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Thread: Aunt Bea's chauffeur driven '66 Daytona

  1. #1
    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    Aunt Bea's chauffeur driven '66 Daytona


    This 1966 Studebaker Daytona was the personal car of actress Frances Bavier, who portrayed the Aunt Beatrice of Sheriff Andy Taylor in television's Andy Griffith Show. Miss Bavier, a New York native, died in 1989 at the age of 86. She lived her last 17 years at Siler City, N.C., about 35 miles east of Denton FarmPark.

    Her furniture, the car and other property were brought by moving van in 1972 from California to the home she bought in Siler City. She obtained a North Carolina driver's license and drove the car to the grocery, bank and post office. In later years, she employed a chauffeur who tried to convince her to get a newer car. Miss Bavier's preference for her beloved Studebaker was never swayed.

    It was produced in the last year of the Studebaker brand, assembled in Canada with a six-cylinder engine made by Chevrolet and labeled "Studebaker Super Skybolt Six." Miss Bavier bought it new in California during her residence there in the role of "Aunt Bea."

    The car is owned by Denton residents Brown Loflin and Sean Bingham. They paid $20,000 for it June 2, 1990, at a Raleigh auction of property the actress bequested to the benefit of the state university system's Center for Public Television.

    ###

    38th Annual Southeast Old Threshers Reunion at Denton Farmpark in Denton

    Photo made July 3, 2008

    www.threshers.com



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    Silver Hawk Member Guido's Avatar
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    I have a grille if they want it....

    Guido Salvage - "Where rust is beautiful" and real Studebaker horsepower lives

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    Hiding and preserving Studebakers in Richmond, Goochland & Louisa, Va.

  3. #3
    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    I think Opie put that dent in the grill when he was taking his driver's license test. I'm sure Aunt Bea was none too pleased....


    Brent's rootbeer racer.
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  4. #4
    Silver Hawk Member JRoberts's Avatar
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    From what I understand the car was in the same shape when it was bought for that incredible sum all those years ago. Several North Carolina Studebaker guys went to the auction but were put off by the exorbitant bidding for a rather beat up car.

    Joe Roberts
    '61 R1 Champ
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    Editor of "The Down Easterner"
    Eastern North Carolina Chapter

  5. #5
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    That's just another example of someone with more money than brains. I met my wife through The Andy Griffith Show website (www.mayberry.com) and since we're both huge fans of the show we'd love to own something like that but not for that amount....



    1950 Champion 2 Dr. Sedan


  6. #6
    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    I found some more information:
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0062592/bio
    A life-long exponent of Studebaker automobiles. The last car she bought was a 1966 model, the last model year for the make, made in the Canadian plant in Hamilton, Ontario. Some accounts say that the car was a 1964, the last year of production in the US plant in South Bend, Indiana. During the production of "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960) and "Mayberry R.F.D." (1968) she drove herself to and from the studio in it. Reportedly, it can be seen in the latter series. Miss Bavier took it to her home in North Carolina after she retired there and is believed to have last driven it in 1983. After her death in 1989, it was found sitting on four flat tires and its interior had been ruined by cats. Even so, two Andy Griffith fans bought it for $20,000 at auction.

    And more info:
    http://www.thegeneralstorecafe.com/n...2003_03_25.htm
    America’s Treasured Aunt Bee Lives on in our Hearts!

    Frances E. Bavier, lovingly known as Aunt Bee from the 1960’s hit TV sitcom, "The Andy Griffith Show," traded the fast pace city life of Los Angeles in 1972 to retire to peaceful Siler City. Originally from New York City, Frances moved to Siler City in the summer of 1972, where she bought a 17 room, 5 bath home sight unseen. Attracted to the picturesque, quiet town, Frances had said, "I fell in love with North Carolina, all the pretty roads and the trees. I, like a child, came here looking for a fairyland." Tired of the relentless fanfare, Bavier spent her retirement as a recluse, leaving 15 cats and no heirs when she died on December 6, 1989, eight days before her 87th birthday.

    "The Andy Griffith Show" was set in the fictional town of Mayberry, NC. It’s characters often referred to the capital city of Raleigh and on several occasions, Siler City. Frances Bavier’s first introduction to the real South came in 1962 when she went to Duke Hospital to undergo the infamous rice diet. During that time, she befriended a receptionist whose sister, Mrs. Herbert Jourdan, lived in Siler City. Suffice it to say, they became fast friends, spending a Christmas holiday together and later an awards’ dinner when Frances won her Emmy in 1967 as Best Supporting Actress.

