Three For One Avanti Projects!

The Studebaker Avanti is one of those rare cars that had an afterlife in the wake of the company’s demise. The Avanti Motor Car Co. was formed in 1965 and would soldier on into the 21st Century, hand-building no more than a few hundred luxury autos every year. Offered here in a 1984 Avanti and two parts cars, so perhaps there is enough to come up with one or two good vehicles. This trio is in Salem, Connecticut, and available as a package deal here on craigslist for $11,975 (less than $4,000 each!). Thanks for the cool find, Pat L.!

A couple of Studebaker dealers conspired to keep the Avanti alive after U.S. production ended in late 1963. Through 1982, they built about half as many Avanti IIs as Studebaker itself did between 1962 and 1963. The autos drew from leftover Studebaker chassis and GM drivetrains to continue forward. The Nate Altman/Leo Newman era came to a close in 1982 when Altman passed and the company was sold to real estate developer Stephen Blake who kept it going another four years. The meager company found itself in financial trouble at that point and was sold two or three more times in the next 20 years.

The main and most complete car in the seller’s entourage is a 1984 edition of the Avanti (the II part of the name had been dropped). It’s the silver one pictured up on a lift. About 200 were built that year and were likely powered by a Chevy 305 cubic inch V8 that put out 180 hp with a 4-speed automatic transmission. A variety of GM chassis were now being used and one from a Monte Carlo might be under the silver one. The appearance of these cars differed from the Altman/Newman machines in terms of using square headlight housings (like the 1964 Avanti) and body-colored plastic bumpers. Blake had even cooked up a convertible version.

We don’t know what it will take to get the ’84 going again, nor do we know the heritage of the other two cars. You would assume a lot of the parts are interchangeable, so Goal #1 would be to get the silver one back up to speed. Anything left over, including the extra treasure trove of parts the seller is including, may or may not net you a second car.


  1. Grandpa

    There’s something fishy about this Craigslist ad.

    Like 0
  2. Craig Baloga Craig Baloga Member

    Russ, I agree with your write up 100%……spot on.

    These cars do have a decent core enthusiast following, so parting the other two out should not be difficult.

    $4k each is a pretty reasonable ask, IMHO.

    The love/hate styling of these cars has always been a strong headwind, food for thought…..


    Like 3
  3. Peter Morrow

    Do Studebaker Avantis have a ‘use by date’, there appears to be no end of them on this site , and a low production number relatively speaking.

    Like 2
  4. Tbone

    I’ve always liked these, but the styling seems to be polarizing. People seem to either get them or they dislike them.

    Like 2
  5. 433jeff

    For years (40)i hated the 66 charger, now i find the charger really a good looking car, i like it better than the 68-70( I know i know).

    But some things i dont get…….Like the 356 Porches. I dont get it.

    And these cars, I don’t get them either. But you never know

    Like 1

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