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  • Still Alive & Moving Forward

    Still out there and Kicking [8D]

    From Jan.30 Autoworld:

    "Avanti, the offbeat U.S. brand that survived the demise of Studebaker in 1963, was just about to try another renaissance. But then the FBI showed up.

    Michael E. Kelly, 57, was planning to unveil an Avanti next month at the Chicago Auto Show. But on Dec. 27, FBI agents arrested Kelly in Jacksonville, Fla., for operating what the Justice Department alleged was a $400 million real estate Ponzi scheme. He was in custody last week awaiting arraignment on one count of mail fraud.

    A Ponzi scheme is an investment swindle in which early investors are paid off with the cash obtained from new ones. A press statement from the FBI says Kelly recruited investors from around the United States to invest in Mexican hotel time shares.

    David Sharples, a former MG-Rover director, joined Kelly's Avanti Motors as president last year in Cancun, Mexico. He said last week that Kelly no longer is chairman of the company and no longer owns any share of it.

    Sharples, reached in Cancun, said the Avanti plan will go ahead without Kelly. The group hopes to sign up about 25 retailers by year end.

    Asked if Kelly's arrest would make it difficult to sign up new retailers, Sharples said, "It hasn't been an issue so far."

    Sharples said he did not know of a criminal investigation when he joined the company.

    Kelly bought the South Bend, Ind., Studebaker spin-off in 1986, sold it in 1988 and bought it again in 2001. In 1995 he moved to Cancun.

    Sharples said there is a 100,000-square-foot industrial complex for Avanti in Cancun, about 20 minutes away from the resort area's hotels. The complex includes production equipment, engineering and r&d facilities.

    Sharples says he hopes to produce about 200 vehicles a year."

  • #2
    Hrrmmmm .. that's not good is it? Hopefully this scandalous event will not tarnish Avanti's, (and therein Studebaker's), name. Reminds me of the John Delorean fiasco!



    ~ FireHawk

    - 56 PowerHawk
    - 01 Firebird TransAm WS6 Convertible

    - Ontario Canada!

    Comment


    • #3
      Hrrmmmm .. that's not good is it? Hopefully this scandalous event will not tarnish Avanti's, (and therein Studebaker's), name. Reminds me of the John Delorean fiasco!



      ~ FireHawk

      - 56 PowerHawk
      - 01 Firebird TransAm WS6 Convertible

      - Ontario Canada!

      Comment


      • #4
        The last few 'Avanti' were noting more than Pontiac Firebirds with a body kit. The last real Avanti stopped being built when Kelly took over. This is just my opinion.

        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Tom - Valrico, FL

        1964 Studebaker Daytona

        Tom - Bradenton, FL

        1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
        1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

        Comment


        • #5
          The last few 'Avanti' were noting more than Pontiac Firebirds with a body kit. The last real Avanti stopped being built when Kelly took over. This is just my opinion.

          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Tom - Valrico, FL

          1964 Studebaker Daytona

          Tom - Bradenton, FL

          1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
          1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

          Comment


          • #6
            The other night I was looking through my back issues of the Avanti magazine...and I noticed a story from a couple of years ago with a photo of the Georgia production crew and office staff, all looking happy.

            Hopefully some kept their jobs with the move to Mexico and these new problems.

            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
              The other night I was looking through my back issues of the Avanti magazine...and I noticed a story from a couple of years ago with a photo of the Georgia production crew and office staff, all looking happy.

              Hopefully some kept their jobs with the move to Mexico and these new problems.

              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


              • #8
                The Cancun Avanti's use Mustang V6 or V8 engines and all other Mustang drive train parts. The 2006 and 2007 Models are sold out to Middle East cash buyers who pay the $86,000 price for either the convert or coupe. There is one dealer in Atlanta who has a few models for sale.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Cancun Avanti's use Mustang V6 or V8 engines and all other Mustang drive train parts. The 2006 and 2007 Models are sold out to Middle East cash buyers who pay the $86,000 price for either the convert or coupe. There is one dealer in Atlanta who has a few models for sale.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wish I could afford one - though I'd opt to get a Firebird based one, (look better and engines are better than the Ford). Maybe someday though!



                    ~ FireHawk

                    - 56 PowerHawk
                    - 01 Firebird TransAm WS6 Convertible

                    - Ontario Canada!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wish I could afford one - though I'd opt to get a Firebird based one, (look better and engines are better than the Ford). Maybe someday though!



                      ~ FireHawk

                      - 56 PowerHawk
                      - 01 Firebird TransAm WS6 Convertible

                      - Ontario Canada!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [quote]Originally posted by FireHawk

                        Wish I could afford one - though I'd opt to get a Firebird based one, (look better and engines are better than the Ford). Maybe someday though!

                        Something tells me Ford right now is probably more than happy to get the business selling engines and other componentry to specialty car companies like Avanti. Ford needs all the sales it can get with a $12 billion loss last year

                        Craig.



                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [quote]Originally posted by FireHawk

                          Wish I could afford one - though I'd opt to get a Firebird based one, (look better and engines are better than the Ford). Maybe someday though!

                          Something tells me Ford right now is probably more than happy to get the business selling engines and other componentry to specialty car companies like Avanti. Ford needs all the sales it can get with a $12 billion loss last year

                          Craig.



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That's true - though I'm sure GM could use the boost as well. Wonder what it would look based off the new Camaro? Would be nice to have a 6.0 litre V-8 in the Avanti as well!



                            ~ FireHawk

                            - 56 PowerHawk
                            - 01 Firebird TransAm WS6 Convertible

                            - Ontario Canada!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That's true - though I'm sure GM could use the boost as well. Wonder what it would look based off the new Camaro? Would be nice to have a 6.0 litre V-8 in the Avanti as well!



                              ~ FireHawk

                              - 56 PowerHawk
                              - 01 Firebird TransAm WS6 Convertible

                              - Ontario Canada!

                              Comment

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