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View Full Version : What's happened to Steven Blake's Avanti GT



Rich
06-17-2010, 01:23 AM
Curious to know if anyone can advise where this car is today?

http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/uu132/RichardMor/AvantiGTPic.jpg

http://i641.photobucket.com/albums/uu132/RichardMor/AvantiGTPic2.jpg

I remember Weldon Critcher having a racing Avanti but don't think it was this one.

Thanks,
Rich

Gunslinger
06-17-2010, 09:15 AM
The last I heard...if the information is accurate, the car is in the locked down building in Cancun. There's allegedly partially finished cars on the factory floor as well when the place was shut down.

Lots of misinformation and unconfirmed stuff about the Cancun factory, so who knows what the truth is? It kind of follows the Avanti history from day one...intrigue, conjecture, legend and unconfirmed information. I guess that makes the Avanti so great...what we don't know about its history is as important as what we do know...part of its mystique.

jgrohs
06-19-2010, 10:44 AM
Here's a picture I took of the car in Cancun in October 2006.


The last I heard...if the information is accurate, the car is in the locked down building in Cancun. There's allegedly partially finished cars on the factory floor as well when the place was shut down.

Lots of misinformation and unconfirmed stuff about the Cancun factory, so who knows what the truth is? It kind of follows the Avanti history from day one...intrigue, conjecture, legend and unconfirmed information. I guess that makes the Avanti so great...what we don't know about its history is as important as what we do know...part of its mystique.

Bob Bryant
06-19-2010, 11:41 AM
A friend visited the plant while in Cancun maybe a year after Kelly's arrest. It was closed down and secured with armed guards patrolling the area. It would be interesting to know if that is still going on at the facility.

lschuc
06-19-2010, 02:55 PM
Here are more pictures from the upper floor museum in Cancun:

Rich
06-20-2010, 02:00 AM
These pictures are great - thanks to all. One last question regarding the Avanti GT - is there any information on the frame that was fabricated for this car? Did anyone see or take pictures? Curious to know what approach they took - was it similar to the Stude frame but lighter weight tubular? Wonder if it was stiffer. From the little I've read most great handling cars have extremely stiff frames, but not sure if in the mid 80's that was the thinking.

Thanks,
Rich

Rich
06-20-2010, 02:04 AM
Guess I have one more question - I understand the last few 90 4-doors had widened fenders similar to those on the Avanti GT. I know the 4-door was supposed to be a one-piece mold, but if they changed the fenders, I'm wonder in there were molds in existence that may now be in Cancun or Atlanta. Anyone know about these later 4-door fenders?

Rich

R2Andrea
06-20-2010, 02:54 PM
The chassis on the GT Avanti was a spine type chassis designed by Herb Adams. Adams is a former GM chassis engineer as is often refered to as "the Father of the TransAm". He also has a long history in racing, particularly road racing. The GT's chassis is one long favored by Adams for it's rigidity and is the basic design that he used for other projects including a Cobra replica. A drawback to the spine chassis design is that it gets its strength from the large central Spine running down the center of the car. In the Avanti GT it is wide and over elbow height, rendering the car strictly a 4 place vehicle. A look inside a real Hummer (H1) will give you an idea.
The chassis used a number of production line GM parts to make it more production (cost) friendly. IIRC the rear suspension uprights were sourced from the front of the Olds Toronado.
I don't remember where the car is now but it was up for auction at the Labor Day Kruse auction years ago.

geojerry
06-22-2010, 08:24 AM
Wonder if the SDC can offer it services to help relocate all of these vehicles back to the states

Gunslinger
06-22-2010, 09:43 AM
The basic problem with anything related to Avanti Motors is the ongoing criminal procedures against Mike Kelly. As far as I know, the government is alleging that some of the money from the real estate scam Kelly is accused of was funneled in Avanti Motors, which makes EVERYTHING owned by the company in legal limbo until the entire case is resolved one way or the other. In other words, everything is impounded, even if still locked up on site until a resolution is found.

No one knows what will happen while there is reportedly negotiations underway for Kelly and others accused to make restitution...that can possibly include auctioning off all the company's assets...including the cars in its collection, the cars supposedly on the factory floor partially assembled, tooling, parts, etc. I would guess it's possible the whole thing could go up for auction lock, stock and barrel as one sale to an interested buyer or group.

Until there's some resolution, I think it would be wise for SDC or any other interested party to steer clear of the entire mess.

JBOYLE
06-22-2010, 10:36 AM
I would guess it's possible the whole thing could go up for auction lock, stock and barrel as one sale to an interested buyer or group.


Agreed. Or perhaps some parts of the Mexican operation could be sold off piecemeal...or the eventual buyer might look to unload the older cars to raise some money or to focus on the "core" business.
Either way, it couldn't hurt to keep your ear to the ground.
There might be some older Avantis making their way to market.

Gunslinger
06-22-2010, 01:48 PM
What I would be afraid of is disposal of the assets to pay off debts in any kind of settlement with the government wouldn't be like an assets sale by a bank or other creditor...the government runs by different rules and would probably not be an easy thing to navigate. That's just the nature of the government and how it does things...efficiency is not in the government lexicon...every level of the bureaucracy has its own say and rules to go by.

Add to that the Mexican government and you probably have a real can of worms. After payoffs (I assume) to them it will likely take a person or group with deep pockets to get through this mess and may well cost more than it could ever be worth...in other words the orange may not be worth the squeeze.

I wouldn't be surprised if at some point, some of the cars in the collection end up in some local official's garage until he decides to sell it for cash in his pocket.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong...I want to see something positive to come about from this. Maybe even someone or a group able to start up production again, though that may be unreasonable...but running a car company as small as Avanti has always been unreasonable in a common sense way yet it still happened again and again. Maybe there's another Nate Altman out there. I sure hope so.

JBOYLE
06-22-2010, 02:41 PM
-...efficiency is not in the government lexicon....
-Add to that the Mexican government and you probably have a real can of worms.
-After payoffs (I assume)...
-I wouldn't be surprised if at some point, some of the cars in the collection end up in some local official's garage until he decides to sell it for cash in his pocket.


I see living near the nation's capitol has made you a cynic...that is a realist...about government operations.
Well done! :)

Gunslinger
06-22-2010, 03:45 PM
I see living near the nation's capitol has made you a cynic...that is a realist...about government operations.
Well done! :)

I used to be a Federal law enforcement officer in and around DC. When you work in the shadow of the flag you get a real education in politics. We used to joke that when we put on our body armor we should wear it backwards with the trauma plate in the rear to shield us from the knives!

Some of the worst crooks I ever dealt with wore suits and had titles...and a few that carried badges.