love the Studes and all the fascinating history surrounding their development and evolution.

I, too, started out young in life (15) with a '53 Stude Champion 2dr coupe purchased from a police auction in '65 . . . it had been abandoned on a city street, towed in, and abandoned. It was straight and clean in the body, chassis and interior departments, but it had no engine or transmission. A local salvage yard cured those problems with late model 327 and a Muncie 4spd. Honest Charley's crossmember/engine mount kit mated chassis and engine. Great car!

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