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Studebaker Avanti

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Studebaker Avanti
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Studebaker Avanti

The Studebaker Avanti was a sports coupe built by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana, USA in 1963 and 1964. Designed by a team of stylists employed by famed industrial designer Raymond Loewy, the Avanti was all-new on the surface and a radical design. Under the skin, however, ailing Studebaker's financial situation meant that the Avanti was based on the Lark Daytona, with a chassis dating back to 1953 and only Studebaker's small-block V8 for power. Only 4643 cars were built before Studebaker closed up shop in South Bend to produce Larks for another two years in Canada.

Dimensionally, the car's size was very close to that of the Ford Mustang.

The Avanti story did not end with Studebaker's demise as a car manufacturer, however, for two South Bend Studebaker dealers, Nate Altman and Leo Newman, purchased the Avanti name, the body molds, remaining parts, tools, jigs, and a portion of the South Bend factory to continue making the Avanti. These Avantis, called the Avanti II, were given a 327 in³ (5.4 L) Chevrolet Corvette engine and were meticulously hand-built to order in very small numbers. In the early 80s, real estate developer Stephen Blake bought the Avanti company and shortly after that developed a more up-to-date backbone chassis with independent suspension, and a convertible model. Blake's company declared bankruptcy in 1986, and the company was purchased by Michael Kelly, who relocated production to Youngstown, Ohio. These cars continued to be sold until approximately 1991. Since then, there have been further attempts to revive Avanti production.

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