(Update: it appears to be an early Avanti II)
Eric Clem has given us the opportunity to reflect once again on that most unusual American car, the Avanti. I’m hard pressed to think of another post-war American production car that is so stylistically outside of the mainstream of its time. If you didn’t know better and I told you this was a 1960’s revival of one of the great French marques like Delage or Delahaye, that would be a lot more believable than a Studebaker from South Bend, Indiana in its dying last days.
Just why Studebaker’s dynamic new CEO Sherwood Egbert thought that an expensive limited production fiberglass coupe on a Lark convertible chassis was going to play a pivotal role in turning the moribund company around is a question that was never answered, or even asked. Yes; the halo car phenomena, one which has largely been debunked. But who cares? The result is a car that I never get tired of looking at, or talking about. And for that we can be thankful for.
I’m not going to repeat myself here, as I said more than enough in my Avanti CC, titled “Flawed Brilliance”. I will just add that the Avanti made a highly memorable impression on ten-year old me when it arrived in 1963. Wow…who would have thought that Stupidbaker would make this?
And I’m still thinking it.