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Bonneville Burke Bros Avanti Resurrected

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  • Bonneville Burke Bros Avanti Resurrected

    Hello Everyone,
    My name is Dan and I was asked yesterday (Sat 1-30-10) by an SDC member to post the story of the Bukre Bros Avanti for your entertainment. I was at the Sacramento Auto Museum admiring the #9 (R1007) Avanti when I realized that my docent was The Studebaker Dude. He was very knowledgeable and helpful and allowed me to gain upclose access to the car. If you get a chance to visit the area, stop by and be sure and ask for The Studebaker Dude. The museum is a real treat.

    In the interest of space I will give you the readers digest version of the amazing story of the restoring of a Studebaker legend. In September of last year I was discussing my book that I am writing and because of my health issues the subject of Bucket Lists came up. So I posted my bucket list online at RacingStudebakers.com (RS). One of the items left on my list was a 47 year old desire to race a Studebaker at Bonneville. My first exposure to Bonneville was in 1963 when a customer of my dad's, Andy Granatelli, took a fleet of Studebaker's to Bonneville and turned the automotive world upside down. Of the three things left on my list that one seemed the least likely to ever be crossed off the list. But I am learning that you should never underestimate the people who drive and love Studebakers, especially the ones who race them.

    A customer and friend of mine bought a Harry Hoffman built 1953 Champion set up for the Golden State Classic race in Nevada. I asked if I could use it for Bonneville and the owner told me he would get back to me as the car belonged to his wife. In the mean time I posted pictures of the car at RS.com and asked if the Bonneville guys thought it would make a salt racer. Everyone thought it was meant to race on the salt. So much so that another club memeber told me that his son had a Bonneville engine being built and that he would lend it to me to fill my Bucket List item. Then the 53 was not going to be available without some heavy cash. So my dream was crushed and I posted my disappointment on the RS site.

    What happened next is still hard for me to believe. A club member put up a post stating that he owned the #90 Burke Bros. Avanti and that he would let me borrow it to go to Bonneville and chase the dream. Long story short, the car is now in Morro Bay, CA being restored to it's racing glory and is scheduled to race at El Mirage in May and Bonneville in August. A number of RS club members have been offering me everything from encouragement to parts to help me reach the goal. I will post pictures and updates as time allows if there is any interest. We have been invited to bring the car in whatever condition it is in to the May Studebaker meeting at the Petersen Museum to allow people to see the car and hear the amazing story behind the car and the project.
    [img][/img]
    [img][/img]
    Silver Hawk Dan

  • #2
    Man, that's too cool.[8D]

    Chris Dresbach

    Chris Dresbach

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    • #3
      Was nice talking with you yesterday. Looking forward to "the REST of the story".

      Good luck earning your Red Cap at Bonneville and I hope they don't cast Tom Cruise in the movie version of your story.

      It was my pleasure to show you the #9 Avanti behind the chains. Too bad you got there a little too late to see the Studebakers we had in the Car Club Cavalcade. Our club has some really nice cars and our exhibit was a nice tribute to Bob Bourke.[^]

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

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Dan:
        I'm looking forward to seeing the Avanti at El Mirage and Bonneville and especially at our Los Angeles Chapter Winter Meet at the Petersen. Just a small correction; our meet is on Sunday March 14th. Please ask for me at the meet and if you would like more details email me at brngarage@socal.rr.com.

        Howard Brown President Los Angeles Chapter SDC
        Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
        '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
        '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
        '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

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        • #5
          Wish you luck and much happiness
          Tom

          sigpic

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          • #6
            Howard,
            Thank you. I need to remember to take off the glasses when looking across the room at the wall calendar. The 14th it is. I have a cancer check up at the City of Hope the next day and we are planning to stay overnight and meet with some Bonneville guys on Monday before my appointment. I will surely ask for you at the meet.
            Dan

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            • #7
              Dan

              Thanks for posting. These type of posts are one of the best reasons for having a forum

              Please continue to post and best of luck with the project.

              Thanks again

              Bob

              ,
              , ,

              Comment


              • #8
                Dan, glad to see you sharing this saga here.[^]

                Here's a much more detailed thread from our good friend Sonny's site:

                http://racingstudebakers.com/stl-web...pic.php?t=1855

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

                GOD BLESS AMERICA





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                • #9
                  Update
                  Just thought you would like to see what has been happening with this famous Avanti. If you haven't clicked on the link lately you've missed the install of the mock up engine (yesterday) and some other things as well. So click on the link in the preceeding post and enjoy. Thank you for posting the link and saving me having to post things twice. Very thoughtful.

                  Dan

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                  • #10
                    What link?
                    The one referred to only has posts up to Dec 14/2009


                    Bob Johnstone
                    www.studebaker-info.org

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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The latest development is the addition of the twin Paxton supercharged engine from the "Twin" Avanti will be used at El Mirage in May. If you are in the area and planning to attend the club meeting at the Petersen you will have a chance to see these two historic Studebaker's combined into one powerful and eye pleasing display. I will attempt to post some pictures here.
                      Dan

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                      • #12
                        OK here is the pictures I promised.



                        I will post the pictures of the engine in the car when that happens. Enjoy and remember drool on the keyboard can damage your computer.
                        Dan

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                        • #13
                          Dan Thanks for the post and story on this important Avanti. Please posting more pictures.
                          sigpicSee you in the future as I write about our past

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                          • #14
                            Hammer down Dan!!! Thanks for the story and I can't wait for the next chapter.

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                            • #15
                              Last Friday my friend Kevin came over to the shop and applied most of the lettering that will be on the car when we race it at El Mirage in May. We left the Burke Bros on the doors as it just doesn't seem right to remove it until the Bonneville paint job is applied. Then we'll add the special surprise. Here are some pictures of the lettering.





                              /DSCF1542.jpg[/IMG]
                              You'll notice that the left front fender is still under construction. Using the latest in plastic repair to fix a big hole that was in the fender when we got it. Also you'll note the special recognition I have given to Sonny and the great bunch of guys that hang out at "Racing Studebakers.com". Without them this whole project wouldn't exist. So that's it for now. Look for pictures of the Twin installed in the car next week.

                              Dan

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