View Full Version : Lark Avanti Weight Distribution Ratio

04-15-2007, 11:07 PM
Anyone have the correct front to rear weight distribution percentages for an early Avanti and a 61 Lark V-8 4 dr regal. And also need the frontal area in square inches and aeronatical drag coefficients. Thanks.

Start and Stage Your Studebakers

04-16-2007, 11:32 AM
The Avanti has 51-52% on the front wheels depending on engine and tranny options. A ballpark figure for drag coefficence is .38. Also the frontal area it changes quite a bit by the front tire size and how low the front end is. Too many variables to give you exact numbers. The Lark I have not worked with but, it looks like a brick with wheels. (Aerodynamicly speaking).

04-17-2007, 12:37 PM
Hi, Alan,

You are the usually reliable source of info on all things Studebaker, but most published figures from the day do not agree with 52%. I'll get the magazine quotes this evening, but most fully-equipped Avanti with PS, auto, R2 or AC, were published as carrying more like 58% of their weight on the front wheels. A stripper R1 4-spd was said to have around 56% on the front wheels.

It is to be hoped someone will weigh one on a certified sale to give us recent hard data.

thnx, jv.


John Kirchhoff
04-17-2007, 02:12 PM
If you're curious about the car's weight, if you're in farm country just go to the local elevator and weight the car front and rear. These days most have digital scales and are accurate to + or - 10 pounds. The department of ag requires the scales be calibrated every so often, so the wieght will be pretty darn accurate whether they use digital or balance beam scales.

Dick Steinkamp
04-17-2007, 04:06 PM
My January '63 Car and Driver test of the Avanti shows 41.5% of the weight on the driving wheels (58.5 on the front). Curb weight with a full tank is reported at 3,500 pounds. It was an R2 4 speed.

My October '62 Road and Track tests an R2 4 speed Avanti. 3400 pound curb weight, 3765 test weight.59%/41% front/rear weight distribution. 21.1 sq ft if frontal area.


04-17-2007, 11:12 PM
Jack, That's why I said depending on options. I don't think he is going to be running an auto trans, power steering, power brakes and all the creature comforts in a 11 sec. Avanti.

04-18-2007, 07:11 PM
Hi, Alan,

If he is turning 11-sec, maybe it as an all-aluminum and titanium Z07 and the Studebaker weights are moot.

For the sake of discussion, I still can't see how a street-legal, Studebaker V8-engined Avanti is going to get from 58.5-59% down to 51-52% or anywhere close. Rough estimates indicate 245# would have to come off the front or move front to back.

An R1 engine won't very often run 11-sec ET, so it has to be an R2 or R3. Change to an aluminum intake, put the battery in the trunk and that's still less than 100# moving front to rear. Removing the front bumpers is the biggest single improvement one could make, but that takes it out of the street-legal class at most tracks.

thnx, jv.


04-19-2007, 12:01 AM
You can take off about 120lbs. Using Alum replacement parts.Plastic head lights,Lexan head light covers, & Alum rad.& flywheel.:DAnother 80lbs with Alum heads,havent got those yet.;)Traded battery weight for extra blower.:)

63 Twin Supercharged Avanti
64 Avanti R3w/NOS
88LSC Avanti 350 Supercharged w/NOS

04-19-2007, 03:07 AM
[quote]Originally posted by wcarroll@outrageous.net

Curious how I'll weigh in with a LT1/4L60E, Phantom R&P front end with billet aluminum hubs, 16" Aluminum Mustang Spinner Wheels(which are suprisingly light), aluminum radiator, composite rear leafs, Turner rear disc kit, trunk mounted battery etc........????


John Kirchhoff
04-19-2007, 10:51 AM
Wasn't an Avanti battery in the trunk anyway? Or am I just reaming it was located in the trunk area behind the rear seat?

Dick Steinkamp
04-19-2007, 11:00 AM
quote:Originally posted by wcarroll@outrageous.net

Curious how I'll weigh in with a LT1/4L60E...

My '54 Starliner with the 327, aluminum intake, tube headers, aluminum bell, aluminum T10, battery over the right rear tire, aluminum wheels, no Climatizer, no power steering, no power brakes, no air conditioning weighs 3253 with about 60 pounds of fuel. 1708 is on the front (52.8%) and 1545 on the rear (47.5%).

IMHO in order to get to 51-52% front weight on any Studebaker, you wouldn't be able to run the Studebaker V8.


04-19-2007, 12:09 PM
quote:Originally posted by John Kirchhoff

Wasn't an Avanti battery in the trunk anyway? Or am I just reaming it was located in the trunk area behind the rear seat?

My Avanti's battery is in the front left corner of the engine compartment...in front of the front wheels.
It can't get any further forward.

A battery wouldn't fit behind the back seat because that's where the fuel tank is...so it would have to be in the trunk.

If I had a "II" I wouldn't feel bad about modifing it for a daily driver, so I'd relocate the battery and change the wheels and do whatever else (newer, lighter AC compressor?) to try to even out the front/rear weight distribution.
But at the end of the day, would a driver [u]really</u> notice the weight bias in everyday driving?
After all, we're not doing a SCCA autocross in a Miata.

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

Washington State

04-19-2007, 01:20 PM

FYI, A possible point of comparison for your '54?

Back in the dark ages (probably late 1970's) Turning Wheels reprinted an old article from a rodder's magazine about using the then pretty new Chevy small block to power a C/K. They included numerous other mods such as adding a full belly pan. In addition to the lighter engine and moving the battery, the other weight distribution trick I remember them doing was running Buick aluminum front drums. I believe the article included the weight results, too.


04-19-2007, 03:08 PM
Hi, JBoyle,

As to whether anyone would notice the difference of taking weight off the front end of an Avanti would depend upon the driver. There are serious car guys who own Avanti and drive them hard and there are guys who just happen to like the look of an Avanti when it is parked` and every degree in between.

For me it, removing the front bumpers and relocating the battery to the trunk made a noticeable difference in the road feel. Another Avanti driver had a rack-and-pinion steering installed which gave the car dangerous bump steer. He claimed never to have noticed it before; "I would never drive it through a corner as hard as you just did!" and I was consciously being considerate of another's car - I corner my own Avanti MUCH harder every time I get in it.

thnx, jv.


04-19-2007, 10:55 PM
quote:Back in the dark ages (probably late 1970's) Turning Wheels reprinted an old article from a rodder's magazine...
It couldn't have been too long ago~ I remember that article!!!
I have it as well- if only I knew where I had it... [?]
I remember it being in the late '80s or early '90s as to when the article appeared in TW. I've only been a member since '86...

StudeDave [8D]
V/P San Diego County SDC
San Diego, Ca

'54 Commander 4dr 'Ruby'
'57 Parkview (it's a 2dr wagon...) 'Betsy'
'57 Commander 2dr 'Baby'
'57 Champion 2dr 'Jewel'
'58 Packard sedan 'Cleo'
'65 Cruiser 'Sweet Pea'