View Full Version : Bonneville Avanti

06-08-2010, 10:40 PM
Things are once again happening with the resurrection of the world famous Burke Bros Avanti. I have been able to uncover 15 World records at Bonneville and 20 reocrds at EL Mirage dry lake bed that this car in various combinations set. There have been six different people join the 200 Mile Per Hour Club using this car. And now I am attempting to return the car to Bonneville and El Mirage this year. The frame and suspension and steering have been rebuilt. I am using the famous "Twin Charger" engine out of Karl Sparks Avanti for my test runs at El Mirage. We missed the May race and are working feverishly to make the race this weekend. I thought you might enjoy a short video taken of the "Twin" running in the car. I will try and stay on top of things from here on out.
http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p56/dieselguy2006/Twin%20Engine%20Running%206-7-10/th_DSCF2108.jpg (http://s125.photobucket.com/albums/p56/dieselguy2006/Twin%20Engine%20Running%206-7-10/?action=view&current=DSCF2108.flv)
If you want to know more or have questions about this project I can be reached at 805-550-7758. I am looking for donors and sponsors to help finish the job.

P.S. If you happen to get the Avanti Owners International Association magazine the car and my story are featured in the 150th edition.

06-08-2010, 10:45 PM
That car is amazing. :D

06-10-2010, 02:18 AM
Glad you like it Chris. The more I work on it the more I appreciate two things. One Studebaker for making it so well built. Second, I appreciate Bill Burke for improving on the design with fast in mind.

Worked on the car some today. Here are the pictures:
Wired in the alternator and regulator.
Installed the battery disconnect switch. Needed to pass safety inspection per SCTA.
That's my buddy Richard removing the rust from the tubing that will be used to make connecting pipes from the radiator back to the engine. (about 38" away).
Also got the driveshaft shortened and balanced. Little short thing. He also installed a new front u-joint. The back one was good. Spun it up to full speed and was vibration free. Will install in car soon. Painted it red to match the Avanti red engine. So much work to do and so little time to do it in. Trying hard not to make a mistake. Checking everything three times just to be sure. More soon.

06-13-2010, 01:17 AM
Got some more work done on the car today. Mike Howe of Mike Howes Automotive located in Atascadero, CA opened his normally closed shop on a Saturday to build the cooling system and exhaust system for the car. Here are some photos.
And a short video so that you might hear what it sounded like when we were finished.
http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p56/dieselguy2006/Mike%20Howe%20Builds%20It%206-12-10/th_DSCF2133.jpg (http://s125.photobucket.com/albums/p56/dieselguy2006/Mike%20Howe%20Builds%20It%206-12-10/?action=view&current=DSCF2133.mp4)
Enjoy. I will post more as time permits. Getting the car ready for the July 11th race at El Mirage.

06-19-2010, 12:25 AM
We finished some work on the car so that it could be in the Pismo Beach Car Show this weekend. I'll post pictures of that event later. While we were eating dinner at our sponsors place (Paradise Corner BBQ) this cool looking Studebaker truck pulled through. I was able to get him to stop and let me take a few pictures. Enjoy
Here are some pictures of the Bucket List Dream Avanti from today: Electrical Cut Off Switch
Customized Avanti frame bracing.
Moon fuel tank installed.
My show sponsors business. If you go to the show stop by and thank Randy for his support. He donated the primo spot for the car. Yes, that's right, DONATED it.
So look for pictures from the show next week.

06-20-2010, 10:35 AM
Thanks for the post on the Avanti...but my eyes are glued to that wild Stude pickup (and the 'camino)....WOW what a truck, some very different design elements. The 57 chevy 'gun sights' very different idea, and look at the work on the rear bumper. It's a nice chop, and perhaps it's even been sectioned a bit? Regardless, very cool, and can't even begin to imagine the amout labour that went into the body work but it sure seems to gel (with perhaps the exception of the tail lights, they seem somewhat to be a tacked-on afterthought) I wonder why we haven't seen this truck on the forum before...or have I just missed it? Good luck with the Avanti, looks like a wild ride...btw does it have a solid front axle on it, just looking at those radius-rods and transverse spring and lever type shocks, but can't see any axle. Thanks again for posting. Junior

09-03-2010, 07:04 AM
Dan has gotten some great press for his project...
Parts have been coming to help him from all over the country....
Clock is running...
Go Dan!



