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View Full Version : June Turning Wheels - Avanti Metal Concepts



geojerry
05-25-2010, 09:43 PM
Checkout the latest Turning Wheels. Outstanding article and photos of lost METAL 1962 Avanti Prototypes found and now headed to the Studebaker Museum.

55champion
05-25-2010, 10:11 PM
This was a great find and look foward to seeing them someday.

mbstude
05-25-2010, 10:15 PM
The cars are now a part of the Museum.

Can't wait to get my TW.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk179/1959S2D/south_bend_10009.jpg

rockne10
05-25-2010, 10:21 PM
Matthew,
Doesn't the Museum require white cotton gloves when fondling the only one of these that does or ever will exist?;O

mbstude
05-25-2010, 10:27 PM
I don't know who that guy is. He got in the way of the picture I took.

Chris_Dresbach
05-25-2010, 10:28 PM
I don't know who that guy is. He got in the way of the picture I took.



Hey! I took that picture! lol

okc63avanti
05-25-2010, 10:30 PM
Being an owner of a 1963 Avanti ..... all I can say is .... I'm sure glad that front end didn't make it beyond the prototype stage.

mbstude
05-25-2010, 10:30 PM
I keep noticing how the front fender of the gold car has a striking resemblance to the rear quarter panel of a production Avanti. Izzit comin' or goin'?


Hey! I took that picture! lol

Well that mysterious, unknown guy is still in the way.

Hey, you must be the one that stole my camera.

barnlark
05-25-2010, 11:38 PM
Lots of people like to touch them, I guess. Could Bill Pressler's grin be any more on the big side?

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/DSCN0315.jpg

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/DSCN0680.jpg

The elusive red wires..
http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/DSCN0219_2.jpg

Original tires..
http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/DSCN0214.jpg

Interesting dash..
http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/DSCN0235-1.jpg

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/DSCN0304.jpg

Some people just want parts while in South Bend, though..

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/DSCN0703-2.jpg

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/DSCN0690-1.jpg

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/DSCN0707.jpg

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh48/newshooter44/DSCN0313.jpg

Avantidon
05-26-2010, 08:06 AM
Folks lets set the record straight. These are Studebaker prototypes. THEY ARE NOT AVANTI PROTOTYPES!!!! If you wish to read the real story you can find it it in several places. First the truth can be found in the 06/03/10 issue of OLD CARS WEEKLY, the most recent issue of AVANTI MAGAZINE now in the mail to members and on the following website: http://www.sdckeystoneregion.com/member_don_jones3.html If you have questions ask the one who knows and has done the research to verify the these cars.

4961Studebaker
05-26-2010, 08:29 AM
I've skimmed the article, I think Avantidon is saying the Avanti was already made and these concepts were made to conceptualize the idea of a 4 door to go along with the 2 dr???

JBOYLE
05-26-2010, 08:53 AM
I've skimmed the article, I think Avantidon is saying the Avanti was already made and these concepts were made to conceptualize the idea of a 4 door to go along with the 2 dr???

Makes sense to me...
Look at the photos in TWs...they sure seem to have Avanti tail lights. If they were Avanti prototypes, I don't think they'd have them unless the taillights were finalized first.
Rather unlikely if they were still deciding on basic body style.

mbstude
05-26-2010, 11:29 AM
I wrote about the cars and the story I knew, which was what has happened over the last couple of years with my good friend Dave Arnold (AKA Barnlark). I clearly stated that I didn't want misinformation out there so I steered away from saying too much about the (sketchy) history of the cars. Once the early history of the cars is for-sure pinned down, there can always be a follow up article..

Avantidon
05-26-2010, 02:26 PM
JB, Loewy used some of the Avanti parts that were available when he had these cars built by Pinchon-Parat in France. The only Avanti aspects are the taillights and the rear window design of the fastback. His direction to Ebstien and Andrews was clear design a family type car that would be moderately priced and design it as both a two-door and four-door model. My research has indicated tht was the direction he received from SHE when he signed the design contract for the next generation of Studebaker cars in 04/61. That was also the direction that Brooks Stevens received at the same time along with the redesign of the 61 Hawks.

studegary
05-26-2010, 08:18 PM
Don has a very nice two page article on these cars in the June 3 "Special Issue" of Old Cars Weekly that I received yesterday.

