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Oliver Yanko- 97 year old Avanti owner

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  • Oliver Yanko- 97 year old Avanti owner

    Oliver Yanko, a WW2 Veteran, loooong time Studebaker owner,
    and Whatcom County SDC member passed away in his sleep Saturday Night.

    There will be a celebration of Oliver's life at the Bell's Studebaker Museum and Diner Tuesday December 4th starting at 1PM.

    PLEASE R.S.V.P. no later then Monday Night at 360 7380103.

    Here is Oliver at the Bell's place during their 2010 Open House~

    Thanks for the pic Craig!!!

    As you may recall Oliver bought a '63 Avanti before many dealers even had one in their showrooms.
    His was one of the first ten made, and it was his daily driver until he bought another in 2001.
    Here is an old thread about he and Dylan meeting up at our Annual Show three years ago~

    I hope to post more of Oliver's amazing life a bit later.

    R.I.P. Oliver- we miss you already.
    StudeDave '57
    US Navy (retired)

    3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
    SDC Member since 1985

    past President
    Whatcom County Chapter SDC
    San Diego Chapter SDC

    past Vice President
    San Diego Chapter SDC
    North Florida Chapter SDC

  • #2
    A few details of Oliver's Life

    Here is some information about Oliver's 97 year life, I believe it was written by Stephanie and James Bell.

    Oliver C. Yanco

    Oliver was born in 1915 in a small town outside Boston, Mass. which makes him 97 years young on March 10, 2012!

    In 1930, Oliver went to caddie school to learn how to caddie for the famous golfers and learned how to play golf himself.

    In his twenties he became a famous marathon runner. He ran the Boston Marathon with some 50 runners entered for the race.

    In 1940, Oliver enlisted into the US Army for five years. As a Captain, he watched his platoon perish under gunfire except for one soldier and himself during the invasion of Normandy in 1944.

    After the war, Oliver moved to Bellingham in 1953 and has been here for 59 years. He was owner and operator of the Bellingham Fur Shop in the Herald Building with his brother Allen Yanco.

    Oliver’s passion has been golfing and fast cars! He has achieved five "Holes in ONE" during his golfing days. When he was 86 years old, you could see him on the putting greens and driving range teaching his pupil Stephanie Bell how to golf.

    Studebakers owned:
    1932 President Roadster
    1953 Starliner Hardtop – bought new in Massachusetts
    1957 Golden Hawk – new Studebaker Dealer in Everson
    1963 Avanti – 10
    th one made – Bought new from Stude Dealer in Everson after seeing prototypes at Sea Tac hanger when the Flying Box loading ramp opened with a Gold 4 Speed R2 and a White Power Shift R1 Avanti racing out.
    Oliver ordered a White R1 Automatic and waited 6 months to get his Avanti. It was his daily driver for 39 years!

    At 85 years of age, Oliver heard about a new vehicle plant opening and building new Avantis. He ordered his 2001 Avanti T-Top before the plant was built in Georgia and waited 9 months for it to arrive. The 4 th one off the assembly line. Only 1 of 4 built. His car went from the factory to the Los Angeles International Car Show before it arrived in Bellingham in January 2001. His 2001 Avanti is proudly displayed in the Bell’s Studebaker Diner & Museum.

    Oliver has never had a speeding ticket.

    Oliver is a WWII Veteran who proudly served our country

    Rest in peace Oliver.
    Last edited by StudeRich; 12-03-2012, 12:33 PM.
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner


    • #3
      Here are some more neat remembrances of Oliver:

      Click image for larger version

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Name:	Oliver on Mag Covero.jpg
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      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner