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Ian Fleming's Avanti

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  • Ian Fleming's Avanti

    This is my contribution on Ian Fleming's missing avanti--i lived in zambia africa and was the stp franchisee for that area--being a studebaker fanatic since 1953[what else is new?] I have owned numerous studebakers since my first silver hawk[289 x4 bbl--1957] in 1961--when the avanti was announced[to us dark continent citizens in late 1962 i was hooked//--too much money for a new one plus the 104%duty that prevailed on luxury cars in our country [not uncommon to many countries worldwide//]--now fate intervened--stp was launching their car care products in the uk and what better image maker than an avanti expertly driven by a brit named brian read at drag races and motor sport events--apparently the avanti and brian were crowd favourites//---show over-the avanti was sidelined and retired and sent to lotus cars facility in the u.k in 1965--my man at stp was angelo isolo and one of andy Granatelli's armada of trusted worker/friends--a telex arrived from him asking me if i wanted the avanti//--of course i did[[--how much???--a few days past and the telex read $2000 ex lotus plant u.k--quick call to my bank and backers--owner of 1963 R2 avanti vin#R3908 engine #RS2286--deal done//--now onto Ian Flemings Avanti his widow[or estate had it advertised in a u.k. car magazine --THE MOTOR or AUTOCAR for the princely sum of u.k POUNDS 1850 good price// for one of the most famous AVANTI'S in the world--no i do not have the VIN only the british reg --8EYR--which one my learned BRIT friends indicated to me that it was not a 1963 model as it was registered in august 1962--don't argue with THE QUEEN august 1962 is not january 1963---my avanti brit reg. was 971 HLR AND IT WAS INDEED AN AUTHENTIC BRIT .1963 MODEL--discussion over for now--presumably mrs fleming sold the avanti to some lucky collector--now fast forward to SOUTH BEND 2002 AND THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE STUDEBAKER BROTHERS MANUFACTURING COMPANY--STUDEBAKER was no longer an active producer of vehicles but the MULTITUDE OF STUDEBAKER ENTHUSIASTS BELIED THAT BIT OF TRIVIA SOUTH BEND WAS IN ITS ELEMENT AND HUNDREDS OF FANS FROM THE 4 CORNERS OF THE WORLD WERE THERE TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTHDAY WITH THE CITIZENS OF SOUTH BEND--MANY OF THE STUDEBAKER OWNERS BROUGHT THEIR CARS FROM THEIR HOME COUNTRIES TO THE PLACE OF THEIR BIRTH--WHAT A TRIBUTE TO THESE FINE VEHICLES//--ONE OF THESE NICE FOLKS WAS A NICE ENGLISH ''BLOKE'' WHO HAD A NICE DARK BLUE '63 AVANTI--I LATCHED ONTO HIM AND ASKED HIM ABOUT IAN FLEMINGS AVANTI//--THIS WAS HIS STORY QUOTE;;THE AVANTI WAS SOLD TO A BUYER IN LOS ANGELES THAT WAS THE GOOD NEWS//--NOW THE BAD NEWS//-THE PARKING/STORAGE FACILITY BURNT DOWN AND THE AVANTI COMPLETELY DESTROYED--YES''MATILDA'' FIBREGLASS DOES BURN//--I PERSONALLY WOULD HAVE RETRIEVED THE CHASSIS-ENGINE-RUNNING GEAR WITH THEIR RELEVANT NUMBERS OF IDENTITY AND REBUILT THIS ICON--SO BE IT//--I ASSURE YOU THIS STORY WILL MOTIVATE A FEW STORIES IN THE FUTURE -BRING THEM ON//--UPDATE MY AVANTI IS SAFELY IN THE HANDS OF NEW OWNER TONY WEBER ALSO F ROM ZAMBIA--THE MACHINE IS UNDERGOING A COMPLETE REBUILD IN JOHANNESBURG SOUTH AFRICA AND IT IS DUE TO GO BACK TO ZAMBIA IN MAY THIS YEAR--I HAVE WRITTEN A SHORT STORY ON MY TRIP FROM CAPETOWN TO THE BELGIAN CONGO BORDER IN THE AVANTI IN 1966--CALLED ''A TO Z''--AVANTI TO ZAMBIA FOR OUR LOCAL CHAPTER 'MAG ''TEMPO''--THANKS FOR YOUR TIME CHEERS GEOFF GOGLE//

  • #2
    Thanks for sharing. It's interesting information.

    Mark L
    Mark L

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    • #3
      Great story. Welcome to our forum Geoffrey. With your experiences, you truly expand the international presence here. When you have an opportunity...post some pictures. We love pictures.
      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      SDC member since 1975

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      • #4
        You can read more about Geoff's Avanti in Zambia and England in the new issue of Avanti Magazine #169, mailed last week (Thursday).
        Lew Schucart
        Editor, Avanti Magazine

        Comment


        • #5
          As for "retrieving"/restoring a severely burnt Avanti... many years ago I got a call from a local salvage yard owner who knew I drive Avantis. He said he'd just bought a burnt one if I wanted to come by and look at it. That's all he said and of course I did.

          OMG! When he said burnt he was understating, to say the VERY least. Story was that it had been stolen, quit running on the nearby Interstate, intentionally torched, and abandoned. One would not have had to worry about retrieving ANY id plates nor much of anything else. Even the frame was visibly warped from the intense heat. I shall never forget the smell. I reflexively touched the remains of what had once been fiber-glass in a couple places and the stench remained on my fingers through several washings that evening.

          On the way home I stopped by Walmart and bought 15 (all they had) of the largest fire-extinguishers they carried at the time and distributed in all my vehicles, house, and garage!

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Geoff,
            can you please send me a private message.

            I am not exactly sure that Mr Flemming's car went state side from what I have heard, but I would like to use your article on your drive in our UK magazine.

            There were quite a lot of Studebakers that got really whacky ergo numbers like Mr Flemming's cars from that dealership that sold them even in 1964. Some of them still exist.

            Regards
            Greg
            Greg Diffen

            Editor Studebaker Owners Club UK magazine

            Australian Stude guy living in Warwick, United Kingdom

            1933 St Regis Brougham Model 56 delivered new in the Netherlands
            1937 Dictator sedan Australian Body by TJ Richards RHC
            1937 Packard Super 8 Limousine UK delivered RHC
            1939 Packard Super 8 Seven Passenger sedan monster UK delivered RHC
            1939 Commander Cabriolet by Lagenthal of Switzerland
            1963 Lark Daytona Hardtop
            1988 Avanti Convertible

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by go-studebaker View Post
              Hi Geoff,
              can you please send me a private message.

              I am not exactly sure that Mr Flemming's car went state side from what I have heard, but I would like to use your article on your drive in our UK magazine.

              There were quite a lot of Studebakers that got really whacky ergo numbers like Mr Flemming's cars from that dealership that sold them even in 1964. Some of them still exist.

              Regards
              Greg
              I am fortunate enough to be on the distribution of Greg's excellent newsletter, The Stude Examiner (UK). I received the e-version today. Greg did publish Geoff Cogle's story (Post #1 in this thread), but he added some interesting information from UK sources. He published the photo (thumbnail) of the Ian Fleming and his Avanti believed to have been taken in France. The Stude Examiner also published a very interesting article that appeared in the April 1963 edition of Sporting Motorist, an English car magazine, in which the new Avanti is very positively reviewed. They viewed Ian Fleming's Avanti as a basis for their article with several more photos of his Avanti.
              I'm posting the entire article in a separate thread.
              Greg also mentioned that Richard Quinn wrote an article for the October 1996 Turning Wheels Almanac about Ian Fleming visiting the Studebaker plant. Unfortunately, my older Turning Wheels are packed away in complete disarray so there is little chance I can find it.
              Attached Files
              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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              • #8
                Hi greg and greetings from b.c canada// if you give me your phone #-- i will give you a ring we are 9 hrs behind you//--talking about studebakers in oz --i visited maurices[now late i believe] studebaker collection in perth//-my favourite was his 38 commander ''round australia'' rally car//--[ just cannot believe that no one knows the v.i.n of flemings avanti?? Lets talk about it//---this is one avanti story that needs to be concluded//--of course you can use my ''avanti to zambia'' story in your excellent magazine--i really liked the story on r3 and r4 engines and relevant parts with their irish connection and the generosity of andy granatelli in his quest to keep a customer happy//kind regards geoff

                Comment


                • #9
                  It was some years ago there was an article in either Turning Wheels or Avanti Magazine about the Fleming car and its serial number. Someone...it would take someone with the article to determine who...did some research trying to find the exact serial number of Fleming's Avanti. Whomever did the research looked at production and shipping records for black Avantis destined for the UK. Since it was known that Fleming ordered the (supposedly) first black Avanti, it was assumed the first black car shipped to the UK was his. Again, I don't know the serial number and it's certainly not conclusive but was an educated guess.