11-21-2010, 11:54 PM
I want to offer my sincere apology for not posting the results of our Bonneville effort here at SDC. I have been busy trying to fix the engine and get ready for the last race of the year at El Mirage. With that event rained out I now have time to catch up on all things Studebaker. Imagine my surprise and shock to see that I had missed posting the wonderful things that happened at Bonneville in September. So I promise to post the story complete with pictures over the next few weeks. For now let me say that the Studebaker family is the best. More than thirty different Studebaker owners came through to provide a last minute engine and other parts as well as money to make my dream come true. I will tell you this "the reality was far sweeter than the dream itself". I will always treasure the memories of that first trip down the famous salt of Bonneville. The last trip was a blast as they let me run the long course (5 miles) and we saw the car with an all "Stock" 289 go 159 miles per hour. All the more amazing when we got home and took the engine apart and discovered two burned pistons and very weak rings. We knew we hurt the pistons during the fourth run and the last run was the sixth. So it is safe to say the car was capable of 160+ without the damaged pistons. Reagrdless it was truly amazing.

07-11-2011, 02:37 PM
Well I see it's been a long time since I posted about the car. A lot has happened. Car shows and such. Now it's time to go racing again. We ran the car at El Mirage in May with some success. My crew chief was driving. A reward for helping me get to Bonneville last year. He got his rookie license but learned some valuable lessons along the way.

Fast forward to yesterday. I secured a sponsor for Bonneville and Speed Week. We will be using a 259 Studebaker engine and are shooting for two records. I will post pictures of the project as time permits. We have 30 days to finish all the work on the car and the Camper support truck so it will be a thrash. Sounds like fun to me. So look for updates soon. Just for a refresher here's a picture of the car and camper.

07-11-2011, 05:56 PM
Go for it Dan! I'll see you on the salt.

07-12-2011, 12:44 AM
Looks like fun. Looking forward to the results.


07-24-2011, 03:16 AM
I was checking things out on the 259 block I have. As usual the oil hole alignment on the rear main cap and block was off. Some drilling and radiusing is in order if I decide to use this block. Of course I will probably have to do this to any Stude 259 I use as the problem is universal. 21 days until Bonneville and lot's to do. Hoping for 7000+ rpms and 206 or better speed. Pictures soon.

07-25-2011, 01:14 AM
The car pictured above is going up for sale in three weeks. It will be advertised at Bonneville during Speed Week. The car is a full race ready car with a current log book and lot's of extras. It can be purchased outfitted in various ways. The full roller with trailer asking price is $ 30,000. We are currently taking offers. For details contact me by PM.
Dan Sallia

07-31-2011, 02:58 AM
Due to the fact that I am working frantically with only 14 days until Bonneville and I still have to get the camper converted to Stude engine and the engine built for the Avanti, I am not finding time to post here. If you would like to follow the progress on the Avanti and the camper please go to Sonny's Racingstudebakers.com. You will find both builds under the Studebaker Projects Forums. After Bonneville I will return here. Thank you for understanding.

09-23-2011, 09:42 PM
Well we missed SPeed Week but like last year made it to World of SPeed. New engine and set up took it's toll. Only got three runs in. Shake dwon pass at 116 mph. Rookie pass 112 mph. Rookie pass # 2 137 mph. Had a limiter chip installed to keep rpm's under 5100. Engine sounds strong. Pulls hard over 3500 rpm. We were ready to go for the 204 record when we got rained out. Hope to go after the El Mirage record of 190 mph next month. May never know what it could have done in the three and five mile runs. After Elmo we should have a good idea.

10-02-2011, 07:59 PM
How is this for a super Studebaker picture?

10-18-2011, 02:13 AM
Big day of disappointment. Took the heads off the Avanti 259 and found two pistons melted down and the rings cooked out of it. So I will be missing the race this weekend at El Mirage.
We hope to make the next race in November. That will be the last race of the year and our last chance to set a record. Kahty and I will be there to work the race for our club. Look for the camper and stop by and say HI!

10-18-2011, 02:36 AM
Saw you and the car at the L.A. Winter Meet. Still pulling for you, thanks for the up-date.