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  • What ever happened to Avanti?

    At the risk of sounding like an idiot[:I]!! A question has been bothering me lately and I can't find any information about it...

    What ever happened to Avanti? Last time I heard, they had moved production to Cancun, Mexico.



    Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker
    Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker

  • #2
    Not a happy tale...a brief version:
    After moving to Mexico and building a couple of dozen cars based on Ford Mustang mechanicals...Avanti owner Michael Kelly was arrested by the feds and accused of being involved in a Ponzi scheme. He pled innocent but is still in jail.
    The factory is locked along with their collection of cars.

    Here's more:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Eugene_Kelly



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

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

    Washington State

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    • #3
      Gee... he was jailed in May and still not up for trial? What the devil happend to the right to a speedy trial? For the sake of Avanti, I hope he was innocent. Then again, after such a disruption, I can't see how the fellow's business can recover.

      "Hey, you're not guilty after all! But we've ruined you financally anyway, so, tough luck chump!"

      Ya gotta love the Federal version of jurisprudence.


      Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
      K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
      Ron Smith
      Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?
      Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
      K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
      Ron Smith
      Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by studeclunker
        "Hey, you're not guilty after all! But we've ruined you financally anyway, so, tough luck chump!"
        Ya gotta love the Federal version of jurisprudence.


        He's sitting in jail for a reason. They are still sorting out how many people he ruined financially for years. This isn't an oops by the feds. Max 240 years? Innocent? We'll see..

        http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/18821009.html

        http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/pr/chi...pr0509_02a.pdf

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        • #5
          He deserves anything he gets, I lost $ 1500 1976 dollars to the SOB, and a trip to Cancun. He was fraudlently selling Vacations at the 1976 Street Rod nationals.

          101st Airborne Div. 326 Engineers Ft Campbell Ky.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes everybody loses! If Kelly is guilty, then he deserves what he gets. The Federal Criminal Justice System does not play games with folks! However, they do often end up destroying peoples lives (Preston Tucker, John Delorean, remember?) Just because someone is in jail doesn't mean they are guilty. It just means they haven't gone to trial. Since Kelly has property in Mexico, the Feds consider him flight risk and probably denied him bail based on that.

            But my point is its a shame that Avanti is tied up with all this. I thought that there was hope of it rising again from the ashes. I suspect though that this indeed the end of a great marque and with the demise of SASCO, the end of the vestiges of Studebaker.

            SAD



            Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker
            Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker

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            • #7
              He will die in prison. He has a heart condition.

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              • #8
                I guess that after all is said and done, Avanti is done. We should just enjoy those great Avantis that Studebaker and Nate Altman built.
                Those were the REAL Avantis.
                Just my opinion.
                Rog

                '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
                Smithtown,NY
                '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
                Smithtown,NY
                Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club

                Comment


                • #9
                  Mr. Kelly is no innocent caught in the ambitions of your conspiracy theory. Real money was lost, perhaps squandered. He was apparently a charmer and a good schmoozer.

                  $428 million lost by investors is just a bit too much for me to overlook vs. continuing the Avanti legend. Unfortunate on many levels. More so when you stop to think that the very limited number of the newest Avantis were made off the losses of investors who didn't even know they were underwriting Mr. Kelly's fascination with being an automobile manufacturer. In other words Avanti was dead a long time ago.

                  I personally find the F-body based Avantis to be fabulous looking, while far removed from any Studebaker heritage. My preference is for Avantis with chrome bumpers, I.E., through 1983.

                  Let me put another spin on the question: why is it even important that new cars with the Avanti name and styling cues be made? For $80 or $90 large there are many other cars I would rather call my own.

                  Thomas

                  Long time hot rodder
                  Packrat junk collector
                  '63 Avanti R2 4 speed

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    For me, the 1964 model year was the end of the Studebaker Avanti, so I don't consider Kelly's demise the end of any Studebaker legend. Those later cars are beautiful, but I find it hard to be as upset about that loss in the same manner as I am about SASCO. I understand and respect the following of them since N&A began the journey, but the molds are still out there for a few more if the demand crops up to continue the big three flavored Avanti legend. The fans don't need him for that.

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                    • #11
                      It was sad when the Ohio plant burned down and the Avanti was apparantly gone forever. Then it rose again to even better heights. The plant is still there in Mexico. Don'cha think the feds will want to sell it off to someone? There is still hope that it can once again be resurected. A cat has nine lives. The Avanti has only used up about seven depending on how you want to count it.

                      It could happen....

                      Jon Stalnaker
                      Editor, Hawk Talks
                      Karel Staple Chapter SDC
                      Jon Stalnaker
                      Karel Staple Chapter SDC

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:Originally posted by Sdude

                        It was sad when the Ohio plant burned down and the Avanti was apparantly gone forever. Then it rose again to even better heights. The plant is still there in Mexico. Don'cha think the feds will want to sell it off to someone? There is still hope that it can once again be resurected. A cat has nine lives. The Avanti has only used up about seven depending on how you want to count it.

                        It could happen....

                        Jon Stalnaker
                        The Ohio Avanti plant fire was 8/19/92. This was long after the production of 1991 Avantis and before the production of the AVX or the later Firebird/Mustang based Avantis.

                        Gary L.
                        Wappinger, NY

                        SDC member since 1968
                        Studebaker enthusiast much longer
                        Gary L.
                        Wappinger, NY

                        SDC member since 1968
                        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                        • #13
                          That was the point I was trying to make Gary. The company appeared to die several times yet kept coming back again. Perhaps it will appear again in the future.

                          I, for one, would love to see it.

                          Jon Stalnaker
                          Editor, Hawk Talks
                          Karel Staple Chapter SDC
                          Jon Stalnaker
                          Karel Staple Chapter SDC

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ? What the devil happend to the right to a speedy trial?
                            [/quote]

                            The right to speedy trial is alive and well. Delay only happens if both sides agree or there are exigent circumstances. More often than not delay happens because the defense needs it, not the prosecutor. Probably the parties have been trying to negotiate a deal.

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                            • #15


                              '63 Avanti, zinc plated drilled & slotted 03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, soon: TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves, 'R3' 276 cam, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires
                              '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
                              Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
                              http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...bracket-update
                              I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them

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