I consider these cars to be Studebaker sedan proposals, or possibly prototypes, with design cues from the Avanti.

jbwhttail
05-26-2010, 09:04 PM
Geez a whizzen match over who knows what. I'm just happy the cars are safe and a SDC member took the financial risk to purchase the cars before he had commitment from the museum or SDC. Or is this info not correct?

I'm glad MBstude took time to write an article that I could understand some of the steps. I would suggest that in the future people had better copyright articles with information.

bams50
05-26-2010, 09:28 PM
I'm just amazed that anyone would have ever considered just destroying them and not at least trying to sell them! Even if you HATE all cars, new or old, you've gotta think somebody out there will give you more than scrap, and save you the trouble of hauling them out at the same time. Even if you could care less what they are, you have to know somebody would!

Makes me wonder how many rare, desirable cars, bikes, buggies, etc. are lost every day due to laziness. I'm sure there are many:(

Milaca
05-26-2010, 09:36 PM
I want to thank everyone involved in saving these cars and everyone that has brought information forward about these automobiles to share with us. These are fascinating machines and I feel fortunate to have seen these in person at the museum. :)

Bordeaux Daytona
05-26-2010, 09:39 PM
Should be a good article, I can't wait!

I have a picture I took in 1987 when my parents and I took our first trip to South Bend.
We tried to get a tour of the Avanti factory but they didn't have any that day.
But they did have those two Avanti's in the showroom. I tried to get a picture of them both but only one turned out.
I wondered what ever happened to them, I thought maybe they went from owner/location everytime Avanti moved.
Glad they're back where they belong.
I also wonder what wheel covers were on the black car at the time, sorry but it didn't turn out that well.
I tried to clean up the picture digitally with mixed results.
John V.

barnlark
05-26-2010, 10:57 PM
jbwhttail;460487]Geez a whizzen match over who knows what. I'm just happy the cars are safe and a SDC member took the financial risk to purchase the cars before he had commitment from the museum or SDC. Or is this info not correct?

You are correct. I'm a little dismayed that there are ill feelings about the many stories and article facts that are still being sorted out over these. Please be kind and patient so that these can be enjoyed and not fought over. We all just want to learn about them and find out what we can as the facts are sorted out. It is possible not everything that has been written over the years from memory is accurate. Unless it's on film and dated exactly, we may never be certain. The cars are in the SDC Museum now for pure enjoyment, that's all I know! Remember that, please. Go see them this summer!!!

Don Jones has done a lot of work to uncover things in many files regarding these. I can't wait to see the Old Cars Weekly article. Are there any of my pictures in there? I never received a check, or a fresh off the presses copy....<G> Matthew has also been excited about these since I first sent him a few pictures and he just wanted to get them in the June TW on a deadline. Art Unger was instrumental in making that happen. It's a monthly news magazine, so it can and often is updated as new facts come to light. Kudos to Matthew and Art for the great job on the fly.

Most of those photos (except mbstude posing like a Cheshire cat) that you have seen in TW and here are from their stay with me since December. I took both Don and Matthew in my confidence this winter when I was close to securing these along with some other key people on this Forum. These cars could have gone to a private collector never to be seen again and lost to us all. Fortunately that didn't happen. I was very worried that might happen, so while I may have over-extended myself for a few months, EX-2932 and EX-2933 are back home in South Bend where they belong and it's not just because of me; a few others in this club MADE this happen, too.

I have many pictures and can answer some questions about what they have, or don't have, physically. They are very cool. There were only two hubcaps that came with them, though previous pictures from the eighties show more. The two that they had when I got them were a spun aluminum and had to be taken off from behind through the slots in the Studebaker factory wheels with a wooden dowel. I was very careful! I would like to see two more reproduced for a full set. The black car had a form of full Avanti wheel covers that were probably already approved in some old black and white photos I have seen. They had black inserts in them. I threw a set I found in the trunk of the Notchback, but those are not the original set.

Anyway, enjoy them and thank our club's president, Mimi and the entire SDC Museum staff for banding together and working it out. Phil Brown made a personal visit to see them and validate their authenticity in February. That day and a nice talk at York in March were the last two times I got to see him. Somewhere above, Phil is smiling on these cars as they shine on the second floor. He loved seeing them. I'll never forget the smile on his face when he walked in.