    Having used her fame in life to support many charities, in death, she did no less. She bequeathed her money to various organizations within the town that was her home for her last 17 years. She bequeathed $50,000 to her longtime chauffeur/butler, $100,000 to the Siler City Police Department, instructing that the money should be placed in a trust fund, and its interest should be distributed to the officers as bonuses every Christmas. She gave $50,000 to the each Siler City Rescue Squad and the Siler City Volunteer Fire Department. She left her home to the Moore Regional Hospital, where she had been a patient several times. She left the contents of the house to the University of North Carolina for Public Television, which were auctioned off, raising $120,000 for public TV. The most sought after piece, was her 1966 Studebaker Daytona, a green, two door sedan with four flat tires and a dented fender. It got world attention. Callers came as far as England and Sweden. The old car sold for $20,000 to Stan Bingham and Brown Loflin of Davidson County.

    Today, you too can buy a little bit of America’s treasured Aunt Bee. Her house is now back on the market, selling for $459,900. Don’t mind the fact that it sold for a very modest price of $125,000 in 1990, four days after being put on the market by Larry and Vickie Russell. The house has been improved since then with a new roof, air conditioning, and a landscaped one acre lot. Additionally, the 4,661 square foot house, built in 1951, includes another 1200 square feet of heated basement and a full attic.




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  7. #7
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    Buy, or don't buy. Like it or not, and I hope this comes as no surprise, any connection to entertainment or sports figures will spike bids higher. Even for a '66 Daytona. Before the hammer dropped at $20k there was another bidder - which means there is more than one person who places the car's value in that range.

    Cute story about how she loved that car.

    Thomas

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    Guys the original post where someone remembered Aunt bee having owned a '62 Lark is also true, when she lived in Calif. she used to bring the '62 in for service at Frost and French Studebaker in Los Angeles! [:0]

    StudeRich

  9. #9
    Silver Hawk Member JBOYLE's Avatar
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    I heard that her car sold at auction but I never knew the price.
    Wow, $20,000.
    Sure wasn't bought by a CASO.

    63 Avanti R1 2788
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  10. #10
    President Member Sdude's Avatar
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    My story in Hawk Talks was just a brief filler. There is nothing in it that is not contained in this thread. It's a nice story for Stude fanatics.

    Jon Stalnaker
    Editor, Hawk Talks
    Karel Staple Chapter SDC

  11. #11
    President Member 2R5's Avatar
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    Give it another generation and people won't know who Aunt Bee was ...the car will then go for what its really worth ....maybe

    [IMG]
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  12. #12
    President Member rockinhawk's Avatar
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    Hey, My 6 year old grandaughter knows who Aunt Bea is. Reruns are still on sat. TV. We watch it on a regular basis.

    I remember when the car went up for auction. If memory serves, I think Dr.Robert Cade of Gainesville Fla. was one of the last bidders. NT
    quote:Originally posted by 2R5

    Give it another generation and people won't know who Aunt Bee was ...the car will then go for what its really worth ....maybe

    [IMG]
    Home of the Fried Green Tomato
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  13. #13
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    In 1990, I was the president of the North Carolina Chapter of the SDC. When Francis Bavier's '66 Daytona was listed at her estate auction, some of our members thought it would be a great idea to bid on the car, with the idea of restoring it and using it as a draw to charity functions and car shows. I was all for the idea, but a few were adamantly opposed, mainly on the basis of the continuing costs of the club owning the vehicle. But it was finally agreed it would be worthwhile.

    I arrived at the auction in Chapel Hill with Jack White, Truett Ray and a few other members whose names escape me right now (hey, it was almost 20 years ago!) There had been quite a debate about what the club's max price would be - this was a 500 dollar car at best (we had the chance to examine it closely, right down to the plastic toy burro epoxied to the dash overlay.) But, since it was Aunt Bea's Studebaker, we were prepared to go as high as 2,500! The consensus was that was MORE than enough...

    Well, the bidding started and went by our reserve in about 15 seconds - our collective jaws hit the floor as it soared past 10,13 then 18,000...Dr. Cade's last bid. When it went for 20,000 Dr. Cade turned to us and said "For 20,000, they can have it!" I guess he got a little carried away himself, since he bid it to 18,000! It was some experience, I can tell you.

