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View Full Version : Grrrr... Even Motor Trend Magazine is Piling on the Avanti



DEEPNHOCK
06-19-2010, 05:33 AM
:mad: Kind of a backhanded compliment...


Lemons to Lemonade: Auto Flops Occasionally Turn Into Collectible Cars



Read more: http://wot.motortrend.com/6659780/classic/lemons-to-lemonade-auto-flops-occasionally-turn-into-collectible-cars/photo_05.html#ixzz0rIHNrJ4x


http://wot.motortrend.com/6659780/classic/lemons-to-lemonade-auto-flops-occasionally-turn-into-collectible-cars/photo_05.html

cabrina
06-19-2010, 08:34 AM
Doesn't matter. I bought some Keystone raffle tickets and am hoping to have a gorgeous Avanti in my driveway soon!

Cabrina

BobPalma
06-19-2010, 08:53 AM
True, Jeffster; kind of a back-handed compliment. Articles like this need to, but rarely, distinguish between bad cars, bad marketing, and/or severe production problems.

The Avanti was a good car for what it was, and the marketing was, IMHO, doggone good. The car really was exposed all over the place, and favorably received in most quarters.

But, and that's a big but, production problems were just horrific. Who knows how many they could have sold if they could have built them...and how much all that income and good exposure would have helped the entire corporation's automotive division?

David Blackmer repeatedly spoke of this during the interview for the July 2009 Turning Wheels. He was a tack-sharp marketing guy in the red-hot southern California automobile market. You can just imagine all the marketing types pulling out their hair all day long due to the corporation's inability to build and ship the cars in a timely manner. BP

Studebaker Wheel
06-19-2010, 12:08 PM
With all due respect to all of those involved in the original Avanti project I do not believe the car would have ever have sold in sufficient numbers to make any real difference in Studebaker's bottom line. It was an "image car," like the Corvette was for GM (I read somewhere years ago that the Corvette did not make money for GM for over a decade after its introduction). The production problems so often mentioned had been worked out at a fairly early date and that would not be a major issue after the Ashtabula issue was resolved. Fact is the Avanti was difficult to sell in all but some of the larger dealer markets like those in Southern California (for what it is worth Simonson and Schactmayer in Santa Monica, CA was the top selling Avanti dealer in the U.S.). Some new Avantis were still sitting on showroom floors as late as 1965. I agree that Studebaker did a good job in marketing the Avanti but the prospect that the Avanti could have saved Studebaker (or even any substantial effect) is not, in my opinion, a realistic view.

JeffDeWitt
06-19-2010, 05:02 PM
Agreed even if the Avanti was a smashing success its sales wouldn't have saved Studebaker, BUT if Stude could have cranked out all the Avanti's the market demanded it not only would have helped the bottom line it would have improved their reputation AND brought even more traffic into the showrooms. That might have been enough to make a real difference.

And the Solstice Coupe REALLY doesn't belong on that list, it didn't flop, it had its company pulled out from under by orders from GM's new owners it just as production was starting.

sbca96
06-19-2010, 08:52 PM
Wow, first a flop, now a lemon? Whats amazing to me is that, with those comments, how
DID it continue to be produced for over two decades virtually unchanged?? What other car
can claim that? Sounds like some fools trying to seem educated about rare cars.

Tom

JBOYLE
06-19-2010, 09:51 PM
Too bad most of the car magazines of the period...and now...judge everything with out and out sportscars.
Have you ever read a story where they said there is too much power (outside of a Porsche or Ferrari)?
Read the period Avanti articles...they don't go out of their way to praise them because they're compairing them to some mythical (or at least expensive and or foreign) ideal.

Yes, perhaps the Avanti should have had a bettter chassis than a Lark convertible...something to match its advanced styling and R-1-2 powertrain.
But it was no worse than other cars of its class...if there were other cars of its class which may have been part of the problem.
Bigger than a Corvette, smaller than T-Bird....
Not to mention asking people to pay big money ($5500 for my car) for a car made by a firm whose long-term existence was in doubt.
As I've said before here, the only thing that could have saved Studebaker was a monster hit of 64 1/2 Mustang proportions...but even then could Studebaer have produced enough, could its dealers network sell enough and would the public buy them from a company that was teetering towards the abiss?

mbstude
06-19-2010, 10:26 PM
Whats amazing to me is that, with those comments, how
DID it continue to be produced for over two decades virtually unchanged?? What other car
can claim that?

