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Michidan
06-25-2009, 10:45 AM
I am not a big avanti guy, but there is one on the June page of my wall calendar. It has me wondering if anyone has ever done a convertible 63-64 Avanti?

I'd like to see a picture of that. Not one of those things from the 80's either, a real Stude Avanti ragtop. If done right it sure would be a cool car.

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/loraxdan66/signature3.jpg
www.studebakerhardtop.com

scott.rodgers
06-25-2009, 10:55 AM
The prototype for the 80's convertible was done on the earlier Stude body and chassis. It even retained the chrome bumpers like the earlier Avanti/Avanti II's. It looked really good, but the folded top sat a little higher than the production models. I'm not sure what top mechanism it used. Like other Avanti II's, it had the fender filling pices up front and the higher front stance.

It was for sale a number of years ago. I'm not sure what happened to it or if a SDC member has it.

http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp21/apenaut/avanti_84conv_800.jpg

This is the closest I've ever seen to a real Studebaker Avanti convertible. I'm sure one would be a beautiful car!

Scott Rodgers
Los Angeles
SDC Member since 1989
'60 Lark HT
'63 Wagonaire

Gunslinger
06-25-2009, 11:41 AM
I suspect this is an urban legend, but I was told not that long ago about a Studebaker Avanti turned into a convertible. I was at a car show and someone familiar with Avanti's stopped to talk about mine. He said way back when, he knew of an Avanti convertible...this kid was graduating high school and his dad was buying him a new car as a gift. The kid wanted a convertible but the dad bought him a new Studebaker Avanti instead. According to what I was told, the kid was so out of shape about not getting a ragtop, after a week or so he cut the roof off! The guy said he absolutely ruined the car doing that.

Again...urban legend or not I have no idea but the fellow telling me about it said he spoke from personal knowledge. He may have been BS'ing me but didn't appear to be doing so. He seemed to really believe what he was saying. Of course, many, many people also really believe Avanti's were made in Canada as well. I would think if this was a true story, the car would have surfaced in some form by now, unless it was destroyed or parted out and no documentation exists anymore. Before believing such a story, I would have to have more direct testimony to it, not simply someone who heard it from someone else who heard it from someone else. Even photographs could be faked by someone good enough with Photoshop.

Maybe someone here has also heard such a story?




Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

monomaniac
06-25-2009, 02:19 PM
First let me say that I love the Avanti, having owned two (63 & 64) and having travelled over 70,000 miles in them. I also love convertibles and I've enjoyed two different 64 Daytonas over the years.
BUT the beauty of the Avanti design is in the complete package which includes the roofline. An Avanti convertible destroys this concept.
It almost makes the car look more ordinary. And, as we all know, Avantis are NOT ordinary.

JBOYLE
06-25-2009, 02:52 PM
According to our friends at the excellent [u]The Avanti</u> website...it's a 84 made for Stephen Blake and used in the Karate Kid film.

Here's a photo....matter of fact, it's the [u]same</u> photo
http://www.theavanti.com/karate_kid.htm

It says that Richard Straman did the conversion.
As I recall, back in the 80s when factory convertibles were rare, he did a lot of high dollor chops...a Ferrari Testarosa comes to mind...and he may have been one of the guys that also turned Ferrari Daytona coupes into convertibles as well. (Ferrari didn't make many convertible Daytonas, so for a while it was a way to make good money. Today, non-factory drop-top Daytonas are valued about what a factory coupe is...a great example that short term gains may not last if you customize a car).

He had a good reputation, so I'd think it was done correctly, but as far as an ordinary guy cutting the top off, I'd guess that the loss of sturcture would turn the Avanti into a plastic Jello mold.

If I [u]HAD</u> to do one, I'd turn it into a two seater by putting a reinforcment bar behind the front seats and try to configure a Corvette-style intrgrated tonneau to hide the folded top. That way, you'd get back a lot of the strength you lose when you take off the top.

At least early Avantis based on Stude comvertible chassis wouldn't need reinforcing unlike a lot of "chopped" cars (Ever wonder why factory convertibles weigh more that couples?)

But I agree that Avantis are good enough looking on their own and that the roof and rear window is a huge part of the design.

63 Avanti R1 2788
1914 Stutz Bearcat
(George Barris replica)

Washington State

Gunslinger
06-25-2009, 03:22 PM
There were two different Avanti convertible prototypes made...one was the Avanti shown here and there was a different one converted by a different subcontractor. These were the only two "official" Avanti convertibles that were chrome bumper cars. All production convertibles were the rubber bumper type. I believe the convertible shown was actually a used 1978 model that was provided for conversion and retitled when done.

One of the two (not sure which), was also used in the movie "Wizard of Speed and Time" which is a cult sci-fi classic.




Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

BobGlasscock
06-25-2009, 05:14 PM
Get that booted top down to within about an inch of the trunk lid and cowl and I THINK that would be one beautiful car. That's what I think! But that boot has to be much lower.

'50 Champion, 1 family owner
http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg316/studebakerbob/SDC%20avatar/Studebakerstuff019.jpghttp://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg316/studebakerbob/SDC%20avatar/Studebakerstuff018.jpg

JGK 940
06-25-2009, 06:43 PM
quote:Originally posted by BobGlasscock

Get that booted top down to within about an inch of the trunk lid and cowl and...

...you'll have the folded top floating in the gas tank...[:o)]

Keoni Dibelka / HiloFoto
In Hawai'i; on Hawai'i; on the Windward Side
If da salt air never chew 'em up bumbye da lava will...

Thomas63R2
06-26-2009, 01:17 AM
If Richard Straman's shop did the conversion, then you can be assured that it was done with the needed reinforcements for body and frame rigidity. Many long years ago I interviewed with him to be an upholsterer. I brought my customized VW van, he told me he had never seen so much tuck & roll inside a VW - but it was not good enough to get me in the door. The problem of the Avanti gas tank location does make for an awkward bustle on that '84.

Thomas

Long time hot rodder
Packrat junk collector
'63 Avanti R2 4 speed

Michidan
06-26-2009, 10:58 AM
quote:BUT the beauty of the Avanti design is in the complete package which includes the roofline. An Avanti convertible destroys this concept.
I wouldn't be one to argue that the roofline is a significant part of the Avanti look. And the Avanti is ALL about the look.

But in that calendar picture I can just see the convertible coming out! Here's a quick photshop, take a look. Sexy!

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/loraxdan66/avanticonvert.jpg

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g293/loraxdan66/signature3.jpg
www.studebakerhardtop.com

JBOYLE
06-26-2009, 12:27 PM
Makes the car look smaller.

And rather like a Fiat 850 convertible (round headlights, convex sides, flat windscreen)...I hadn't seen one in decades, but a local club member just bought one and drove it to a meeting.

63 Avanti R1 2788
1914 Stutz Bearcat
(George Barris replica)

Washington State

Invalid User Name
06-27-2009, 01:09 PM
quote:Originally posted by BobGlasscock

Get that booted top down to within about an inch of the trunk lid and cowl and I THINK that would be one beautiful car. That's what I think! But that boot has to be much lower.





Right you are. That thing has all the appeal of a full diaper!

1950 Champion 9G F1