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View Full Version : Ricky Nelson Avanti: Serial number R1607 or R1431?



rgallatin
07-06-2013, 04:13 PM
Ricky Nelson was definitely a celebrity Avanti owner. The attached photo shows Nelson sitting in a car that is Avanti Gold and clearly has a black vinyl interior. This is almost certainly R1431. R1607 is also credited with belonging to Nelson. www.theavanti.net/nelson.html (http://www.theavanti.net/nelson.html)

25190 (http://www.theavanti.net/nelson.html)

(1.) From member "Studebaker Wheel" Jan 01, 2011: "Ricky Nelson purchased his new Avanti in November 1962 from Coventry Motors at 9334 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills California. It is serial number 63R 1431. Avanti Gold with black vinyl trim with automatic, ps, electric windows and air conditioning etc. The last I knew of the car it was owned by AOAI member Neil Lipes in Redford, Michigan. Now you know "the rest of the story!"

(2.) On the other hand, Avanti R1607 was for sale by an online auction house at about the same time. This car came to them from a small museum and was described as: Ricky's red 1963 Studebaker Avanti is serial number R1607. It is an R2 with a supercharger, 4-speed, power steering, power brakes, electric windows, twin traction, and tinted glass. They also claimed to have a sales receipt that verified that the car was bought by original owner Harriet Nelson in 1962.

As manager of www.theavanti.net (http://www.theavanti.net) I would like to publish only the correct information. Any help in clearing up this apparent conflict would be appreciated.

StudeRich
07-06-2013, 05:55 PM
It seems that Ricky's Avanti or Avantis are being discussed on one of your other posts here:

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?72859-Ricky-Nelson-Avanti&p=757166#post757166

8E45E
07-06-2013, 05:58 PM
The name 'Rick Nelson' is not an uncommon name. There could easily have been more than one 'Rick Nelson' who purchased brand new Avantis.

Craig

rgallatin
07-06-2013, 06:25 PM
I think that was the consensus concerning the Avanti owned by a Robert Kennedy. It's a good point. In this case I think R1431 was the Nelson car because it matches the car in the photograph. I would still like to find a clarification for the R1607 claim.

rgallatin
07-06-2013, 06:26 PM
Same author, but I did not know there were two serial numbers claimed when I made the first post.

Corvanti
07-06-2013, 06:43 PM
if the information came from "Studebaker Wheel" (Mr. Quinn), i'd take it to the bank!:)

since R1607 shows Harriet Nelson as the original owner, perhaps she bought one around the same time as Rick's purchase. or, they were ordered around the same time and the first R2 red with the options ordered, was down the assembly line a bit...

i really don't know - just thinking out loud. maybe some research on Mr. Johnstone's Avanti registry and other sites could confirm build/delivery dates...

rgallatin
07-06-2013, 07:02 PM
I agree with you and thanks. Perhaps I am taking all this celebrity stuff too seriously?

Gunslinger
07-06-2013, 07:20 PM
There's nothing wrong with searching for the truth and facts. It's not so much whether anyone is taking celebrity stuff too seriously, but finding the provenance of any vehicle in particular...if a car was owned by a celebrity, whether an entertainer (such as Rick Nelson) or an author (like Ian Fleming), the current owner should be aware of it. It affects the value of the car and even whether it gets restored, parted out or simply allowed to rot.

studelark
07-06-2013, 07:28 PM
There's nothing wrong with searching for the truth and facts. It's not so much whether anyone is taking celebrity stuff too seriously, but finding the provenance of any vehicle in particular...if a car was owned by a celebrity, whether an entertainer (such as Rick Nelson) or an author (like Ian Fleming), the current owner should be aware of it. It affects the value of the car and even whether it gets restored, parted out or simply allowed to rot.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Well spoken, Gunslinger!! Amen!

Frank Drumheller
Locust Grove, VA
60S-W6
M16-52 1948 Boyer-bodied fire truck

Gunslinger
07-06-2013, 08:09 PM
All Avantis (assuming reasonable condition) have a certain market value. The same goes for many commodities. As an example, a late 1800's Colt Single Action Army revolver has a certain base value in reasonable condition. Years back (I believe in the 1950's), a collector purchased a 19th century Colt SAA revolver...nothing appeared particularly special about it. I don't remember what the purchase price was but I believe it was about $75-$95...still a fair sum at that time. The collector requested a certified archive letter for it from Colt...a service they routinely perform for a fee. When the collector received his archive letter from Colt, it turned out the revolver was ordered by and sent to a certain William Barclay Masterson...Bat Masterson. Colt still had his letter ordering the revolver and the production order and shipping logs. Just imagine what that piece of paper meant for the value of that revolver.

The same goes for any documentation or other proof of anyone of note who owned an Avanti or any other Studebaker. How much added value is hard to put a finger on...different celebrities have different levels of notoriety or fame. As time passes fewer even remember some of these celebrities. How many remember who Herb Shriner was and he owned an Avanti. Compare that to the potential of the person who finds proof he owns the Avanti once owned by Ian Fleming.

