PDA

View Full Version : Dubious Distinction Studebaker Avanti and Wagonaire



Avantict
07-18-2013, 10:14 AM
Video this morning on AOL 5 Worst Cars ever made. Obviously this guy is an idiot.

http://autos.aol.com/article/five-worst-cars-ever-made/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmaing5%7Cdl13%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D345298

warrlaw1
07-18-2013, 10:38 AM
I don't believe those sales numbers. Many factors affect sales. Doesn't make them bad cars.

brian6373
07-18-2013, 11:01 AM
Ford sold millions of Pintos, does that make them a good car? When was the last time you saw a pinto?

53k
07-18-2013, 11:06 AM
Video this morning on AOL 5 Worst Cars ever made. Obviously this guy is an idiot.

http://autos.aol.com/article/five-worst-cars-ever-made/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmaing5%7Cdl13%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D345298
He didn't say worst cars, just worst selling cars. Yes, he is still an idiot.

raprice
07-18-2013, 11:56 AM
Yes, he's an idiot. Both the Avanti and Wagonaire were very innovative. I don't believe the sales figures he quotes. It's interesting that General Motors copied the Wagonaire idea a few years ago. It must have been a great idea.
Rog

Gunslinger
07-18-2013, 12:25 PM
The problem with the Wagonaire was not the concept but the execution...water leaks. The same can be said for the Avanti in some ways. Great ideas and concepts poorly carried out don't necessarily doom that concept.

deco_droid
07-18-2013, 12:31 PM
I don't know anything about Avantis really, so I don't know if he's right or wrong. It just seems to me at that point in time, Studebaker was in financial straights, wasn't the Avanti's fault. Maybe just bad timing?

As far as the Wagonaire, someone school me -- did the roof leak badly? If so, then the guy is probably right. Doesn't mean it wasn't an interesting idea. I actually think it's a cool idea, but if the implementation was shoddy, then sales would reflect this.

One final thing, his #5 is the Plymouth Prowler, and I loved that car back in the late 90s. Ford was doing their "retro" T-Bird, the VW Beetle was reborn, and then this Prowler comes out. It was a great design, but I thought the same thing as this guy -- a flippin' V6 and automatic on a modern hot rod car? It's no wonder Plymouth went down in flames soon after...

showbizkid
07-18-2013, 12:52 PM
You know what they say about opinions :)

Son O Lark
07-18-2013, 01:49 PM
Yes, the roofs do leak on Wagonaires. But did the general public know this in 1962-3? If the wagon was brand new, it probably didn't leak much. It couldn't have gotten a bad rep that fast.

Bob Andrews
07-18-2013, 01:55 PM
I love my Wagonaire- today. It's odd and different, and fun with that slider. And it's not a daily/bad weather driver for me, so the (sometimes disgusting) roof leak isn't a problem. But when I think of it in the context of the times in which it was released, I have to wonder like the narrator- what was the intended purpose? I've seen the videos, but how many people were planning on hauling around refrigerators and assembled playground slides in their family car? As novel as it is, I picture most people shrugging it off and looking at other cars- same as buyers did in 2004 when the GMC Envoy offered the same option.

As for the Avanti- I don't think he was that far off on that either. Again, they are beloved today as collector cars, but with all the negatives I found in real life when I had one- hot inside, steering wheel too close to the seat, sketchy door window regulators and hinges, barely existent seats, etc.- combined with production delays and questionable fiberglas panel fit- it's hard to picture the average non-Studebaker fanatic opting for one over the other choices in the segment. And that's before you get to the not-universally-loved styling- and the relatively high price.

The narrator comes off as a bit of a tool, but if we set our obvious prejudices aside for a minute and look at what he said objectively, he's not completely wrong.

Bob Andrews
07-18-2013, 01:57 PM
Yes, the roofs do leak on Wagonaires. But did the general public know this in 1962-3? If the wagon was brand new, it probably didn't leak much. It couldn't have gotten a bad rep that fast.

It seems that I have heard that the roof leak problems DID come to light pretty quickly.

SN-60
07-18-2013, 02:28 PM
Wow,----He lists five cars that He considers duds...and two of them are Studebakers. I don't like this man!

