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Avanti: The Complete Story Paperback – April 1, 2008
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Any future editions of this book should be renamed "Avanti The Manufacturing Story".
Hull brings together the various lives of the Avanti, a story that spans no less than five decades, four production factories and enough owners and principals to fill several of the fiberglass luxury cars.
The book traces the history of the Raymond Lowey designed coupe from its inception as a potential savior /image car for the venerable Studebaker company to its latest incarnation as a Mustang re-clothed in body panels that manage to be both retro and futuristic at the same time.
Hull knows his subject well as a one time CFO for the latest resurrection effort and as the editor of the Avanti club magazine. He does a commendable job in putting the pieces together. Minor criticisms include not using many direct quotes from important figures. Hull paraphrases a magazine interview (which he references) with #3 Avanti owner Stephen Blake and a panel discussion by owner #4, Mike Kelly. Why not use the men's own words?
My biggest complaint is what you won't find here... details of the cars themselves.
Aside from a nice production total which finally answers who made how many, and where, most technical details: engines, performance specifications and importantly, prices are missing. A few answers are tucked away in ads and company literature pieces that have been reproduced (often too small) but I think he could have made a stronger effort to help the reader place the Avanti in the general automotive world. Later versions are noting as being produced on Monte Carlo, Caprice, Firebird and Mustang chassis. I would have like to learn how those were accomplished. Did the factory arrange to buy chassis and drivetrains...Read more ›
The car might have succeeded in its purpose too but for various production bottlenecks that created long delays after the car was introduced to the public. This resulted in many impatient buyers canceling their orders. Then, when Studebaker CEO Sherwood Egbert, who was the driving force behind the car's creation, had to step down as he battled terminal cancer, the car lost its chief advocate in a company whose board was already looking at divesting itself of its ailing automotive division. Thus, after only just over 4600 vehicles were made, the Avanti was out of production, and that should have been it.Read more ›
Each successive chapter discusses the evolution of the Avanti beginning with its Studebaker origins, through the stewardship by Newman & Altman, Kelly, Cafaro, Bunting, and Seaton - culminating with the 2006 transition to Cancun, Mexico and the arrest of Mike Kelly on Federal charges related to his hotel businesses.
The production data from 1962-2007 is the most comprehensive and accurate compilation ever offered. Overall, this is an excellent overview of the fascinating history of this American classic.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An informative and worthwhile book for anyone interested in Avanties.Published 2 months ago by John W. Lawrence
If you love the Avanti, you'll love this book! Lots of great pictures and details about the changes the car went through over the years.Published 14 months ago by Kat
Very thorough book detailing the life story of the classic vehicle, the Avanti. Purchased my first Avanti in December of 2013. Read morePublished on January 24, 2014 by Donn Kaplan
It does take you from inception to the end of the Avanti. It stimulated me enough to join the Avanti club and get their quarterly mag.Published on July 7, 2013 by Lloyd D. Friedman
My product was exactly what I was looking for, as it was a gift for my father. He absolutely loved it! Read morePublished on August 31, 2009 by D. George
Once again even though you think you know everything about the Avanti something comes along to enlighten you. Read morePublished on August 31, 2008 by Mark Carson
The Studebaker Avanti ranks right up there with the All Time Great American automobile designs, like the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette split window coupe, the 1963 Buick Riviera, and the... Read morePublished on August 20, 2008 by GRH "Ex WHA Jet"