I doubt any other local chapter can match what the Keystone chapter has donated toward the minor restoration needs of these two exceptional cars, but feel free to ask your local chapter to help out. My Ohio Region did. Take care and see you in Glendale.
Dave

rockne10
05-26-2010, 11:03 PM
From any angle we look at it, Dave, THANK YOU!

barnlark
05-26-2010, 11:11 PM
Thanks Brad, my pleasure, but I couldn't help myself when I first saw a picture of them in the snow one day in 2008. How many people get to find and buy Studebaker prototypes, you know? I did get to drive them about half a mile to the one photo spot in TW. I was being towed by a golf cart one at a time and all I had was the e-brake on each, but I got to drive them nonetheless! I can always say I drove a prototype...kinda.

Chris_Dresbach
05-27-2010, 12:00 AM
These cars are awesome, and I'm glad they got saved! Good job Dave! :) The only problem I see is that now I have visions of building a 1:64th scale replica of each... Stay tuned...

Do either of these cars run in their current form??

Avantidon
05-27-2010, 06:01 AM
Dave, you will be amazed at the pictures that were used in OCW and you may even recognize one. Joe my articles are copyrighted. It is something I have done for a longtime. Rights under the new law are mine and my family's for life plus 70 years.

Gary thanks for the compliment. I just want to make sure all of the correct facts are known on these cars. In the process of all my research I kept hearing many rumors and myths about these cars and want the truth to be known. I have used sources not normally available to us Studebaker people and found many interesting facts. It has been an interesting search as there is little to nothing in the Studebaker Archives but several articles are available from the past with many misstatements in them. I have enough material to write an additional article on these cars and plan to do so later this year once I do a little more research. You are also correct in your statement that "these are Studebaker Prototypes with Avanti design cues." That is exactly what they are. Simply stated, Egbert's very specific direction to Loewy was to take the Avanti design and convert it into a family sedan that would be moderately priced for the auto buying public. As I have stated Loewy's task had been attempted many times before but had never been successfully completed. IMHO he came very close and probably would have succeeded had the Automobile Division of Studebaker had the funding to complete the project.

Avantidon
05-27-2010, 06:04 AM
Chris, neither car currently runsbut with a little effort probably could.

Someone asked about the Hub Caps for the Black Notchback car, I have some very early pictures of these cars from the Loewy files and the car is shown wearing Avanti Hub caps. In fact both cars are shown in these pictures withthe same hub caps on them.

BobPalma
05-27-2010, 09:05 AM
One of the happiest factors of this whole adventure, and one easily overlooked, is the fact that it was almost exclusively put together, the cars acquired and transported, and the event reported, by younger members, which I will randomly assign the age of 59 and younger. Most of us '60 and over' chestnuts have lamented the advancing average age of the club's membership, and have made a variety of sincere efforts to involove younger people, "passing the torch," if you will. These efforts have met with some success; Dave Arnold's "find" and these prototypes being subsequently saved is one of the best examples we've had for some time, in my opinion.

Actually, it may be the best ever, given the magnitude of it.

Dave e-mailed pictures of these cars to me in their decripit state, precariously close to the wrecker's ball in the doomed warehouse, back when he first got wind of them. Naturally, I honored his request for confidentiality, but couldn't believe my eyes: I had never seen or heard of these cars! (Contrary to popular misconsception, some of us older guys who have been in this forever, have not seen or heard everything. Indeed, just last week I informed Dick Quinn of a specialty piece of Studebaker literatuire I had, a four-fold, multi-colored mailer touting the 1962 Daytona Pace Car; Studebaker Form 62-67. Dick said he'd never seen or heard of it! I sent him a color copy and he replied with thanks, saying, "Seldom is the day I run across a piece of Studebaker paper of which I was not aware.")

But to the topic at hand: What a terrific effort, spearheaded by Dave "barnlark" Arnold and others, most of whom are in the "under 60" demographic, to have these prototypes secured and on disply in The Studebaker National Museum. Good reporting by Matthew Burnette, too, one of SDC's prime movers in the yet-to-achieve drinking age set(!), which includes "Mialca Brent," Dylan, Chris Dresbach, and, thankfully, many others.