Roscomacaw
07-18-2013, 02:40 PM
The new Bugattis must be real duds!

plwindish
07-18-2013, 03:03 PM
It is kind of strange that with all the cars that were duds, he puts two Studes in the top five. I read his bio and it stated he has a collection of Fords from what he considers Detroit's finest era, the late 60's. I wonder if he knows two of Ford's duds, Edsel and Pinto. A horse collar front end for the Edsel and a flaming rear end for Pintos in collisions wasn't enough to put them on the dud list????

KenS
07-18-2013, 03:30 PM
The narrator asked "what would you carry in a wagonaire" Well Dad moved several refrigerators,a cast iron table saw (on the cabinet) and my favorite was a 13 foot plum tree that a friend of his "gave us" if we dug it up! We did it, went on what would have been a three mile ride normally,but turned out to be about a ten mile ride through Chicago due to planning a route that did not have underpasses in the way! Did they leak? First time was a cold rainy day in November. Only the passenger side leaked, but on that cold November day in '67 was enough to make my MOM call the zone office, next day Dad & I took the car to Studebaker on Western and the zone rep( I think his name was Homer) had that roof fixed and never did leak again in the next 6 years Dad owned the car!

53k
07-18-2013, 06:36 PM
[QUOTE=KenS;760675]The narrator asked "what would you carry in a wagonaire" ...QUOTE]
I carried a refrigerator, a dishwasher, a couple live Christmas trees and some other tall items in mine. The best "carry" story was more making like a dump truck. When I lived in California we were doing a playground for the kids in the back yard. Wife says we need playground bark and this was back before bags of various bark were commonly sold. So, I go to a supplier, open the top, put down the rear seat to its flat position, roll up the tailgate window and had the man fill the back of the wagon with loose bark with his front end loader.

LarkTruck
07-18-2013, 06:46 PM
I bet the "IDIOT" drives a Prius:woot:
JS

1962larksedan
07-18-2013, 07:35 PM
I don't know anything about Avantis really, so I don't know if he's right or wrong. It just seems to me at that point in time, Studebaker was in financial straights, wasn't the Avanti's fault. Maybe just bad timing?

As far as the Wagonaire, someone school me -- did the roof leak badly? If so, then the guy is probably right. Doesn't mean it wasn't an interesting idea. I actually think it's a cool idea, but if the implementation was shoddy, then sales would reflect this.

One final thing, his #5 is the Plymouth Prowler, and I loved that car back in the late 90s. Ford was doing their "retro" T-Bird, the VW Beetle was reborn, and then this Prowler comes out. It was a great design, but I thought the same thing as this guy -- a flippin' V6 and automatic on a modern hot rod car? It's no wonder Plymouth went down in flames soon after...

IMHO the Avanti was a mistake at the time; Stude might have hung on a few more years by updating the Hawk instead of killing it around 1964 along with the 'Avanti' R&D costs applied to a modern balljoint front suspension and integral PS probably using the the GM 800 gearbox.

Wagonaire: Studebaker Australia did not offer the sliding roof model; just the fixed roof body. Maybe they sense something was amiss and didn't decide to risk the slider? I'm surmising here.

Prowler: I'll give Mopar a bye here re: no V8 option let alone a stick. Remember that no Chrysler passenger car had a V8 between 1990 and 2004 so emissions/CAFE certifying the rather low power 318/360 truck TBI motors would've been too expensive. Ditto for a stick: two sets of emissions certs (it and the AT version).

JBOYLE
07-18-2013, 07:38 PM
I thought what he said about the Avanti was very measured. He may be an idiot, but he didn't say anything about the Avanti that wasn't true....he acknowledged that it had innovations, but he also said Studebaker couldn't meet initial demand due to body issue and that only 4600 were sold both true. But he comes awfully close to blaming Studebaker's end on the Avanti. True, it did not save the company, but it did not kill the company. Still he's less of an idiot than the moron at Time who called the Ford Excursion one of the worst cars ever made. Despite the fact that the government calls it a truck. And we know the government is never wrong. :)

63r2
07-18-2013, 09:01 PM
Wagonaire: Studebaker Australia did not offer the sliding roof model; just the fixed roof body. Maybe they sense something was amiss and didn't decide to risk the slider? I'm surmising here.

