Studebaker Avanti

One great thing about Alameda is you never know what kind of cars you'll find parked on the street. We've seen everything from a 1937 Cadillac to a Unimog in this series, but this may just be my favorite find yet. Yes, it's a Studebaker Avanti. A primer Studebaker Avanti, no less. When I spotted that distinctive front end from a few blocks away, there was no mistaking what I'd found.

Studebaker Avanti


I can't tell the exact year of this Stude, nor can I determine whether it's one built by Studebaker itself or the near-identical Avanti II built after the demise of Studebaker. The square headlight panels indicate that it's a 1964 or newer, and the bumpers indicate it's no newer than a '72 (unless, of course, it's been retrofitted... in which case all bets are off). Avanti experts, your help in pointing out year-nailing-down features would be appreciated here.

Studebaker Avanti


There's no way of knowing what engine this car has; it could be the supercharged Studebaker 289, but more likely it's the unblown 289 or some flavor of small-block Chevy (the early Avanti IIs came with Corvette-spec 327s).

Studebaker Avanti


In any case, it has a V8, and the primer paint job can mean only one thing: Cherry Bombs! Well, we can always hope.

Studebaker Avanti


The interior is in pretty decent shape, down to the original AM radio. Unfortunately, it's an automatic.

Studebaker Avanti


The styling was sort of an evolutionary dead end, but it sure as hell stands out in a crowd!

Studebaker Avanti


From this view, the Italian name makes sense, though hints of good ol' Studebaker keep it honest.