1963 Studebaker Avanti #1001

Car maker Studebaker Avanti was in trouble in the late 1950s. Sales were tanking. It needed a big win. Car designer Raymond Loewy was handpicked in 1961 to deliver. And he did. Loewy hired the best and the brightest in the business, namely John Ebstein, Robert Andrews and Tom Kellogg for the task. Without time for focus groups or market studies they, quite literally, locked themselves in a house and set out to design their dream car that would make the Studebaker company hip again with young car buyers. They had a clay model of their design in just 10 days. It was presented to Studebaker, and production started within months. Their car was designed to be a personal luxury coupé and was marketed as "America's only four-passenger, high-performance personal car!" The two-door Avanti had a radical fiberglass body that was mounted on a modified Studebaker Lark Daytona 109-inch convertible chassis with a modified 289 Hawk engine that packed a 240-horsepower engine. The car was fitted with British Dunlop designed front disc brakes and a special option pack that included a Paxton supercharger that added 50 horsepower to the car. The Studebaker Avanti has been described as "one of the more significant milestones of the postwar industry." But the car was too little too late to save Studebaker. The car was only produced for about two years under the Studebaker name. Avanti replicas, however, had been produced by a series of other companies until 2006. The Avanti in the LeMay collection is confirmed by Avanti documentation as being #1001 – the first Avanti sold. The car was donated to the museum from the collection of Dr. Daniel Cook of Lakewood. Museum researchers are trying to figure out when the car was painted the current "psychedelic" colors and are working to bring it back to its original look. LeMay-America's Car Museum has the Avanti 1001 Rescue Project to make sure the work is done correctly.

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1963 Studebaker Avanti #1001

Car maker Studebaker Avanti was in trouble in the late 1950s. Sales were tanking. It needed a big win. Car designer Raymond Loewy was handpicked in 1961 to deliver. And he did. Loewy hired the best and the brightest in the business, namely John Ebstein, Robert Andrews and Tom Kellogg for the task. Without time for focus groups or market studies they, quite literally, locked themselves in a house and set out to design their dream car that would make the Studebaker company hip again with young car buyers. They had a clay model of their design in just 10 days. It was presented to Studebaker, and production started within months. Their car was designed to be a personal luxury coupé and was marketed as "America's only four-passenger, high-performance personal car!" The two-door Avanti had a radical fiberglass body that was mounted on a modified Studebaker Lark Daytona 109-inch convertible chassis with a modified 289 Hawk engine that packed a 240-horsepower engine. The car was fitted with British Dunlop designed front disc brakes and a special option pack that included a Paxton supercharger that added 50 horsepower to the car. The Studebaker Avanti has been described as "one of the more significant milestones of the postwar industry." But the car was too little too late to save Studebaker. The car was only produced for about two years under the Studebaker name. Avanti replicas, however, had been produced by a series of other companies until 2006. The Avanti in the LeMay collection is confirmed by Avanti documentation as being #1001 – the first Avanti sold. The car was donated to the museum from the collection of Dr. Daniel Cook of Lakewood. Museum researchers are trying to figure out when the car was painted the current "psychedelic" colors and are working to bring it back to its original look. LeMay-America's Car Museum has the Avanti 1001 Rescue Project to make sure the work is done correctly.

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