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Great Day for Driving through Five States

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  • Great Day for Driving through Five States

    It was a beautiful day to be driving the '76 Avanti east to Hagerstown MD from Tinley Park IL. 650+ miles in about 11 hours had several bathroom breaks, lunch and 2 gas breaks included. The two fill-ups for the Avanti were surprising. The first stop in Ohio after 255 miles of driving 72-74 mph and ac blasting, only took 10.7 gallons giving 23.8 mpg. The second fill near Somerset PA with all those dog-goned hills, ac, and again driving in the 72-74 range, was 327 miles driven taking 15.7 gal, giving an mpg of 20.7. Full disclosure time, the car does have an 200R4 trans and a 3.31 Dana 44 behind the rebuilt 400 SBC. Swapping out the THM400 for the 200R4 was one of the best things I did for the car. Temperature-wise, with the air on, the temp gauge was reading 180 most of the day. The hottest it got was 195 and that was very briefly. Looking forward to the "Avanti Airlift" photo-op tomorrow at Hagerstown, then on to Dover Sunday.
    sigpic[SIGPIC]

  • #2
    Sounds like you had a wonderful day. If, "every mile in a Stude is an adventure", you had lots of them. Sounds like the Avanti II is no slouch in any sense of the word, and an OD transmission makes your car very drive able.

    My son wants an Avanti for his first car, and I am thinking an Avanti II would be the only way to go. But he & I both prefer the ones that still had metal, chrome bumpers, up till the early 1980s. Still plenty of time to shop, but hope one like yours falls out of the sky in the next couple of years. Would not have one without automatic OD though.

    Hope you have as much fun for the entirety of your trip, as you have so far. Please keep up posted on on-the-road performance as you did above. I, for one, think those kinda facts are both intriguing and informative. (And probably useful when shopping in the future.)

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    • #3
      I topped off the tank today after coming back from the Avanti Airlift Tribute in Hagerstown MD. The 140 some odd miles were in hilly terrain and local driving around Hagerstown and the mileage dropped accordingly to 19.7 mpg.

      The airlift tribute was nice with 11 Avantis showing up for the photo op and close to 30 people. Lew got a ton of pictures that I'm sure will be in the magazine later. Of the Avantis present, only one was a '63, so it was backed up on the ramps of the Fairchild C-82 "Flying Boxcar" for the photo ops. Hopefully someone there with more tech savvy than me will be able to post pics here on the forum. All my pics are too large to get uploaded by this system. I did post some pics on the Avanti Owners Page on Facebook.

      Joe, I also like the more classic look of the car with metal bumpers. The build quality of the Avanti II's, under Neuman and Altman, IMHO, is superior to the Studebaker Avantis. I had a round headlight '64 I bought in the spring of 1966, keeping it for a little over three years. As a kid, I beat the daylights out of the car and it wasn't as sturdy as the Timex that "takes a licking and keeps on ticking". There were driver door hinge issues with the car when I got it, having just over 5000 miles on it. Stress cracks also became apparent on top of the fenders after a year. The body and build quality of the '76 I bought in early 2011 is superior to the '63 in many ways. I also have an '89 I got in December 2013 and I feel that the Avanti II's are the best quality of the ones I have owned and driven. Good luck in getting you son into an Avanti when he is old enough. There are a lot of good ones out there that people are taking care of, but will reach the point where they need to pass it on to another caretaker.
      sigpic[SIGPIC]

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      • #4
        Gunslinger will probably post a report of the gathering pretty soon and I don't want to upstage him, but here are a couple "teasers". The '63 belongs to Greg Cone, owner/restorer of the Duo Cento engine on display at the last South Bend International.
        Attached Files
        sigpic
        Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
        '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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        • #5
          We got into Dover Downs around 1 PM this afternoon. It would have been tough reading a map and making all the route changes without my newly updated Tom Tom guiding me. We got here with no problems, mechanical or otherwise. The '76 got an "A" for its midterm grade. Getting back home without issues will be the final grade!
          sigpic[SIGPIC]

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          • #6
            We're back!!! Made it back home to Tinley Park Sunday evening. 1645 miles traveled since June 27th, 83.43 gallons gas used, for an overall trip mpg of 19.7. I was driving faster coming back (setting the cruise at 75-76) and a 20 mile back up at the end of the toll portion of 80 in the IN Toll Road around Gary probably lowered the mileage. The car did great, no problems at all. No oil used as the level on the dipstick did not change at all.

            We did see 2 other Avantis at a rest stop on the PA Turnpike coming back, but that was it for Studes other than a Wagonaire north on Dover on Rte 1. We left Saturday morning and traveled to Hershey to see the Chocolate World and the AACA Museum before getting on the Turnpikes, staying overnight in Somerset, PA and traveling back to IL yesterday. There were 255 cars on the show field for the Concours, but I'd guess the majority were from the surrounding states making it unlikely that I'd see many on the road.

            Now at home and reflecting on the trip, we met a lot of nice people, saw some very nice cars, had a good time, had a blast doing hot laps on the track with other Studes, had NO MECHANICAL ISSUES!!!!! and the '76 scored 394/400, getting its first first place award at a National Meet. I could not have asked for a better outcome!
            sigpic[SIGPIC]

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            • #7
              Originally posted by plwindish View Post
              We're back!!! Made it back home to Tinley Park Sunday evening. 1645 miles traveled since June 27th, 83.43 gallons gas used, for an overall trip mpg of 19.7. I was driving faster coming back (setting the cruise at 75-76) and a 20 mile back up at the end of the toll portion of 80 in the IN Toll Road around Gary probably lowered the mileage. The car did great, no problems at all. No oil used as the level on the dipstick did not change at all.

              We did see 2 other Avantis at a rest stop on the PA Turnpike coming back, but that was it for Studes other than a Wagonaire north on Dover on Rte 1. We left Saturday morning and traveled to Hershey to see the Chocolate World and the AACA Museum before getting on the Turnpikes, staying overnight in Somerset, PA and traveling back to IL yesterday. There were 255 cars on the show field for the Concours, but I'd guess the majority were from the surrounding states making it unlikely that I'd see many on the road.

              Now at home and reflecting on the trip, we met a lot of nice people, saw some very nice cars, had a good time, had a blast doing hot laps on the track with other Studes, had NO MECHANICAL ISSUES!!!!! and the '76 scored 394/400, getting its first first place award at a National Meet. I could not have asked for a better outcome!
              That certainly says a lot good about the Avanti II, and it sounds like 76 was a good year. I am guessing they did not come originally with AOD, but adding it makes the car an excellent driver on today's roads.

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              • #8
                Joe, the 200R4's came out around '83-'84 I believe. After the flightomatics Avanti motors used the Turbohydramatic 350's and 400's until the 2000R4's. The gearing of the 200R4's first three gears is almost identical to the THM 400, then the overdrive drops to .8 or .82. I believe it was money well spent going with it and putting the THM400 on the shelf.
                sigpic[SIGPIC]

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by plwindish View Post
                  Joe, the 200R4's came out around '83-'84 I believe. After the flightomatics Avanti motors used the Turbohydramatic 350's and 400's until the 2000R4's. The gearing of the 200R4's first three gears is almost identical to the THM 400, then the overdrive drops to .8 or .82. I believe it was money well spent going with it and putting the THM400 on the shelf.
                  I agree. All the stats go in the right direction: engine noise, temp and oil consumption down; MPG up, and just as much power through all gears up to OD. I bet that TH400 will stay on the shelf

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