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Studebaker Community Build...with a Meet & Greet in South Bend, IN?


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I finally did a little work on the Avanti body today, so here's what it looks like so far:


Here's a view from the top:


The red outline is where the driver will sit, the yellow where the turbine engine will be mounted, and the orange where the exhaust will exit, through the original headlight openings.

I'm going to try incorporating a bit of each C-pillar when I create the blister/roll bar for the driver (think Beach City Chevrolet 'Vette Funny Car), but there won't be much left of them. Still the C-pillars are one of my favorite design elements of the Avanti, so some part should remain.

The offset (former) hood bulge will now be the headrest/rear half of the canopy blister, since this car will have a mostly flat topside. I will probably do some sectioning in the (now front) quarter panels, as they are a little too tall, and raising the wheel arches should help visually thin the front front third of the body. The wheel arches always seemed to be pointing the wrong direction to me, so now they're facing the correct way. :D

I may also add a thin vertical wedge aft of the doors to add a bit more taper to the body and help drop the tail end even further. We'll see how the body looks as the body changes progress.

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I did some wedge sectioning ("fenders"), shortening (nose) and lots of re-gluing and sanding, and I think it's moving forward in the right direction. The body has lost some of it's Coke-bottle shape (see what I did there :D ), the front "fenders" most of their arch, and the front overhang has been decreased, so I no longer need to move the wheel arches forward. I will need to move them upward, so they match up better with the height of the rear wheel arches.


The front headlights and grille/air intakes will need to be re-shaped and modified, as they now tilt downward and look awkward. I think the cowl will get lowered, too, but the offset blister should remain.

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That's better:


I had to remove another wedge section from both front fenders, as the fender top arch was still too prominent, and the entire body didn't have enough taper. I also filed away some more of the header panel to further lower the leading edge and blend it in with the fender edges. I will need to taper the door tops to match the new fenders, but I don't think I will have to raise the front wheel arches anymore.

That cowl you see poking up is probably going to be sunken a few scale inches down into the body, leaving the fender/door/quarter panel top edge as the body's highest point. I think I might "lean" the rear quarter panels' vertical edges forward a bit more to harmonize with the forward leaning nose, too.

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Cool, especially the idea of meeting in South Bend. That would be a nice early start at my birthday (Aug. 5.)

I have a Jo-Han snap Lark that needs to be refreshed. The idea of a less-complicated build appeals to me. And I might actually have enough time to get it done. :lol:

Charlie Larkin

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Thanks to Crazy Ed, we now have a driver:


He'll be sitting low, with only part of his helmet sticking up above the top of the car. ^_^


He's a perfect fit, so thank you again, Ed. :)

I started assembling the turbine engine last night, and I think I've hit my first bump in the road. The engine is so compact, it looks like a 1/32 scale engine, and will probably be smaller than the driver figure. :blink: I may have to upgrade to a larger turbine engine (Huey 'copter, maybe?) to keep everything looking more proportionate, even though the Howmet turbine engine is 1/25 scale. Perhaps a body shortening is in order...

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Casey: DON'T DO IT! Turbine engines are known to be very powerful for their size. Anyone who knows them would notice right off the bat that the helicopter engine was W-A-Y too big for the car! Your Howmet powerplant is more than enough for a way-modified Avanti. Here's a thought for you - Maybe you could mount the engine further back in the chassis to make room for a provisional 2nd seat, to make the car eligible for international endurance racing?

BTW: I like the concept of a turbine in a Stude, given Andy Granatelli's association with both Studebaker and his turbine-powered Indianapolis racing efforts. A great tie-in.)

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When I read the Howmet's Continental turbine engine weighed 150 lbs I was thinking that had to be a typo, but it make sense given how simple the turbine engine concept is.

Good idea on the second seat, Jim, but I think with the asymmetrical Avanti hood styling element, a second seat might balance things out too much. I will likely end up keeping the Conti turbine, even if it "looks" small. I've still got a ton of chassis and suspension work to do, so maybe a compact, small engine wouldn't be such a bad thing to have to work around.

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Fun Link Monty. FWIW, the Studebaker used Paxton Supercharger(s) not Turbo's and the engines were id'd with the letter R not J


Note to self: Posting while multitasking will make you look like an idiot. Stop it. Stop it now.

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That cowl you see poking up is probably going to be sunken a few scale inches down into the body *snip*

...or maybe not.

I decided to leave the original cowl panel in place to retain another stock design element, and so that the driver figure will appear to be sitting a bit deeper inside the body. Next, I glued the hood to the body and was pleased with the contour of the trunk/deck area and how the front fender rear quarter panel tops worked with the deck, so I kept the rear third of the car mostly stock. I did start to fill in the cowl vents and the driver's headrest fairing will be modified a bit, but it should retain its squarish shoulders if all goes according to what I have planned. ^_^

I glued both doors closed a few days ago, since the last pics were taken, so I'm committed to having a fully closed one-piece body shell at this point, with maybe a second piece which will cover the driver and engine compartment. I will add a full belly pan, too, once I have to body shell finalized.

I began forming the deck/hood from the cowl forward, but have yet to glue it in place. I wanted to be sure the blade-like fender tops were still a prominent feature and harmonized with the rear quarter panel tops, while making sure the deck/hood wasn't too flat. I am going to leave a subtle convex curvature in the deck/hood, so it works with what's going on at the rear of the car, only a bit less bulbous.

Here are some pics of where the car is at now:




I emphasized the shadows in this pic to help determine of the front fenders were where I wanted them to be:


From the top:


Time to lay down some more superglue. ;)

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  • 4 weeks later...

After a few rounds of sanding, priming, then repeating, the body is finally coming into shape. The former hood/cowl bulge, which will now form the fairing behind the driver's head, needs to be a bit taller, and I have to add a matching/mirror image air duct to feed the turbine engine, but those will be tended to once the final engine and driver positions are established.

I took some late evening pics with poor lighting, so these'll have to do for now. -_-



I've tried to retain the stock body's hourglass shape, while still giving it a slight taper from back to front, and I'm happy with how the fender and quarter panel peaks work together (and are now symmetrical side-to-side), even though they aren't an exact match front-to-back. The slight;y mismatched front and rear wheel arches still bother me, so I think I need to "sweep back" the rear openings a bit more.

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