Up for auction: My 1980 Avanti II which I have owned for almost six years. This is RQB3024, one of just 167 Avantis built that year. It is in excellent show and drive condition and never fails to draw attention and questions, whether its at shows or just getting gas.
Honestly, this car draws three times the attention that my restored '65 Corvette Coupe gets! I am selling reluctantly because I have recently purchased an Avanti Convertible and I am also buying a '63 Avanti (by Studebaker). If I had the garage space, I wouldnt be selling this car as it took me 10 long years to find one this nice. In fact, this car was selected to be one of the feature cars in the 2009 Avanti Owners Association International Calendar. But, too many toys and the wife says something has to go.
This car is driven only in good weather for show or club event purposes and it is garage kept under cover. The beautiful and unique color combination is the same as when it left the factory in South Bend Indiana. It is Steel Cities Gray, a '72 Corvette Color, that was custom ordered from the factory by the original owner. The interior is a deep red leather with a custom rosewood dash and console overlay with a wood steering wheel. The inside of the glove box is signed by Kellog and Ebstein, members or the original Studebaker design and engineering team (a detail for Avanti enthusiasts). Equipment includes a Chevrolet 350 LM1 Crate Motor (purchased from Scoggin-Dickey) that was installed brand new by the previous owner in 1996 (the car had 75,000 miles on it at the time, now has 92,100), automatic transmission, power steering, tilt wheel, air conditioning, Kenwood AM/FM cassette stereo, tinted glass, moon roof, power windows and locks, driving lights, cruise control, electric trunk release, exterior luggage carrier (rare) and rear window deicer. A Sony 6 disc CD changer is also located in the trunk. The motor is rated at 250 HP. The original list price on the car when purchased new in 1980 was over $22,000.
As you can see from the photos, the interior of this Avanti is outstanding. The two front seat were recovered in matching new leather approximately 7years ago by the previous owner (a birthday present from his wife). Both seats looks as new with no wear, marks or scuffs. The back seat looks as if its never been sat on. The drivers door panel is also excellent with no wear showing. Carpet still looks new and is original from the factory in "montecello wineberry." As noted above, the dash panel and console are covered in custom rosewood. All guages are functional. The Avantis have overhead control consoles (mimicking an aircraft). The headliner and moonroof door covering also look as new. The moonroof does not leak by the way (many Avanti's do). Honestly, I dont ever open it (its electric) as I dont want to tempt fate. The Avanti's also came with a built in leather covered roll bar as part of the body structure. The floor mats you see in the photos are brand new custom made heavy Sisal Coco Mats. I had them made special for this car. I also have the original floor mats that came from the factory and they still look very good. The interior of the trunk is also covered with matching carpet and is in excellent condition. One note....the AC does blow cold and the compressor is functional (we tested it in August). But it seems to need a new switch/sensor to guage the internal air temp in order to cycle on and off. In August, we charged the system (R12) and got it to blow cold by bypassing the sensor/switch inside the vehicle. So the system does function, but it does need a sensor to cycle on and off. If I can get an appointment, I may have this looked at by a local AC shop that deals in collector cars.
The engine compartment is very clean and chrome accents have been added. As noted above, the engine is a GM 350 LM1 crate motor installed just 17,000 miles ago. The car starts smoothly and quickly every time, even if its been sitting for two months. Both the engine and transmission function perfectly without any problems. I have driven this Avanti to shows at significant distances and have never had a single problem, the car is very reliable and never let me down in the entire time I have owned it. The engine does not burn oil. Even in hot summer stop and go traffic, the engine stays cool. The chassis and undercarriage are very clean and in exceptional condition with no rust problem areas (see photo). Frame is super solid with no rust or integrity issues. Those who know Avantis will be aware that you must be careful about corrosion issues in the "hog troughs." These are metal structural units located on each side of the frame below the doors that provide structural integrity between the "x" frame chassis and the fiberglass body. These torque box metal structures will routinely collect moisture and rust out and they are very expensive and difficult to fix. No problems here though, as the last owner meticulously replaced the "hog troughs" on this car before the car it was repainted. In fact, he wrote an article published in the Avanti Owners Association Magazine that gave the step by details and photos on the job.
Just this summer (July) I had work done on the front suspension to sharpen up the tracking and handling of the car. New shocks, new tie rod ends, repacked the wheel bearings, replaced hub seals, trued the rotors and had an alignment. It runs and handles great (particularly for a car that has a chassis designed in the mid '50's). The frame that Studebaker and the surviving Avanti Motor Company (which continued to make these cars for many years) used was originally the Lark "X" frame selected for performance, durability and ease of manufacture. The mufflers were new last year and the rest of the exhaust is in fine shape. The exhaust note is consistent with that of a nice mellow performance small block Chevy. Tires have approximately 75% of their tread remaining.
Documentation, History and Value
I am an auto enthusiast and besides the Avantis, I own Corvettes and a great old original '51 Chevy. I take excellent care of my vehicles and never abuse them. As I noted above, I am only selling this car because I am buying a third Avanti. This 1980 will be a great fun collector car for someone wanting a reasonably priced collector car that will win awards, stand out from the crowd, attract a lot of attention (be ready for that) and be reliable to drive. And it wont go down in value.....in fact, Avanti's are gaining value. If you dont know much about Avantis I suggest you check www.theavanti.com for some excellent resource info. As for price and value guidance, you can also check around via the internet and or collector car price guides. Here is what I found: the new 2009 "Old Cars" Collector Car price guide values a #2 conditon 1980 Avanti at $16,100 and a #1 condition car at $23,000. NADA Collector Car Guide: "High Retail" is $19,600. My reserve is well below that. Please do not ask the reserve as I will not divulge.
Please dont bid unless you are serious. No tire kickers, test pilots or "low ballers" please. The car can be inspected by appointment in Knoxville, Tennessee, in advance of the close of the auction. I reserve the right to end this auction at any time, provided the reserve has not been met. I will answer all questions that are sent. This Avanti is being sold as is, where is with no warranties written or implied. Shipping will be the responsibility of the buyer although I will offer assistance on this end. Thanks for checking out my auction and good luck in your bidding.