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View Full Version : Just bought this 1987 Avanti survivor and I have a question.



avanti76
10-13-2015, 12:21 PM
Just bought this 1987 Avanti 24,000 original mile survivor. Unmolested car all original right down to the 28 year old tires, which I plan to replace ASAP. My question is should I save and keep the original tires is there any merit to keeping them ? http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r494/avanti76/00f0f_3zkBXmdVz0D_600x450_zpsmiwalcjj.jpg (http://s1168.photobucket.com/user/avanti76/media/00f0f_3zkBXmdVz0D_600x450_zpsmiwalcjj.jpg.html)

Guido
10-13-2015, 12:44 PM
Sure, but I also have the original tires that came on the 1985 Toyota 4x4 pickup I bought new so I may not be the best one to ask...

StudeRich
10-13-2015, 12:59 PM
Being hand built and custom ordered in most cases Avanti II's do not have much of a certain "as built original" condition that needs to be preserved. Most are one of a kind, but since they all are, it adds no value.

They also are really not collectable in the same way an original Studebaker Avanti is, so they have less of a appreciation factor.

In other words; NO, the Tires do not matter, and since they last only 5 years, will not be legal or safe to use anyway.

SN-60
10-13-2015, 01:26 PM
VERY nice looking Avanti!....and with only 24K........WOW!!:!!::D:!!:

Scott
10-13-2015, 01:37 PM
Who ever thought we would reach a day where we could read "1987" and "survivor" in the same sentence about a car? It's too weird.

avanti76
10-13-2015, 01:45 PM
Thanks SN-60 I felt I couldn't pass it up everything works including icy air conditioning, no leaks, rip or tears, low mileage, and has always been garage kept. The owner has only driven it 7,500 miles since 1991 when they became the second owner. For $11,500 I felt it was a more than fair deal. Plus it has the easier to work on Monte Carlo chassis that any garage can service. I'm happy as there are many Avanti's out there with issues and abuse.

plwindish
10-13-2015, 01:59 PM
Avanti76, was it you or the previous owner that had the 87 Avanti at the Morris Cruise Night this last Saturday night? I saw the car go by on the street coming in. I had my 89 red Avanti convertible there and a friend had his gold 63 Avanti there as well. Good luck with the car.

For safety sake, please put new tires on the car if you are going to do any other driving than just around town.

avanti76
10-13-2015, 02:40 PM
Yes plwindish I believe it was the previous owner and the same car you saw. Yes I am putting on new tires ASAP before doing much of any type of driving. I feared test driving the car with 28 year old tires, but did exercise great care doing so. I'll look forward to seeing you and your 89 convertible at future cruise nights next year once the weather breaks in spring.

studegary
10-13-2015, 03:25 PM
Out of curiosity, what is the Serial Number (last digits)? The 1987 that I bought new was S/N ---006 (the fourth one for public sale).

avanti76
10-13-2015, 07:17 PM
studegary I pick up the car Thursday afternoon
I will PM you the Serial Number. I was able to get this tonight.
http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r494/avanti76/avanti%20date_zpsxxbrulzr.jpg (http://s1168.photobucket.com/user/avanti76/media/avanti%20date_zpsxxbrulzr.jpg.html)

studegary
10-14-2015, 01:28 PM
studegary I pick up the car Thursday afternoon
I will PM you the Serial Number. I was able to get this tonight.


Thanks. It looks like 159 on my monitor (may be 059). June 1987 would put it toward the end of South Bend Production. The change from South Bend to Youngstown was August/September 1987. There were 186 1987 models.

