Bob's Resource Website (2007)

What happened to the DUO Cento ( 15 Jan 2006)
Joe Granatelli ran the place but he had a close friend who wrote for Hot Rod mag. name of Bill Burke. Bill got 2 of the Avantis 1, was the Due Cento EX-2942 which he sold to Richard Bennett the 3 in 1969. The other EX-2143 was called the 229 car and later the Burke-Bros.-Leggit-Exostec (Terrible Turkey). Driven by his son Steve to a number of records a Bonniville. Burke sat around the back door and acted like a security guard keeping an eye out for people going in and out plus if you came to buy anything where you had to come to the back which was on an alley (the front was a 1 way street) he was the guy you would meet. He still lives in Alhambra and would be the person to talk to. I have talked to a number of people that have tried to get info from Paxton and they get nowhere.

I am surprised with all this talk about R3's no one has listed Ron Ellerbe who publishes The Jet Thrust News and keeps the R3-R4 roster??

My personal roster lists 119 R3 and R4 powered vehicles or engines known to exist at one time or another. This is a fast moving target to keep tract of, they sell, get lost or turn out to be duplicates of the same engine after ownership changes.

My interest is I was 3rd owner of Avanti R5089 in 1973. When I bought it the 2nd owner (Frank Copis) had pulled the R3 and installed a GM 454 V8 that was actually 460 CID from a C Gas dragster (A nutcake who spent a lot of money at a stock car builders shop) Eventually after we got it running the car could not be driven on the street for many reasons, overheating, steering faults because of engine size and simply too much torque because the GM idled at 1800 RPM!

I sold the GM engine and bought back the R3 (R3-SH320) from another party who had bought it from the hotrod shop, it had many problems from sitting in Chicago weather outside for 6 years and elected I to use the crank and pistons in another RS block and had it rebuilt by Mike Salay in South Bend (Factory Speed Shop..another story) and installed it in R5089 again. I never got to drive the car, I sold it to the late Marc Dahl, he sold it to Bob Kapteyn who owns it now (It has not been driveable since 1973!) . Bob has recently re-restored R3-SH320 and plans to put R5089 (The first factory R3 Avanti) back together someday.

Scott, if you would like a copy of my 2002 roster email me and I can send it in Excell format (.xls). I did look and your serial 1089 does not appear on it? Maybe you have located yet another unknown R3. Please find and list the engine serial number stamped on the top left front of the block. It should begin with R3S or B, if it begins with RS or JT it is not an R3 block.