In only one generation -sooner, if tragedies such as Phil Brown's occur with any more frequency- The Studebaker Hobby Torch will have been passed to these young bucks. If the story of these prototypes is a harbinger of things to come, those of us over 60 ought to be wearing a big, fat smile about now.

Congrats to Dave Arnold and all involved: Well Done! BP

Avantidon
05-27-2010, 09:39 AM
The bottom line of this whole affair is simply that the cars were rescued and now are safely in the hands of the museum for all to see. They are now home thanks to the efforts of one of my younger heroes Dave Arnold.

Skinnys Garage
05-27-2010, 11:08 AM
Great Job Dave! Now I see what was keeping you busy this Winter. Hope you had time to finish the Lark up.:cool:

BobPalma
05-27-2010, 01:51 PM
Well, well, well....no one has mentioned Page 275 of the Third Quarter 1972 Automobile Quarterly. There they are, in all their dust-and-dirt covered glory!

SDCer Rick Crawley called me with that reminder this afternoon after reading his Turning Wheels, so I promptly dusted off that copy of AQ. Yep; it's them! Rick asked why the Turning Wheels' article's author hadn't mentioned that and I said, "Rick, the author [Matthew Burnette] was nowhere near conception in 1972, much less around to have seen that issue," (which many of us, yours truly among them, apparently forgot...) BP

stude62
05-27-2010, 03:01 PM
The first picture that I remember seeing of these cars was back in the early 1980s in a back issue of Automobile Quarterly. They were in a factory, covered with dust, dirt and debris. I believe in that issue they were not referred to as Avanti's, but styling mules to see how the Avanti style could be spread out throughout the whole car line. That issue of Automobile Quarterly 1972, so by that point they had been mothballed for only 8 or so years when the story was published.

I wondered what happened to them. Got to see them last weekend!

TedsHawk
05-27-2010, 04:40 PM
Here are some pics I found at some pointfrom somewere, of them from back in the day.... I have one of then sitting forlorn and forgotten covered with dust but haven't found it yet.
looks like the hubcaps are similar to the Avanti ones (but without the ribs/spokes) sort of an update of the 1953 hubcaps.

352351350

Milaca
05-27-2010, 06:10 PM
Good reporting by Matthew Burnette, too, one of SDC's prime movers in the yet-to-achieve drinking age set(!), which includes "Milaca Brent," Dylan, Chris Dresbach, and, thankfully, many others.


Correction Mr. Palma, I am 38 years old. I only act like a teenager. :)

BobPalma
05-27-2010, 06:46 PM
Correction Mr. Palma, I am 38 years old. I only act like a teenager. :)

Congrats, Brent...having met you in South Bend, I would have "carded" you in a package liquor store if I was the clerk.

Whatever you're doing to keep looking so young, you ought to bottle it. <GGG> BP

Milaca
05-27-2010, 08:50 PM
Congrats, Brent...having met you in South Bend, I would have "carded" you in a package liquor store if I was the clerk.

Whatever you're doing to keep looking so young, you ought to bottle it. <GGG> BP

The secret is to invest one's disposable income into Studebakers rather than into women. Now, if I can just find a single lady with lots of money.... :)

barnlark
05-27-2010, 09:55 PM
[QUOTE=TedsHawk;460673]Here are some pics I found at some pointfrom somewere, of them from back in the day.... I have one of then sitting forlorn and forgotten covered with dust but haven't found it yet.
looks like the hubcaps are similar to the Avanti ones (but without the ribs/spokes) sort of an update of the 1953 hubcaps.

Those full wheel covers are the two originals that were still on the gold fastback. They are aluminum. They were nicely polished in those photos. Not so much now. Thanks for sharing. Great shots of those.

