Rock River Valley Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club

Our Charter, Keeping the Studebaker Marque Alive
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Welcome to the Rock River Valley Studebaker Drivers Club Website
Last Updated:
 
Oct. 20th, 2017
Add the "Rockne" to the History Page
Sept. 28th, 2017
Updated Featured cars of the month and coming events.

Click on the Globe left to go to the Sub-Site "Articles", if you are interested in automotive trivia and history, else don't bother.
        

 
 

 Oct, Nov, & Dec  STUDEBAKER FEATURED CAR OF THE MONTH
This 1984 Avanti Touring Coupe is owned by Sherm and Carol Buetsch.   It is a second generation Avanti (1983 - 1986), manufactured during the Steven Blake years.   The car has a 5.0 Liter HO Corvette V-8 with automatic.   Power Steering, Power Disc Brakes, Power Seats, Power Locks, and Power Trunk Latch.   The interior is leather with Bucket Seats.  Below is some of the history of the Avanti's after the Studebaker's closing of South Bend.

 

The 1965-1982 Avanti II was a continuation of Studebaker's 1963-64 Avanti.  The cars were mostly handbuilt in a corner of the old South Bend plant under former dealers Leo Newman and Nathan Altman.  The Avanti II retained the Lark convertible chassis but was altered with a small-block Chevy Corvette V-8, a higher hoodline to accommodate it, reduced-radius wheel openings and less front-end rake for a tidier appearance, and "Avanti II" badges.  Offered with "stock" paint colors and interior trims, the Avanti II could be done in virtually anything the customer wanted -- Altman loved pleasing clients this way.

This car was a great buy early on, and only a bit less so through the '70s despite steady price escalation, mostly due to inflation.  Workmanship deteriorated over time, especially after Altman's untimely death in 1976, but low production almost guarantees collectibility regardless of year.

 

Production Numbers for Avanti II

Year

Production

Year

Production

Year

Production

Year

Production

1965

25

1966

98

1967

60

1968

89

1969

103

1970

111

1971

107

1972

127

1973

106

1974

123

1975

125

1976

156

1977

146

1978

165

1979

142

1980

168

1981

200

1982

200

Engines for the 1965-1982 Avanti II

Type

Size

Horsepower

Years

ohv V-8

327 cid

300*

1966-1969

ohv V-8

350 cid

300

1969-1972

ohv V-8

400 cid

180/245

1973-1976

ohv V-8

350 cid

180

1977-1980

ohv V-8

305 cid

155

1981-1983

*SAE gross horsepower; all other figures SAE net

 

On October 1, 1982, real-estate developer Stephen H. Blake bought the rights to the Avanti II.The state of Indiana guaranteed $1.9 million in loans to Avanti, as part of the financial package offered Blake when he bought the company.  He made modifications to the car, which had remained unchanged since the production of the Avanti II model began in the mid-1960s. Rectangular headlights and modern plastic body-colored bumpers were introduced.  He also dropped the "II" in the car's name.  All subsequent cars were called the "Avanti".   1983 was a very good year with 289 unit produced, 1984 was nearly as good with 275 car produced.   In 1984 a Touring coupe was introduced, followed by a convertible.   However, paint problems plagued the Blake company, and nearly all the 1984 production had to be repainted.  This most likely caused Blake's company to declared bankruptcy and he resigned in February 1986.  I could not find the production numbers for 1985.

 

The company was then acquired and run from 1987 – 1991 by John J. Cafaro.   With the help of the State of Ohio, he moved all Avanti production from South Bend - its birthplace - to the Rust Belt area of Youngstown, Ohio.  In 1988 and 1989 Avanti made two-door coupes and a convertible.  The 1988 Avanti were called the "Silver Year" models, marking 25 years since the Avanti's introduction.   In 1989 Cafaro lost faith in the original coupe and introduced a four-door version, of which 90 were built.   In four years, only 405 Avantis were made at the Youngstown plant, which closed in 1991.

 

Mike Kelly repurchased the company in 1999.  He moved its operations from Ohio to Georgia and produced redesigned Avanti automobiles in Villa Ricafrom 2000 to 2005.  From 2004,Fordchassis and engines were used.   In October 2005 an internet report said "Avanti Motors [had] recently announced a new relationship with Ford Motor Company and was planning a big comeback.  In early 2006, Kelly moved Avanti production to a new plant in Cancun,Mexico, but the company foundered after Kelly's arrest on fraud counts in December 2006, over a very large Ponzi schemehe was running.  The last Avanti rolled off the line in Cancun, Mexico in March 2006.  All the Mustang-based Avantis used V-8 engines, with the option of a Ford V-6.  Only one 2006 Avanti was built with a Ford V-6 engine.  The factory and showroom were emptied in 2011 and have been sold.  Many extremely rare Studebaker and Avanti concepts and racing vehicles that were on the second floor of the building in Cancun have been moved elsewhere and/or sold.

Click Here for additional interesting Avanti Info

 


 Oct, Nov, & Dec  BLACK SHEEP FEATURED CAR OF THE MONTH

This 1941 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe is owned by Marty and Sue Brackin. 

There were just 3,100 of these convertible's made that year.   All new styling was introduced, with the classic eggcrate grille that would become a Cadillac trademark, even to this day.


The car is powered by a venerable Cadillac Flat Head V-8 of 346 cu. in. (3.5” by 4.5” - Bore & Stroke), making 150 HP.  The compression ratio is 7.25:1, enough to propel the lightest models from 0-60 mph in about 15 seconds.  The transmission is the 3 speed synchromesh manual.   The car weight is 3,970 pounds and runs on a 126 inch wheel base.


The price in 1941 was $1,645 dollars without accessories.   This car has the accessory rear backup light, trim rings, wheel discs, and radio.   The Fender Skirts were standard equipment for convertible's.

Fender skirts

$17.50/pair

Radio

$69.50

Heater

$59.50 - 65.00

Seat covers

$8.75/seat

Spotlight

$18.50

Fog lights

$14.50

Backup light

$7.50

Windshield washer

$7.50

Wheel discs

$4.00 each

Trim rings

$1.50 each



The price range for the '41 Cadillacs was wide, the most expensive '41 was the Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five Formal Sedan, a seven-seater, at $4045. On the other hand, one could purchase the bottom-of-the-line Series Sixty-One Coupe for just $1345.

 

 

Gasser Wars magazine did the linked story below in one of their issues this summer. They have given us permission to share the article with you as long as we give them credit.  The article was written by Phil Morris.  It is an article about Gordy Buetsch's dragsters and his life long love of the sport.   Click on the link below "Gasser Wars" and enjoy the article in a seperate window. Enjoy!!!!!!!!

 
The next link will take you to the Gasser Wars Magazine

 
The club meets the first Monday of every month, unless that date is a holiday, then the meeting is on the next Monday.
Date of Next Meeting:
 
Meeting Dates for 2016
January 2nd, 2017
February 6th, 2017
March 6th, 2017
April 3rd, 2017
May 1st, 2017
June 5th, 2017
July 3rd, 2017
August 7th, 2017
September 11th, 2017
October 2nd, 2017
November 6th, 2017
December 5th, 2016

Location:  Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles Street, Rockford IL

Time:  Dinner at  5:30 P.M. Meeting starts at 7:00 P.M

TOP


54th International Meet, August 2018, Tacoma, WA.  Details will be available at a later date.

 TOP


Information will come at a later date as it becomes available.
 
 

 

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