Modern Spare Tire - June 2020
Pete Rutledge


I read a post on the Avanti forum the other day that said the temporary spare tire (doughnut) from the '02-'12 Ford Escape had the same bolt pattern as the Avanti. The fellow who posted was going to use one for his Avanti II. Well, that was news to me because up to that point I wasn't aware of any such spare tires newer than '99 that would fit the Studebaker bolt pattern, let alone something as new as 2012. So I took a chance.
Found a nice spare on eBay that was listed for '01-'04 Escape (so there is some discrepancy about which years are right, but '02-'04 were common to both the Avanti forum post and the eBay listing) and it was only $55 delivered to my door from a salvage yard in Wisconsin. It came today. It still has factory stenciled letters and numbers on the tread so I'm sure it has never been on the road. It's like brand new. I washed it and dried it and then tried it on the front and on the rear of the Avanti. It fit perfectly with plenty of clearance and no interference with anything. It's a T135/90R17. It's even the same outside diameter (26.5") as the tires currently on the car. Then I removed my existing spare (which will only allow the spare tire lid to close if you let the air out of the tire (yeah, that's what we need--a spare with no air).

With the jack and lug wrench on the floor of the well where they belong, I put the new spare in the well. Perfect fit. Then I put the jack handle on top of the spare with a towel to protect the wheel and the lid from the handle. The spare tire cover fit beautifully in its recess, allowing the lid latch to work like it's supposed to.

In The Trunk