View Full Version : Matt Wendt's Avanti selected for Designer's Dozen at the Syr. Nats- the whole story

Bob Andrews
07-17-2010, 09:13 AM
My homey Matt Wendt of Buffalo NY brought his stunning black 67 Avanti in for the Nats. Upon arrival he was immediately grabbed for the nomination! Thus far it means a trophy and a very nice jacket; final judging is today.

Matt arrived in his reserved spot with the other selected cars early today to do a thorough detailing- he drove it the 3+ hours from home and has been driving it here all week, so a little detailing is in order. Results and pix to follow!:)

07-17-2010, 09:26 AM
Way to go Matt!!!!

Bob Andrews
07-17-2010, 11:52 AM
Hey Pete, take a drive out and see for yourself!!

Bob Andrews
07-18-2010, 05:38 PM
More details:

The Designer's Dozen is selected by a panel of six judges, al of whom are experts in the car world, be it restoration, history, or a related field. The judges roam the show, including surrounding events and parking lots, looking for outstanding vehicles. A total of 72 are nominated. On Saturday the panel confers and from the 72 nominees selects just 12 as award-winners, hence the Designer's Dozen.

The nominees were placed in a special reserved area on Saturday for the judges' convenience.

Matt had left for a bit to look around in the afternoon and when he came back he had found the Avanti had been selected!

Today (Sunday) the Avanti was again in the reserved display area. Matt was interviewed by Murray Pfaff, head of the committee. He spent a fair amount of time talking to Matt, learning the story behind the car and Matt's story. Here he is showing Murray and one of the judges his thorough build album, amazing in its own right:

In the afternoon the cars were brought in front of the main stage, one at a time, in front of an enthusiastic audience. (I have a 40-second video clip on my iPhone of Matt's segment, but no idea how to post it. If someone wants to 'sponsor' it, I can e-mail it from the phone.) Here's Matt in line with the other cars- some truly amazing rides:cool:


I love the Nats, and look forward to it every year. Matt had never been. He was coming to town on business and decided to bring the Avanti after calling me about the show. He just figured to have the car there to be a part of it, never expecting to win an award. He told Mr. Pfaff he was surprised because the car usually doesn't get much respect at all-makes meets:( Well, being selected as one of twelve out of seven thousand plus can certainly qualify as respect!http://serve.mysmiley.net/love/love0029.gif

Congratulations buddy- it's a beautiful car, top to bottom; you should be proud of all your hard work, being a frame-off resto you did personally; and now you see what the world at large thinks of your efforts. As well, thanks for carrying the Studebaker flag into Brand-X territory and emerging victorious!http://serve.mysmiley.net/party/party0005.gif


Matthew Wendt
07-18-2010, 09:06 PM
I got back to Buffalo without any problems just as the rain started. It was fun driving the Avanti as a "daily driver" for a week. I would highly recommend this show to anyone that likes all types of cars and especially to those who love to drive them. The amount of interest that all the Studebakers received at the show was awesome and hopefully we get even more there next year.

I want to give a special thanks to Bob Andrews for all the photos and commentary. Bob convinced me to come out to this show after giving me a ride to Southbend in May.

Matt Wendt

07-19-2010, 03:21 AM
Looks like not only high priced impressive competition, but quantity too. All the more reasons (7000+) to
be proud of your accomplishment. People like you make us all proud.

Bob Andrews
07-19-2010, 04:28 AM
Glad you had fun and a safe trip, Matt. Let me know if you received that video clip of the presentation or not.:cool:

07-19-2010, 06:00 AM
Very cool, Matt; congratulations.

I've read the whole thread carefully and assume there are no awards higher than being included in The Designer's Dozen. (In other words, all cars in The Designer's Dozen are considered equal winners; there is no #1, #2, etc, within the dozen, right?)

Good show, Matt. Few postwar Studebakers are as stunning as a slick, dead-sharp black Avanti....and none require that much blocking and prep work to make them mirror-smooth! Well played. BP

41 Frank
07-19-2010, 08:24 AM
Congratulations Matt, certainly is a prestigious award.

07-19-2010, 08:36 AM
Well done!
Great to see Avantis (and SDC members) being recognized.
Who knows, maybe Avantis are finally getting some to the respect they deserve.

07-19-2010, 01:40 PM
Congrat's. to Matt and his Avanti II.
I like that blue Road Runner. It may be partially because I owned a 1972 Road Runner.

Bob Andrews
07-19-2010, 01:53 PM
(In other words, all cars in The Designer's Dozen are considered equal winners; there is no #1, #2, etc, within the dozen, right?)

Correct Bob, no ranking within the dozen. The nominees were selected based on a special quality- unusual design, styling, or type. There was a huge F1 Ford flatbed with an International Bus running gear, bagged 59 El Camino, highly customized VW bug, 63 split-window Vette on modern Vette chassis, even an amazing hand-built rat-rod. What they all had in common was impeccable workmanship. I could go on and on, but suffice to say all 12 were outstanding in one way or another:cool:

07-19-2010, 02:57 PM
Hey ! - why no mention of the 53 Champion, 58 Packard Hawk and 63 GT Hawk that made the first 72 car cut toward the Designer's Dozen, along with Matt's Avanti II? They did not make the top 12, but pretty decent out of over 8,000 cars! No pics either?

Bob Andrews
07-19-2010, 03:18 PM
Love them too, Tony! I just made this thread about Matt's story. That's not to detract one bit from your gorgeous R2 GT, which I've mentioned here before; same with Gar's PH, which had it's own thread too. But Matt has never been to the Nats before, and neither has his car.

I would love to see a new thread about your GT, with a bunch of pictures, as I know everyone else would. You could tell us the story of the car and your history with it, which is better from the "horse's mouth", so to speak. How about it??

It was a pleaseure to meet you at the show and get to hear about a car I've admired for some time. How it happened that I never was able to catch you by the car again is a disappointment. Hopefully you will tell us about your car, and come here often. Welcome!

Bob Andrews
07-19-2010, 08:29 PM
Through the magic of the iPhone I managed to upload the 40-second video clip of the ceremony.


YES, I know it's shaky and I know it's low quality, but it was taken with the iPhone while simultaneously trying to take pictures with digital camera in the other hand. Don't kill mehttp://serve.mysmiley.net/scared/scared0012.gif