As I said...provenance can make the difference not just in a car's market value (and bragging rights if that's important), but even whether a particular car gets saved.

Just something to think about.

JBOYLE
07-06-2013, 08:53 PM
I think it would be great fun to have an Avanti ordered by a celebrity who really represents the early-60s period. Imagine owning one ordered by the likes of Flemming, Dick Van Dyke or ideally, Sinatra (I don't know if he had one) or Carson. I wouldn't necessarily care about the investment potential (sometimes there's a bump, sometimes not) just a but of fun. And for those who poo-poo the interest a former owner brings to something...allow me to remind you of Lincoln's carriage at the SNM. Although Lincoln is a tad more historic than Nelson...or even Sinatra :), a noteworthy owner helps tell the artifacts story and the time it was made and used in.

Corvanti
07-06-2013, 09:02 PM
I agree with you and thanks. Perhaps I am taking all this celebrity stuff too seriously?

maybe Harriet bought it for Ozzie, Ricky and Dave's parents.:)

Gunslinger
07-06-2013, 10:48 PM
I think it would be great fun to have an Avanti ordered by a celebrity who really represents the early-60s period. Imagine owning one ordered by the likes of Flemming, Dick Van Dyke or ideally, Sinatra (I don't know if he had one) or Carson. I wouldn't necessarily care about the investment potential (sometimes there's a bump, sometimes not) just a but of fun.

Sinatra allegedly did own an Avanti. I've never seen a serial number documenting which car it was.

stude dude
07-07-2013, 04:21 AM
There was some info on the Ian Flemming car and maybe a copy of the production sheet in Turning Wheels a couple of years ago. I have been told the car was destroyed by fire somewhere in Europe many years ago. Maybe someone will know more. His car is fairly distinctive being a factory black car requiring a special order.

Chris.

BobWaitz
07-07-2013, 09:02 AM
The name 'Rick Nelson' is not an uncommon name. There could easily have been more than one 'Rick Nelson' who purchased brand new Avantis.

Craig

John (Jon) Voight's LeBaron
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm2iNNqj2fQ

8E45E
07-07-2013, 09:13 AM
John (Jon) Voight's LeBaron

One of those LeBarons still in its packing crate!!

Craig

R3 challenger
07-07-2013, 10:11 AM
Here is production order information for these two cars:

63R-1431 was shipped to Beverly Hills, California. It was Avanti Gold with black interior, R1, Powershift, AC, and Twin Traction. The PO has SOLD RUSH at the bottom.

63R-1607 was shipped to Inglewood, CA. It was also Avanti Gold with black interior. Other equipment was supercharger, 4-speed, and Twin Traction. SOLD RUSH is on the PO.

Both cars had power steering and electric windows, and they were both ordered cars. Sometimes celebrity names are handwritten on the PO, but neither of these POs has that.

George

rgallatin
07-07-2013, 10:23 AM
There's nothing wrong with searching for the truth and facts. It's not so much whether anyone is taking celebrity stuff too seriously, but finding the provenance of any vehicle in particular...if a car was owned by a celebrity, whether an entertainer (such as Rick Nelson) or an author (like Ian Fleming), the current owner should be aware of it. It affects the value of the car and even whether it gets restored, parted out or simply allowed to rot.

Wise words indeed. Any help in getting the facts straight is appreciated. www.theavanti.net (http://www.theavanti.net/nelson.html)

rgallatin
07-07-2013, 02:11 PM
George, I have saved this information for future reference. Unfortunately, since both cars were gold and black when Nelson was photographed sitting in one, it is not possible to resolve which serial number belongs to the car in the photograph. R1607 had been painted red when it was last sold about two years ago. If it had been red on the production order the question would have been answered.

studegary
07-07-2013, 04:02 PM
I bought Art Rust Jr's 1963 Avanti from him in the 1970s. Art Rust Jr., at that time, was an NBC sportscaster. I didn't consider him to be a celebrity, but he was well known. After years, I sold that Avanti to a guy from the VA/MD/DC area.

studegary
07-07-2013, 04:04 PM
Neither 1431 nor 1607 show up in my 2011 AOAI Roster (you probbly already checked that).

64V-K7
07-07-2013, 07:55 PM
I've had 1607 listed since 2007, but don't have 1431. Neither of them are in any rosters back to 2002... Anyone have an earlier list?

Hawklover
07-29-2014, 04:20 PM
A check of the records from that time will show that Hillard Music Corporation, purchased the '63 Avanti that was owned by Ricky Nelson.........Hillard was the maiden name of Harriet Nelson, Ozzie's wife. Now you know the rest of the story.

GinettaG12P
07-29-2014, 04:46 PM
Did Ian Fleming write Chitty Chitty Bang Bang before or after he purchased his Avanti?

Gunslinger
07-29-2014, 05:20 PM
The book wasn't published until after Fleming's death, but the first manuscripts were written several years earlier...before the Avanti went into production though it was probably under development.

SN-60
07-29-2014, 06:48 PM
That's a great photo of Rick Nelson and his new Avanti....but with no drip rails on that car...old Rick probably got wet a few times!