                  If someone has a complete set of Turning Wheels or Avanti Magazine or a database with all articles maybe they can retrieve the story and information.
                  Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Rumor has it that the 007 car was supposed to be an Avanti but delivery was not in time for the movie production. Anybody else hear the same thing?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nels View Post
                      Rumor has it that the 007 car was supposed to be an Avanti but delivery was not in time for the movie production. Anybody else hear the same thing?
                      I can`t say I have ever heard of that at all. I believe the first Bond film to feature a car was Goldfinger. The novel upon which it was based was written in the late fifties already stated an Aston Martin was used by Bond, which made it fitting to use one in the film.

                      Craig

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nels View Post
                        Rumor has it that the 007 car was supposed to be an Avanti but delivery was not in time for the movie production. Anybody else hear the same thing?
                        I would find that difficult to be believe. They used two Aston-Martins for Goldfinger...a primary car and one for promotional use. The DB5 was considered the most sophisticated British car made so it was desired. Since Bond was a British agent, it seems unlikely they would have used a non-Brit vehicle to showcase...even if more Avantis were available. Goldfinger was well into pre-production before Avantis were into any kind of full production anyway. Using a Walther PPK was enough non-British equipment but the Brits had more or less a moribund handgun industry by that time...which hasn't really changed since.
                        Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nels View Post
                          Rumor has it that the 007 car was supposed to be an Avanti but delivery was not in time for the movie production. Anybody else hear the same thing?
                          No, never heard that. I get an English classic car magazine that frequently mentions film cars, they've written a great deal about the Bond films and AMs.
                          They've never mentioned that...I have a hunch that's wishful thinking from South Bend fans.

                          If it was true and Avantis were the Bond car, mine would be worth a lot more than it is.

                          One great story they did tell about film /TV cars...The Saint was supposed to drive a Jaguar sedan (a Mk X) ....and Roger Moore offered to buy one. All they asked was to be put at the head of the waiting line so they could start filming. Jaguar said no, and the little known Volvo company offered one of their new 1800 sports coupes.
                          Volvo not only provided free cars, but an interior mockup of in-car scenes. It is said the interior shots in Goldfinger used The Saint's Volvo interior mockup.
                          Last edited by JBOYLE; 03-02-2015, 10:07 AM.
                          63 Avanti R1 2788
                          1914 Stutz Bearcat
                          (George Barris replica)

                          Washington State

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JBOYLE View Post
                            Jaguar said no, and the little known Volvo company offered one of their new 1800 sports coupes.
                            1800 bodies were manufactured in England by Jensen and Smith's instrumentation, so there was a good amount of British content in those cars.

                            Craig

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi Nels,
                              I am not often on the forum.

                              Years ago I had heard Fleming was considering using an Avanti for the Bond car. Chances are it came from you !!! It also might have been part of why he visited the factory in 1962. Since he passed away in 1964 we will never really know what he was thinking.

                              Send me a pm so I can get you on my list for the UK newsletter.

                              Regards
                              Greg
                              Greg Diffen

                              Editor Studebaker Owners Club UK magazine

                              Australian Stude guy living in Warwick, United Kingdom

                              1933 St Regis Brougham Model 56 delivered new in the Netherlands
                              1937 Dictator sedan Australian Body by TJ Richards RHC
                              1937 Packard Super 8 Limousine UK delivered RHC
                              1939 Packard Super 8 Seven Passenger sedan monster UK delivered RHC
                              1939 Commander Cabriolet by Lagenthal of Switzerland
                              1963 Lark Daytona Hardtop
                              1988 Avanti Convertible

                              Comment

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