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Opinions needed on an Avanti II

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  • Opinions needed on an Avanti II

    After three years I was finally able to get my 79 Avanti II out of storage and home, after putting it up on the lift I realized the drivers side hog trough was worse than I thought and upon looking over the frame thoroughly discovered the left rear frame rail had a previous "haphazard" repair (for rust) hidden by undercoating... and at the very least needed 5 feet of the frame rail replaced, Darn.. oh well.

    Even though I can do all the work myself, (I resurrect old cars for a living) To me the cost/time involved exceeds the value of the car.

    I have come up with three different ideas of what to do and could use a little help deciding.

    #1... Sell it as is and walk away (Hopefully I could get $2500 or so).

    #2.... Put all the Suspension/running gear in my 54 Coupe then part out the remains (I have never parted out any of the Avanti's I have owned over the years and have no idea if its worth the effort or if I would simply end up with a carcass missing a couple of pieces).
    The body is in nice shape and the leather interior is all intact with Tilt,AC,cruise,sun roof etc.

    #3... Put the running gear in my coupe, find a wrecked Avanti and use the 79 for a body parts door.

    Thoughts? Opinions?

    Attached Files
    Last edited by MChance; 06-26-2013, 04:24 PM.
    Mark Chance

    1933 Model 56 5 window Coupe

  • #2
    My suggestions/ideas/comments:
    1) If you can provide the labor, change the frame and torque boxes.
    2) Put it on eBay with a good description and sell it to someone that may want a project Avanti and has more time and ability than funds.
    3) I would not put the Avanti on the '54 coupe frame. The '54 is a differnet wheelbase, by a lot, and the '54 does not have an X-member.
    4) I would not use the running gear in the '54. You can get any Chevrolet engine & transmission for the '54, if that is what you want in the '54. The Avanti brakes probably need a lot of expensive repair from sitting for years. It is better to sell the Avanti complete, with its 350 (see no. 2).
    5) You are not likely to find an Avanti that needs what is good on your car without also needing what is bad on your car.
    6) Time seems to be of value to you, so I do not recommend parting the Avanti II out. Sell it as it sits (see no. 2).

    To me, this boils down to my option/comment No. 2.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer


    • #3
      What Gary said makes all the sense in the world if the frame/hog troughs are as you say.

      A lot of folks think the frame is shot when only the bottom plate is devastated. The frame is a bottom plate plus a hat section. If the hat section is quite solid than repairing the frame is not difficult. I put over 10' of 4" X 1/8" plate on my frame under the 74. But the hat was generally fine. Same with the hog troughs. If it's a section or two, then a sheetmetal repair might suffice instead of replacing the entire trough.

      If they are both FUBAR, then I'm with Gary.



      • #4
        My comments echo the other's in that trying to sell the car whole is probably your best course. Avanti's are famous for projects increasing well beyond the original scope of the work that needs to be done. Is just the driver's side trough bad? There's probably rot on the other trough as well. The frame repair could turn into quite a project in itself. If the body was pulled to repair the frame, then replacing the troughs is not quite so intimidating. You have to be the judge as to whether you want to put the extra work into making the frame and troughs whole before tackling other issues with the car. The car looks like its worth the effort to fix it in the picture. It doesn't look like a parts car.


        • #5
          My unrealistic dream is that every Avanti that can be saved be saved. I also understand the cost/benefit of that is sometimes too far on the wrong side and that we need donor cars so others can be saved.

          Your decision...sometimes it's difficult to separate the emotional desire from the practical reality.

          To be honest...the market value of a '79 Avanti (or nearly any American car of that vintage), is pretty low at best...even if it was in solid condition.
          Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.


          • #6
            Hi Mark; we must have had a huge population of these Avantis and Avanti II's in the 1970's up here in Washington State, they keep coming out of the woodwork quite often, simply amazing!
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner


            • #7
              I think I like the sound of Your option #1 the best.


              • #8
                I think you'd get good money (more than $2500) for the body parts and interior...if you can wait until someone needs the parts.
                63 Avanti R1 2788
                1914 Stutz Bearcat
                (George Barris replica)

                Washington State


                • #9
                  It just looks too clean (and complete) to part out! Try and pass it on to someone wanting to take on a project such as this one.....people have 'brought back' much worse!


                  • #10
                    Thank you all for the thoughts!

                    Even though I am very familiar with frame repairs (unfortunately this is not just a bottom plate fix) and I have replaced hog troughs in the past it would be quite some time before I could get to it, I have too many projects in front of it. A 54 Champ Coupe, a 56 Power Hawk and a 1933 Model 56 Coupe.

                    Rich, yes it is amazing the amount of Avanti's around here, I mentioned my Avanti's condition to a buddy of mine, he said he knew of a wrecked 67 Avanti, after a long phone call I discovered it was one I sold 20 years ago, I guess the guy I sold it to put it in a garage and never touched it, he ended up donating it to a local charity, The person I spoke with purchased it at an auction. small world!!

                    I am leaning toward the general census of option #1 (selling it).
                    Mark Chance

                    1933 Model 56 5 window Coupe