Tom

Volkswagen Beetles? ;)

DEEPNHOCK
06-19-2010, 11:05 PM
Checker Marathon?


Volkswagen Beetles? ;)

PlainBrownR2
06-19-2010, 11:17 PM
Porsche? Land Rover?

Yall have to be careful in that Studebaker, just like some of the European makes, adopted an evolutionary philosophy to building automobiles. Rather than spit out a new car year after year, they would take one particular design or model, and over the years refine the design to keep removing the bugs out of the model. What results if the make is successful is not only a very competitive vehicle, but also an iconic vehicle as well, even if it looks the same year after year after year.

sbca96
06-19-2010, 11:29 PM
The Volkswagen Beetle was produced by Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003 - 65 years.

The Checker Marathon was produced by the Checker Motors Company of Kalamazoo, Michigan,
between 1961 and 1982 - 21 years.

OK, I will add one too then ... Lamborghini Countach was a mid-engined sports car produced by
Italian automaker Lamborghini from 1974 to 1990 - 16 years.

My point was, there are not many.

Tom

Da Tinman
06-19-2010, 11:30 PM
Cooper/Morris Mini.

JBOYLE
06-20-2010, 12:40 AM
The Volkswagen Beetle was produced by Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003 - 65 years.
My point was, there are not many.

Tom

I see your point,
but allow me to point out that there would be very little commonality (both mechnically and body) between the first and last Beetle.
Compare a split window with a Super Beetle...might as well compare a 64 to 70 Mustang.
Whereas the 63 Avanti and quite a bit of body commonality until they went to the rectangular headlamps in 83 and still some body commonality until they quit making them in 91. So that's at least 20 years (not counting the break of production between Studebaker and the Avanti II) to as much as 28 years.

The Mini is a better example than the Beetle...same basic body from introduction in 62 to the end of the original in the 90s.

Rich
06-20-2010, 01:41 AM
In all that I've read, Egbert did not expect the Avanti to be the savior of Studebaker, just create foot traffic for the showrooms. The high level of excitement it created must have surprised him a bit. I suspect his hope was to not lose money but stimulate the sales of their other cars. It's interesting to speculate on what Studebaker might have done to keep up with the emerging pony cars of 64, 65 and 66, but in 63, they had the best. I remember all the talk that this was a "different" car because it combined great design and power with 4 seats - a novel idea that smacked of practicality to those in the 18 to 35 demographics. What a disappointment that the majority of car crazies out there have not embraced the Avanti as many of us have.

Rich

Tahiti Coral
06-20-2010, 09:25 AM
Your point about the Super Beetle is somewhat true, but VW did make the standard beetle in Mexico into the 90's. Of course they were some mods over the year, but it is still pretty much the same base car. I have a '66 VW.


I see your point,
but allow me to point out that there would be very little commonality (both mechnically and body) between the first and last Beetle.
Compare a split window with a Super Beetle...might as well compare a 64 to 70 Mustang.
Whereas the 63 Avanti and quite a bit of body commonality until they went to the rectangular headlamps in 83 and still some body commonality until they quit making them in 91. So that's at least 20 years (not counting the break of production between Studebaker and the Avanti II) to as much as 28 years.

The Mini is a better example than the Beetle...same basic body from introduction in 62 to the end of the original in the 90s.

Nelsen Motorsports
06-20-2010, 11:09 AM
What about Briggs and Stratton engines same basic design for over 70 odd years.

JeffDeWitt
06-20-2010, 11:50 AM
The only differences between a Super Beetle and a Standard are from the windshield forward. From there back, including the engines, everything is the same. I'd have to do a bit of checking to be sure but I'm pretty sure you could take one of the fuel injected, hydraulic liftered dual port engines from the last of the Mexican Beetles and bolt it right into a 38.

(Bet I'm the only guy around with a 71 Super Beetle with a "My Other Car is a Studebaker" license plate frame. <G>