avanti76
10-14-2015, 10:40 PM
http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r494/avanti76/00f0f_3zkBXmdVz0D_600x450_zpsmiwalcjj.jpg (http://s1168.photobucket.com/user/avanti76/media/00f0f_3zkBXmdVz0D_600x450_zpsmiwalcjj.jpg.html) http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r494/avanti76/1987%20Avanti%20a_zpsemkwmzr3.jpg (http://s1168.photobucket.com/user/avanti76/media/1987%20Avanti%20a_zpsemkwmzr3.jpg.html) http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r494/avanti76/1987%20Avanti%20e_zpszoffieup.jpg (http://s1168.photobucket.com/user/avanti76/media/1987%20Avanti%20e_zpszoffieup.jpg.html) http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r494/avanti76/00K0K_bwBm3AbNffd_600x450_zpsbcaqwyio.jpg (http://s1168.photobucket.com/user/avanti76/media/00K0K_bwBm3AbNffd_600x450_zpsbcaqwyio.jpg.html) http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r494/avanti76/1987%20Avanti%20d_zpseofyv0cr.jpg (http://s1168.photobucket.com/user/avanti76/media/1987%20Avanti%20d_zpseofyv0cr.jpg.html) http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r494/avanti76/00v0v_1YMAzkQQMyN_600x450_zpsu5pz9rar.jpg (http://s1168.photobucket.com/user/avanti76/media/00v0v_1YMAzkQQMyN_600x450_zpsu5pz9rar.jpg.html) http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r494/avanti76/1987%20Avanti%20k_zpsb2kniezm.jpg (http://s1168.photobucket.com/user/avanti76/media/1987%20Avanti%20k_zpsb2kniezm.jpg.html)

JBOYLE
10-16-2015, 11:26 AM
Nice looking car. I like the idea of a moonroof in an Avanti. Seats look comfortable too.
The later cars had the newer dash, looks modern but I do like the iconic original.

I don't think I've seen a later car with two-tone. Was it original or owner added?
Interesting how two-tones made a comeback in the late 80s-early 90s.
Corvettes, Mercedes (on lower plastic cladding), and some Buicks had a contrasting color halfway up the car. We'll probably see it make another comeback as automakers look to make their cars different on a budget (and without having to re-do the government safety tests, new tooling costs, etc).

avanti76
10-16-2015, 04:58 PM
JBOYLE The two-tone paint appears to have been a factory option at least it was on this car. It is listed on the window sticker that came with the car as a $400 option. The only thing I don't care for is the luggage rack. http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r494/avanti76/img447_zpswiwn1gvx.jpg (http://s1168.photobucket.com/user/avanti76/media/img447_zpswiwn1gvx.jpg.html)

studegary
10-17-2015, 12:59 PM
Thanks for the window sticker. That verifies the 159 car number. The last 1987 was number 166. I also do not like the trunk rack (mine didn't have one). I did not like the automatic power antenna. I had to remember to turn off the radio every time that I went to put the car in my garage. My other cars with fixed or manually adjustable antennas went through the door opening just fine, but not that one. My last two homes had/have low headroom kit garage doors.

PackardV8
10-17-2015, 01:34 PM
I like the idea of a moonroof in an Avanti. John, like or not liking a moonroof is strictly personal.

However, the sad fact is that damned $1700 option power moonroof was probably the #1 cause of death for Avanti on which it was installed. It leaked like a sieve on many cars, rattled, failed to operate reliably. That it didn't stay repaired caused many owners to sell their cars cheaply.

Some years back, I saw one in Tennessee which had been sitting outside for a few years. The carpet had weeds 6" high from the irrigation provided by the moonroof leaks.

JMHO, but I'd pay $1700 more for a car which didn't have a moonroof.

jack vines

mbstude
10-17-2015, 01:45 PM
John, like or not liking a moonroof is strictly personal.

However, the sad fact is that damned $1700 option power moonroof was probably the #1 cause of death for Avanti on which it was installed. It leaked like a sieve on many cars, rattled, failed to operate reliably. That it didn't stay repaired caused many owners to sell their cars cheaply.

Some years back, I saw one in Tennessee which had been sitting outside for a few years. The carpet had weeds 6" high from the irrigation provided by the moonroof leaks.

JMHO, but I'd pay $1700 more for a car which didn't have a moonroof.

jack vines

I remember as a kid, going all over the southeast in my grandparents' '81 Avanti with a moonroof. Eventually we figured out a system.. Stuffing paper towels around the edges of the glass, then putting them in front of the A/C vents to dry. We'd alternate two "sets" of paper towels.. Eventually my granddad wound up putting red (the car is red) duct tape around the perimeter on long trips.

avanti76
10-17-2015, 06:37 PM
Next on the agenda for old 159 is a new set of tires. 28 year old tires just don't cut it, and new shocks again 28 year old shocks just don't provide a very nice ride. Other wise the car runs great.

avanti76
10-26-2015, 01:51 PM
Feel much better about driving the Avanti now that I have replaced the original 28 year old tires that were on the car. I can really feel the difference in the way the car rides and handles. Also feel much safer now ! The guys at Discount Tire's date code book didn't even go back that far. The whole shop worked on the job so they could get a closer look at the car. I had the car in and out of their shop in less than a hour even though they were busy. Lol.--- Question the previous owner just changed the oil should I be concerned about the zddp levels with the 1987 Chevy 305 V-8 that is in this car ?

