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OK, Sleuths: Avanti Body Tag Mystery!

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  • OK, Sleuths: Avanti Body Tag Mystery!

    Here is the legitimate body tag from an Avanti recently sold and bought:



    Yes, the tag reads 63R-Q on top and 5088 on the bottom.

    Now, since Avanti Body tags began at 101, this would mean they manufactured at least 4,988 Avantis. But Studebaker built only 4,643 Avantis, not including prototypes.

    This has a legitimate answer. I'll post it in a day or two if no one has figured it out and posted the correct answer. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  • #2
    Didn't I read somewhere that SASCO, Newman/Altman or such had many Avanti body tags left over from anticipated production that never happened? Could this be one of those that someone installed to replace a missing one?

    Comment


    • #3
      You're first question contains elements of the actual answer, Ed.

      The answer to your second question is definitely NO. I say that because the Production Order for this specific car indicates it IS Body #5088. Hence, this tag was legitimately on the car when Studebaker originally shipped it. BP
      Last edited by BobPalma; 06-02-2013, 01:42 PM. Reason: clarified answer to second question
      We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

      Ayn Rand:
      "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

      G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
        Here is the legitimate body tag from an Avanti recently sold and bought:



        Yes, the tag reads 63R-Q on top and 5088 on the bottom.

        Now, since Avanti Body tags began at 101, this would mean they manufactured at least 4,988 Avantis. But Studebaker built only 4,643 Avantis, not including prototypes.

        This has a legitimate answer. I'll post it in a day or two if no one has figured it out and posted the correct answer. BP
        It is a South Bend body. South Bend bodies started at R-Q-5001.
        Bob Langer
        Glenshaw,PA

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bob Langer View Post
          It is a South Bend body. South Bend bodies started at R-Q-5001.
          'Don't think so, Bob. The subject tag (5088) is on Avanti Serial Number R-3545.

          The very next Avanti built, Serial Number R-3546, has body tag #2659.

          The original (not copies) of two Avanti Production Orders are reprinted in Andy Beckman's excellent, detailed Avanti Production Analysis booklet available trhough The Studebaker National Museum. This book was carefully vetted before publication.

          In it, the P.O. for Avanti #63R-1001 shows it having Body Number 101. Another sample production order, for Serial Number R-5329, shows it having Body Number 4199. BP
          We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

          Ayn Rand:
          "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

          G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
            You're first question contains elements of the actual answer, Ed.

            The answer to your second question is definitely NO. I say that because the Production Order for this specific car indicates it IS Body #5088. Hence, this tag was legitimately on the car when Studebaker originally shipped it. BP
            So I guess You're saying that I was on the right track when I mentioned anticipated production that never materialized eh?

            Comment


            • #7
              As an aside, where might R-3546 be residing now?
              thx
              64 GT Hawk (K7)
              1970 Avanti (R3)

              Comment


              • #8
                Also.... R-3523 had Body #5109
                64 GT Hawk (K7)
                1970 Avanti (R3)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Couldn't it be that Studebaker assigned blocks of body numbers to both themselves and Molded Fiberglass to keep from having duplicate numbers? Is it known what the highest body used by MFG was? Avanti Motors used body numbers on early production when MFG was supplying complete, leftover bodies from the Studebaker contract. To know those body numbers would be a help in determining that.
                  Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    All body numbers were not used in production. Studebaker and MFG had different series of body numbers. Number 5088 does NOT mean that 4988 Avantis were assembled by Studebaker.
                    The other possibility is that this is one of the Avantis that N&A rebuilt and issued a new number to.
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Could it have been an Engineering Dept. car?
                      101st Airborne Div. 326 Engineers Ft Campbell Ky.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Did they have a big box of body tags, and arbitrarily slapped them on the cars as they went by?
                        Corley

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Click image for larger version

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                          A few from my collection.
                          Richard Quinn
                          Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Corley View Post
                            Did they have a big box of body tags, and arbitrarily slapped them on the cars as they went by?
                            That's pretty much it, Corley, so you get the "atta-boy."

                            This issue came up because someone on the forum was looking at R-3545 with an eye toward buying it, but that body tag didn't make any sense. He e-mailed me and cousin George Krem, knowing George had sufficient Avanti records from previous research that he might be able to answer the question and solve the mystery.

                            To save rewording George's findings, I'll just quote him verbatim from the resultant e-mails of a day or two ago:

                            This Avanti caused me to do a bit of research on Avanti body numbers. I had never looked critically at Avanti body numbers before except to determine what prefix was used (such as when they dropped the "63" before the number). But when I looked up serial R-3545 (which is a 1963 Avanti), I found that the body number 5088 is on the production order, so it was built with that body number!

                            So I looked at the PO of the very next Avanti made, serial 3546, and its body number was 2659. That's a spread of 2,429 between two cars built one after the other...an unheard of spread in body number sequencing (or lack of sequencing!).

                            I then checked the body numbers of about 100 Avantis with serial numbers higher than R-3545 and I also checked about 100 cars below that serial number. I found that a number of Avantis made before and after serial 3545 had body numbers ranging from 5028 to 5128. But most of the 200 Avantis I checked had body numbers in the 2600 to 2700 range, with some 5000-5100 area body numbers interspersed throughout those 200 cars.

                            This is certainly odd, to say the least, but it looks like body number 5088 is the original body number for the subject Avanti. My guess is that some assembly line or body line Studebaker employee grabbed a handful of body numbers that were completely out of sequence, but they just went ahead and used them, since they thought they would eventually use even higher numbers than that.

                            Whew...it's amazing to see what we are finding out over 50 years later.

                            There you have it. As George said, it is amazing what we are still learning. If there was ever a time to remind ourselves to, "never say never," I'd say this is one of them.

                            Thanks, George...and congrats, Corley. BP
                            We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                            Ayn Rand:
                            "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                            G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SN-60 View Post
                              So I guess You're saying that I was on the right track when I mentioned anticipated production that never materialized eh?
                              That's right, Ed. See Post #14 for the answer. BP
                              We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                              Ayn Rand:
                              "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                              G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                              Comment

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