    I'm not overawed by celebrity cars...BUT; If I could trade my 1964 Avanti for the '64 Avanti Rod Serling owned, I'd do it in a heartbeat! Russ Farris


  14. #14
    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing Russ. Its always nice to hear from someone with a first hand account. Do you know if the owners (Loflin & Bingham) belong to the Studebaker club? Does this car always remain at Denton Farmpark?


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    President Member StudeMichael's Avatar
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    It looks like it is a 2 door? If so it would be a hoot to see aunt Bea climb into the back seat with the chauffeur closing the door behind her.

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    quote:Originally posted by Milaca

    Thanks for sharing Russ. Its always nice to hear from someone with a first hand account. Do you know if the owners (Loflin & Bingham) belong to the Studebaker club? Does this car always remain at Denton Farmpark?


    Brent's rootbeer racer.
    MN iron ore...it does your body good.
    As far as I know, the two guys who ended up with the prize have zero interest in Studebakers other than Aunt Bea's and the car still is at Denton Farmpark, looking as forlorn as ever.

    If the NCSDC had ended up with it, I'm convinced we would have restored it to it's former glory and inexpensively too, as Newman and Altman had everything back then for a '66 Daytona including complete interiors. It would have been a great attraction for our club because of the iconic standing of the Andy Griffith Show. Russ Farris

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    quote:Originally posted by StudeMichael

    It looks like it is a 2 door? If so it would be a hoot to see aunt Bea climb into the back seat with the chauffeur closing the door behind her.
    Ahh, you do know that ALL '66 Daytonas are 2 Dr. Sport Sedans, right? [:0]

    StudeRich

  18. #18
    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    Russ, maybe you should contact these owners. Being that these fellas basically purchased this car from a non-for-profit organization, perhaps in turn they would consider selling it to a non-for-profit organization (tax deduction on their part when they bought the car for $20,000 and another tax deduction of $20,000 if they give it to your club, for example). It couldnt hurt to explain your clubs intent for the car and they might just be ready to get rid of the car and see to it that it gets a better home. Actually, it would look good in the Studebaker National Museum...perhaps the national club would contribute money? Gosh, there I go thinking again when I'm half asleep....


    Brent's rootbeer racer.
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  19. #19
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    Stephen Cade just emailed me this.

    Howdy Matthew,
    I still can't get back on the site, but you can reinforce grandpa's
    memory. I was at the auction and dad was the next highest bidder on
    Bee's car. We had planned to restore it and take it to the next
    national meet. We were a bit disappointed, as it would have been a
    real hoot. It seems that she left everything to a local charity.
    We lost the car, but did purchase some other Aunt Bee items. Share
    this with the group, if you'd like. Take care. Stephen


    Matthew Burnette
    Hazlehurst, GA


  20. #20
    President Member StudeMichael's Avatar
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    Just curious Matthew, Why can't Stephen get back on the sight? Does he need technical help?

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    quote:Originally posted by mbstude

    Stephen Cade just emailed me this.

    Howdy Matthew,
    I still can't get back on the site, but you can reinforce grandpa's
    memory. I was at the auction and dad was the next highest bidder on
    Bee's car. We had planned to restore it and take it to the next
    national meet. We were a bit disappointed, as it would have been a
    real hoot. It seems that she left everything to a local charity.
    We lost the car, but did purchase some other Aunt Bee items. Share
    this with the group, if you'd like. Take care. Stephen


    Matthew Burnette
    Hazlehurst, GA

    Just for fun, it would be neat to have the serial no. of the car. Then, we could go through the SNM to get the Retail Sale Card for the car, showing Miss Bavier's address, occupation, and what she traded in.

    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    '63 Lark Daytona Skytop R1
    '64 Daytona Hardtop

  22. #22
    President Member TX Rebel's Avatar
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    Changing times in Mayberry. Where are Andy & Barney when they are needed?

    11/01/09 4 Shot to Death in North Carolina TV Store:
    MOUNT AIRY, N.C. — Four men were killed in a shooting at a northwestern North Carolina television
    store on Sunday, and authorities said they were looking for a suspect who might be armed with an
    assault rifle. Mount Airy Police Chief Dale Watson said at a news conference that the victims were shot
    in the parking lot of Woods TV store in the town on the Virginia border and less than a mile from the police station. Police said a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Marcos Chavez Gonzalez. He is charged
    with four counts of murder. Watson said the victims and the suspect were at the television store for
    a reason. "We don't feel this was a random event," Watson said. "We do have an idea why (they were
    shot), but we won't be releasing that."