BILT4ME
10-26-2015, 03:08 PM
The heads on that engine should have already had the hardened seats in them and be OK.

If you plan on driving the car any distances or running it for an hour or two at a time, you will start to encounter somethings that need attention:
Brakes will start to leak as they go through multiple heat cycles.
Rubber hoses will start to leak and crack as they start to move and go through heat cycles.
Any varnish or bad gas will start to remove itself from the tank as you drive it.

1) Change the fuel filter. Plan on changing it after about 10 tanks of gas, then at least annually.
2) Change the coolant (unless it has been changed in the last 6 months) You may want to flush it with distilled water a few times, THEN put in the correct coolant.
3) Run the oil for about 1000 miles, then change it. Use a quality oil at the correct viscosity. I personally prefer Quaker State, but make sure it has the correct viscosity and minimum rating for the engine.
4) Change ALL of the heating/cooling hoses that have antifreeze in them so you don't have a catastrophic failure.
5) Change the thermostat.
6) Change the radiator cap.
7) Change out as many vacuum hoses as you can.
8) Watch the exhaust. As you start to drive it and go through ore heat/cool cycles, it will start to break down quickly. I would guess you will have between 3000 and 5000 miles before it will need replacement.
9) Check ALL the brakes for leaks.
10) HIGH PRIORITY! Inspect the brakes hoses at the wheels and at the axles. They should be replaced and the brake system bled. The hoses can fail due to age and may not be able to handle the pressure, much like the 28 year old tires you replaced......
11) Replace the transmission fluid and filter.
12) Drain and refill the rear differential with new correct gear oil (check if you need positraction lube)

I have resurrected MANY older vehicles that have sat for extended periods of time. I get them going to drive them, not just to take them for a display. I have seen the pattern a number of times.

Great looking car! You can enjoy that for a while!

flyinlow
10-26-2015, 05:12 PM
The heads on that engine should have already had the hardened seats in them and be OK.


ZDDP doesn't have anything to do with hardened valve seats, it was put in oil to improve effective lubrication to flat tappet camshafts. If your 1987 Small block Chevy engine was a current Chevy production engine for 1987 it should have a roller cam .

flyinlow
10-26-2015, 05:17 PM
That's a beautiful car, congratulations
It's a great combination of fairly modern chassis and drivetrain that's easy and affordable to maintain or repair with great classic looks.

Anyone should be proud to drive it.

avanti76
10-26-2015, 11:46 PM
According to the Chevy engine specs. I found on the web for the 1987 HO 305, it has a flat tappet camshaft. So I guess it would be advisable for me to add a ZDDP oil additive just to be safe. Better safe than sorry !

JBOYLE
10-27-2015, 10:17 AM
Back to the tire issue.
If you're keeping the car all original/stock...and since they're listed on the sticker, I'd keep them if you have the room.
I have no idea if new "Low Profile Eagle GT" tires are made in that size, but they might be worth having if you plan on keeping the car in "as delivered" condition.
It would be neat to have them on the car at a concours. Just don't trust them for real driving.

Think of it this way, if you had a 1904 Olds, a 53 Corvette...wouldn't it be neat to have the original factory supplied tires to put on the car at shows?

flyinlow
10-27-2015, 11:34 AM
According to the Chevy engine specs. I found on the web for the 1987 HO 305, it has a flat tappet camshaft. So I guess it would be advisable for me to add a ZDDP oil additive just to be safe. Better safe than sorry !
All the 1986 and up 305's that I have worked on had roller cams except the truck engines but allot depends on what was spec'd by Avanti.

Gunslinger
10-27-2015, 03:18 PM
Avanti Motors purchased engines in lots to take advantage of quantity discounts. Since no Avantis were produced in 1986, it's entirely possible engines used for 1987 production were actually purchased and obtained in 1985. I know '87 Avantis were using the GM chassis and would or should have had engines installed by GM on the production line, but anything is possible when it comes to Avanti Motors.