Chris_Dresbach
05-27-2010, 10:27 PM
Correction Mr. Palma, I am 38 years old. I only act like a teenager. :)

38 going on 18??? ;)

Warren Webb
05-28-2010, 03:26 AM
I too am thankful for Dave in his efforts of saving these examples of Studebaker's last attempts & thoughts. I do remember seeing a picture of them in what I remember as being stored, covered with dust & bird poop, in what was described as being an upper floor of the old Newman-Altman (Standard Surplus) building. Thankfully they were just a styling study and money wasnt wasted on them getting to production. However the exterior looks, the interiors have the appearance of being a trade tech student project, especially the dashboards. The only point of this that is positive is the inclusion of air conditioning ducts being built into the dash. Dont get me wrong, I'm thankful they were saved, but they dont have the class of the Sceptre.

studegary
05-28-2010, 12:54 PM
[QUOTE=TedsHawk;460673]Here are some pics I found at some pointfrom somewere, of them from back in the day.... I have one of then sitting forlorn and forgotten covered with dust but haven't found it yet.
looks like the hubcaps are similar to the Avanti ones (but without the ribs/spokes) sort of an update of the 1953 hubcaps.

You state; "Here are some pics...of them..." I only received three pictures of one vehicle. Am I missing something? I do appreciate the different pictures of this vehicle. Just like Loewy to be in the middle of the shot.

tbredehoft
05-28-2010, 01:08 PM
I only received three pictures of one vehicle.

Top and lower left are the fast back, the lower right is the hatchback.

TedsHawk
05-28-2010, 01:26 PM
[QUOTE=TedsHawk;460673]Here are some pics I found at some pointfrom somewere, of them from back in the day.... I have one of then sitting forlorn and forgotten covered with dust but haven't found it yet.
looks like the hubcaps are similar to the Avanti ones (but without the ribs/spokes) sort of an update of the 1953 hubcaps.

You state; "Here are some pics...of them..." I only received three pictures of one vehicle. Am I missing something? I do appreciate the different pictures of this vehicle. Just like Loewy to be in the middle of the shot.

geesh is this how it is going to be! I took a break from this forum because of the nitpicky comments.... Here I go and try to participate and get grief..
For your information... the top pic was a good pic that showed the hubcap well, and if you pay attention and look at the other two they are not the same car, one is the gold one from the top pic again. but the other on is the black one, although it doesn't look black in that pic. but it is the other one. with the different front end treatment and if you notice it is a notch back not a fast back. read and actually look at a post before you make a comment on it.
I see posts all the time where it seems the person making the new post didn't even really bother to read the post they are referring to. they are just quick to post a comment on some perceived small error.... get over yourself's....

bams50
05-28-2010, 02:07 PM
Hey Ted, go easy, friend! I see you're referring to Studegary's comment. I can agree that it sounds snippy- many of his do. But I count Gary as a good friend and one of the elites in the Stude world, with a resume' as long as my arm; and I give you my assurance that he does not intend to sound as he sometimes comes across. If you got to know him you would find someone of the highest quality and integrity you will find. I'm still trying to get him to use the smilies, it might help:D

It can be pretty tough to clearly convey intent through the written word. I would respectfully ask you to give a little 'benefit of the doubt', understanding that sometimes meaning can be misunderstood- pretty easily, unfortunately. As much as we need Gary, we need you here too. With a little thicker skin, we can all have a pretty good time here:cool:

Meantime, we need a 'kick in the fanny' icon <GG>

Gunslinger
05-28-2010, 04:04 PM
Here's what those two concept cars looked like in 1986 when I was in South Bend...
http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii281/Boris_Badenov/cars/prototype%20cars/img073.jpg
http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii281/Boris_Badenov/cars/prototype%20cars/img072.jpg
http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii281/Boris_Badenov/cars/prototype%20cars/img071.jpg
http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii281/Boris_Badenov/cars/prototype%20cars/img070.jpg
http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii281/Boris_Badenov/cars/prototype%20cars/img069.jpg

Lou Van Anne
05-28-2010, 07:21 PM
Glad they never made them....they are ugly!

rockne10
05-28-2010, 09:03 PM
Glad they never made them....they are ugly!

Maybe not up to the standard of what we expect from Studebaker-or Loewy Studios-but, certainly prettier than my '63 Dodge Coronet 440.

Milaca
05-28-2010, 09:41 PM
With a little more design tweaking, I think they could have looked good. I would like to see the front turn signals stood up vertically and placed at the outer leading edges of the front fenders. Maybe I can doctor one up with Photoshop....