Studebaker Avanti

Avanti is Italian for "advance" and the car has lived up to its name. The Studebaker Avanti was a sports coupe originally built by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana. It was manufactured between June of 1962 and December of 1963. It was designed by a team of stylists who were employed by industrial designer Raymond Loewy. In terms of the cars size, it was very close to that of the Ford Mustang. The Avanti's timeless design started in an intense five-week session in Palm Springs. It proved so classic and graceful that the car was produced as a handmade, custom-order car after Studebaker formally stopped production. Even though Jaguar had begun offering production car disc brakes since 1957, the Avanti was the first American mass-produced car to feature standard disc brakes. The model had an emphasis on safety, with seatbelts being available as an option. Further, safety door latches and a roll-over protection bar, which were also very advanced at the time, were also available. On account of Studebaker's poor financial situation, it had little money to invest in product development. As a result, the Avanti was highly neglected in terms of upgrades, both mechanically and aesthetically. Although the Avanti looked new, it was indeed mounted on a Lark convertible frame first developed in 1953. Further, for power, the Avanti relied on Studebaker's own excellent V8, which thankfully underwent considerable high-performance modifications. It seems that par of the appeal of the Avanti is that it was not upgraded and upgraded year after year. It was more of less left alone, which is in fact why it is so timeless and classic. Given the financial situation at Studebaker, the success and following of the Avanti is even more impressive. It just does not seem that cars are made the same any longer.