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Dubious Distinction Studebaker Avanti and Wagonaire

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  • #31
    Originally posted by 1962larksedan View Post
    IMHO the Avanti was a mistake at the time; Stude might have hung on a few more years by updating the Hawk instead of killing it around 1964 along with the 'Avanti' R&D costs applied to a modern balljoint front suspension and integral PS probably using the the GM 800 gearbox.

    Wagonaire: Studebaker Australia did not offer the sliding roof model; just the fixed roof body. Maybe they sense something was amiss and didn't decide to risk the slider? I'm surmising here.

    Prowler: I'll give Mopar a bye here re: no V8 option let alone a stick. Remember that no Chrysler passenger car had a V8 between 1990 and 2004 so emissions/CAFE certifying the rather low power 318/360 truck TBI motors would've been too expensive. Ditto for a stick: two sets of emissions certs (it and the AT version).
    Sliding roof Wagonaires were built in Australia in some quantity for the 1963 model year. All of our 1964-65 models were fixed roof wagons.

    I believe the Australian assembly operation did have trouble maintaining good panel alignment and sealing on 1963 models. They also appear to have gotten about half the number of body welds! So water leaks and rattles were common.

    We had a South Bend built 1963 Wagonaire in our family for close to 15 years. A good original California car that was used as a daily driver. Even with all of the original roof seals still in place, it never once leaked during many tropical thunder storms. I think the real big problem with these models is that the drains block up and water overflows into the roof.