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Alternatives to 63 Avanti seating

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  • Alternatives to 63 Avanti seating

    I am looking for an alternative to the original clam shell seats that came with my 63 avanti. I am big man and have already broken the drivers seat and do not feel safe in the original seat. I intend on installing shoulder belts that anchor to post where roll bar is and with a retractor at the floor near base of post.

    I would prefer something with a higher back that provides neck protection and has adjustable reclining seat back. I would like for something that is sporty and looks like it belongs with the rest of the original interior. What are some the aftermarket custom seat choices that you Avanti modifiers have used, or what was put into some of the Avanti II's after the original clam shell seats were no longer avaiable or outlawed by safety regulations.

    Your thoughts, inputs and pictures would be appreciated.... John

    <div align="left">John</div id="left">

    <div align="left">'63 Avanti, R1, Auto, AC, PW (unrestored)</div id="left">
    sigpic
    John
    63R-2386
    Resto-Mod by Michael Myer

  • #2
    Agree, the OEM seats are really minimal in terms of safety, durability and comfort. The good news is because of the flat floor, most any seat can be made to fit. I bought a pair of full power heated leather seats from a Mazda 929 and they transformed the comfort and feel of the car. Being able to get the seat back and down in the car makes an amazing difference in driving feel. For a tall guy, having one's head back changes the apparent center of gravity. I highly recommend getting some modern luxury car seats.

    thnx, jack vines

    PackardV8
    PackardV8

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    • #3
      You need to get in touch with member SBCA96. Tom has already done all the work for you with a well documented conversion.

      I can't seem to find the thread at the moment, but I'm sure he can help.

      I believe he used modern Camaro seats -Tom?

      http://community.webshots.com/user/s...host=community

      Comment


      • #4
        He did. Late model Camaro seats- fit well and look natural in there! It's too easy to put in seats that look odd and out of place.

        Here's his thread- another of his excellent "how-to" threads:

        http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...?TOPIC_ID=5715

        Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
        Parish, central NY 13131

        "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

        "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"



        Comment


        • #5
          Another option that I think would work well and would look about right in an Avanti would be the seats from a Porsche 911 or 944. They look like they'd about bolt right in, they bolt to captive nuts in the floor of the car just like a Stude Lark or Hawk. To use them in an Avanti you'd probably just have to fab up some little angle brackets to connect the rails to the Avanti mounting points. I have no experience with the Camaro seats, but Tom seems to be happy with them - I can say that the Porsche seats are very comfortable at least to me, and great for long distances. They're available with power height adjustment for the front and rear, and manual recline - or if you really want to go nuts they are also available full power I believe. The switches are on the seats so all you need to find is the connector plug where the seat plugs into the body harness and then wire up to your car (no switches on door/console/etc.) The seat backs are also very thin like the original Avanti seats to maintain your rear seat legroom (if that is a concern to you.)

          I've actually got an extra pair of these if you want to investigate going down that road.

          good luck,

          Nate

          --
          55 Commander Starlight
          http://members.cox.net/njnagel
          --
          55 Commander Starlight
          http://members.cox.net/njnagel

          Comment


          • #6
            The Camaro seats would probably be the easy & cheap way to go. I'm sure GM OEM stuff is designed to fit anyone regardless of size.

            But for the sake of completeness...don't forget the later Avanti IIs had Reccaros.
            They should be easy to find as they were fitted to a lot of 80s sports cars...and I'm sure you could buy them new (but pricey) as a retrofit to existing cars with a special mounting kit.
            They even offered them as designer office chairs. They were THE thing to have back then.

            63 Avanti R1 2788
            1914 Stutz Bearcat
            (George Barris replica)

            Washington State
            63 Avanti R1 2788
            1914 Stutz Bearcat
            (George Barris replica)

            Washington State

            Comment


            • #7
              quote: It's too easy to put in seats that look odd and out of place.
              Like the Avanti factory did with some of their high-back green, orange, brown or paisley velour seats of the '70s?

              thnx, jack vines

              PackardV8
              PackardV8

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              • #8

                1994 Firebird GT ... cool looking, infinitely adjustable, blow up side wings to hold you in, power lumbar support, etc..


                Bob Johnstone
                www.studebaker-info.org

                64 GT Hawk
                55 President State Sedan
                70 Avanti (R3)
                64 GT Hawk (K7)
                1970 Avanti (R3)

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                • #9
                  One caution on late-model power seats: Some have electronics that are built in to the donor vehicle's Body Control Computer. They're almost impossible to wire up independently of their original vehicle.

                  Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
                  Parish, central NY 13131

                  "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

                  "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"



                  Comment

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