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Avanti Grill, to be or not to be.

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  • Avanti Grill, to be or not to be.

    My 63 Avanti was manufactured with out a grill. The PO had acquired one but never installed. What are your thoughts about the grill, instal or leave it off? And how are they installed?
    Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

    40 Champion 4 door*
    50 Champion 2 door*
    53 Commander K Auto*
    53 Commander K overdrive*
    55 President Speedster
    62 GT 4Speed*
    63 Avanti R1*
    64 Champ 1/2 ton

    * Formerly owned

  • #2
    I'd install one to keep the trash out of the radiator.
    The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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    • #3
      It all depends how "correct" you want your car to be. The grille is more of a stone guard as much as anything to protect the radiator and a/c condenser from damage. They were dealer installed as a retrofit back in the day so it really means little as far as "correctness" goes, so it's your choice.

      You do have to drill some holes in the area where it mounts. Maybe someone here has the instructions...there was a dealer service letter for doing so...someone must have a copy.

      One thing though...is it an original or repro grille? I believe the originals were flat on the backside where repros were round wire...I could be reversed on that and hope someone corrects me if I do have it backwards. The repro grilles do not have a reputation for being made as well as originals.
      Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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      • #4
        I would leave it off. It is a lot easier to clean that area without the grille in place.
        Also, if you have an early S/N Avanti, those in the know will know that your car wasn't built with a grille (even though the later addition of a grille was authorized by Studebaker).
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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        • #5
          I rather like them, makes the area look a bit more finished. Years ago, we had a similar discussion....I'd be interested in knowing more about the correct original grilles...IIRC something about round stock and the way they were assembled and black paint/tape in certain areas.
          63 Avanti R1 2788
          1914 Stutz Bearcat
          (George Barris replica)

          Washington State

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          • #6
            I think 'Round Light' Studebaker Avantis look much better without that stainless grille....a bit more 'sinister and unrefined' And if Loewy didn't add install it on the prototype....Why add it now?

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            • #7
              OEM or repop, they're both cheap pieces of junk. Legend has it Stude got them from some refrigerator shelving manufacturer and it looks like it.

              Mine could be for sale. What are they getting for the repops?

              jack vines
              PackardV8

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              • #8
                I don't know if repops are still available, but the last I saw they were going for around $200 retail. Used grilles usually have at least one mounting hook broken as well as bent sections. Since they were stone guards that's not surprising.
                Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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                • #9
                  If you have an original grille, I would recommend installing it. As well as acting as a stone guard, properly installed, it strengthens the fibreglass face of the car, and to some extent, the lower lip or scoop. In all likelihood, you will have to perform some reshaping of the wing-back angle, and lower stud mounts such that when in final position, the studs are perpendicular to the scoop mounting surface. I determined my own scoop holes locations as follows: locate the center of the scoop, the tip of the "V". The center hole will be 7/8" rearward of the V tip, and 1/4" to the drivers side. The drivers side hole will be 14&1/2" from the center hole, parallel to the front edge, and 1" back of the edge of the scoop. The drivers side hole is similarly 15" from the centre hole and 1" to the rear of the scoop edge. These holes are 1/4" diameter and should be drilled vertically down thru both top and bottom of the scoop. The lower holes at the scoop bottom will then be opened up to 7/8" diameter. Place the grille into position in the scoop holes and swing it upward to contact the lower lip of the car face. They will identify the location of holes and clips to retain the upper part of the grille. The upper is fastened with screws and washers to blind clips on the lip, and the lower by kep-nuts and flat washers. The 7/8" holes allow a socket to tighten the nuts. Lay out the drill locations on the scoop, and verify that they match your grille stud locations. Correct if necessary. These dimensions were determined with my original grille. The could be some variation in the manufacture of them. I have never installed a "reproduction" grille so can't comment on the fit or quality.

                  The original grilles are easy to remove to clean the radiator of bugs etc. I do mine on an annual basis.
                  Last edited by WCP; 07-02-2013, 07:20 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Here is the last original grille that sold on EBAY.

                    http://www.ebay.com/itm/63-64-Studeb...c#ht_25wt_1150

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                    • #11
                      i put a grille on R-1384Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCF0358.jpg
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ID:	1682552, as well as a "Saturn air-scoop".

                      EDIT: found a pic while "under construction" - (ignore the dirty bumper, etc.). "sig-pic" was after completion...

                      i thought the grille looked cool with the black exterior paint - and the air scoop actually helped lower coolant temp.

                      it's not like i had a "original survivor"...
                      Last edited by Corvanti; 07-02-2013, 02:31 PM. Reason: added pic
                      Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

                      '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

                      '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

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                      • #12
                        I think they look much better with the grill.

                        Denny L

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                        • #13
                          if some one has the original factory / dealer instructions for installation I would really like to obtain it as I have a nos grille from Avanti and am thinking of installing it on my 63 .
                          Joe Parsons


                          Joe Parsons

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 58 Hawk View Post
                            if some one has the original factory / dealer instructions for installation I would really like to obtain it as I have a nos grille from Avanti and am thinking of installing it on my 63 .
                            Joe Parsons
                            Have you tried to get a copy from the SDC Template Keeper?
                            Gary L.
                            Wappinger, NY

                            SDC member since 1968
                            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                            • #15
                              58 Hawk, is there something that you don't understand in my instructions?

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