    Watson said alerts have been issued in North Carolina and Virginia to be on the lookout for Gonzalez. Authorities had detained two men but released them after it was determined that they were not involved
    in the shooting. Nursing supervisor Sue Coe at Northern Hospital of Surry County confirmed that two
    people died at the store around 2:30 p.m. She said two who were wounded died at the hospital, just
    across the street from the store. Woods TV sells televisions and satellite systems. Police say the
    victims' names were being withheld because their families have not been notified. Watson said all four
    were from Surry County that includes Mount Airy. The town served as the inspiration for the television
    town of Mayberry in "The Andy Griffith Show."

    WXII-TV in Winston-Salem reported that people who knew the victims gathered near the store and
    began crying and collapsing to the ground. Mount Airy, with a population of approximately 8,700,
    is about 100 miles north of Charlotte. Griffith is a native of the town, which has built a tourist trade
    on nostalgia for the show that continues to thrive in syndication...

    Barry'd in Studes

  23. #23
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    That is just terrible, may God bless the families of those FOUR (most likely) Americans.

    Because of PC, political and other restraints on us in today's America and on this Forum, I cannot say what I really feel, most likely why Chief Watson also did not.

    StudeRich

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    President Member TX Rebel's Avatar
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    All he needs to do is get back across the border because the Mex government refuses to extradite in capital cases. Crime seems to be one of their major exports and our #1 import.

    Barry'd in Studes

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    Speedster Member G T Joe's Avatar
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    Does anyone have any information on Rod Serling's 64 Avanti ? never new he had one, is it still around?

    Joseph Kastellec

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    Golden Hawk Member JDP's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by TX Rebel

    All he needs to do is get back across the border because the Mex government refuses to extradite in capital cases. Crime seems to be one of their major exports and our #1 import.

    Barry'd in Studes
    Barry, please keep your racist crap off this forum, it has nothing to do with the hobby.

    JDP/Maryland

  27. #27
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    quote:Originally posted by G T Joe

    Does anyone have any information on Rod Serling's 64 Avanti ? never new he had one, is it still around?

    Joseph Kastellec
    Here's a cool link about the known celebrities that have owned Avantis, including Rod Serling. Russ Farris

    http://www.theavanti.com/celebrity.htm

  28. #28
    Silver Hawk Member JBOYLE's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by G T Joe

    Does anyone have any information on Rod Serling's 64 Avanti ? never new he had one, is it still around?

    Joseph Kastellec
    Don't know, but Dick Van Dykes' is in the Peterson Museum. Rick Nelson's used to be in a museum but was sold awhile back.
    Just for fun...
    If you could own a car formerly owned by a celebrity...who would it be (and what car)?

    63 Avanti R1 2788
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  29. #29
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    According to the link I posted, Serling's Avanti is presently owned by Norman Cattell. Russ Farris

  30. #30
    Golden Hawk Member
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    quote:Originally posted by JBOYLE

    Just for fun...
    If you could own a car formerly owned by a celebrity...who would it be (and what car)?
    You might want to start a new post on this one.

    But; If I had the choice, it would not be a World Famous celebrity's car, it would be my hero's '64 Avanti, non other than Sherwood Egbert himself! [:0] [] After all, it was HIS car, ALL of them! [^]

    StudeRich

  31. #31
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    Rich--

    Quite. You and I could meet up at a cruise somewhere; you'd be in Mr Egbert's Avanti, I'd be in the ex-Bob Bourke 54 Starliner...

    S.

  32. #32
    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by Steve T

    Rich--

    Quite. You and I could meet up at a cruise somewhere; you'd be in Mr Egbert's Avanti, I'd be in the ex-Bob Bourke 54 Starliner...

    S.
    And I'll be in Aunt Bea's Daytona! [8D] Do you think she would mind if I replaced the 6 cylinder engine with a 350 V8? [8D]


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  33. #33
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    If it counts.. Felix Leiter's Studillac from the James Bond novel.

    Matthew Burnette
    Hazlehurst, GA


  34. #34
    President Member rockinhawk's Avatar
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    Ronald Reagen's 48 Convertible. NT


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