I'm pretty sure they offered the Wagonaire in 63 as I used to own one. 64 I think they fixed the roof.
pb

57pack
07-18-2013, 10:23 PM
I don't care what they say, I still love my Lark (type) leaky roof and all.

stude1964
07-19-2013, 09:26 AM
I fixed my roof! I love driving my SR wagon. Maybe it's the Laguna Blue but I get lots of thumbs up! As for the moron who put down the Studes and others based on sales-what would he say about the 435 Kaiser Darrins sold? Rob in PA.

StudeRich
07-19-2013, 12:50 PM
I am surprised he didn't jump all over the "New" Ford Thunderbird, there couldn't have been many of those built either.

But really, 2 out of five are Studebakers and in a category with one of the Worlds worst, not just selling but actually WORST designed ever, the Pontiac Aztec?

50starlite
07-19-2013, 01:10 PM
Itís safe bet to pick on vehicles no longer in production.

Dick

BobPalma
07-19-2013, 01:18 PM
Yes, his production figures are no more accurate than his assessments. Sorry, but I'll not waste the time documenting and posting the various sales mistakes he made. Truly, the guy is a dorque. :mad: BP

Gunslinger
07-19-2013, 01:31 PM
Bob...is "dorque" a more high-class grade of "dork"? Kinda like the difference between "junk" and "junque"?

BobPalma
07-19-2013, 02:40 PM
Bob...is "dorque" a more high-class grade of "dork"? Kinda like the difference between "junk" and "junque"?

That's correct, Bruce.

In this case, since that guy is officially a dorque, we should use the formal spelling; dorque. (If his application was still pending, we would use the more informal wording, dork.)

He's also a jerque for the same reason; it's official. :!!: BP

t walgamuth
07-19-2013, 03:11 PM
Studebaker was a boat headed for Niagara falls in '63. The wagonaire and Avantis were small anchors the could do nothing to stop the progress for the falls. Good ideas just too late to help much.

Warren Webb
07-19-2013, 04:17 PM
His claim of only 940 (!!) Wagonaire's sold may only be their final year of production. I'm sure Studebaker made & sold a lot more of them in the years prior. He totally ignored the GMC Envoy that used the sliding roof like the Wagonaire.

Bill Pressler
07-21-2013, 05:14 AM
His claim of only 940 (!!) Wagonaire's sold may only be their final year of production. I'm sure Studebaker made & sold a lot more of them in the years prior. He totally ignored the GMC Envoy that used the sliding roof like the Wagonaire.

True, Warren. In '63, the Wagonaire count was nearly 11K. But he left that out. I have to believe his Aztek number is also from the final model year only...of course, not mentioned by him.

If I did research like that at work, I'd be s***canned. Of course, on the 'net, anybody can say anything and it becomes automatic fact.

It's interesting to note that the guy is a Ford owner. Someone on the Edmunds site noted how he could have easily mentioned the 1960 Edsel, which in comparison makes the Avanti look like it sold like '65 Impalas (well, not quite!)--LOL!

stude dude
07-21-2013, 06:26 AM
IMHO the Avanti was a mistake at the time; Stude might have hung on a few more years by updating the Hawk instead of killing it around 1964 along with the 'Avanti' R&D costs applied to a modern balljoint front suspension and integral PS probably using the the GM 800 gearbox.

Wagonaire: Studebaker Australia did not offer the sliding roof model; just the fixed roof body. Maybe they sense something was amiss and didn't decide to risk the slider? I'm surmising here.

Prowler: I'll give Mopar a bye here re: no V8 option let alone a stick. Remember that no Chrysler passenger car had a V8 between 1990 and 2004 so emissions/CAFE certifying the rather low power 318/360 truck TBI motors would've been too expensive. Ditto for a stick: two sets of emissions certs (it and the AT version).

Sliding roof Wagonaires were built in Australia in some quantity for the 1963 model year. All of our 1964-65 models were fixed roof wagons.

I believe the Australian assembly operation did have trouble maintaining good panel alignment and sealing on 1963 models. They also appear to have gotten about half the number of body welds! So water leaks and rattles were common.

We had a South Bend built 1963 Wagonaire in our family for close to 15 years. A good original California car that was used as a daily driver. Even with all of the original roof seals still in place, it never once leaked during many tropical thunder storms. I think the real big problem with these models is that the drains block up and water overflows into the roof.

Chris.