Avanti II Reviews from North America

1984 Avanti II

Model year1984
Year of manufacture1984
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership1997
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10

Summary:

One of the best and most beautiful cars ever made

Faults:

As a rare classic car, the Avanti is cheap to own and parts are easy to get. The hard part is finding someone to work on it. I do much of my own work. When I got mine it needed a complete front end rebuild and a carb cleaning.

General Comments:

The 84 and 85 Avantis are evolved cosmetically from the Studebaker and the earlier II's. The all leather interiors are FABULOUS. Recaro seats were standard. The dash and the headliner are all leather. The car is very solid, quick, and for a V8 it gets good MPG.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2006

13th Mar 2007, 13:27

Have you had any problems with the paint?

I read elsewhere that when Steven Blake bought the company, one of (the many) changes he made was a new paint process, but there were many problems with it, necessitating that most, if not all, of the 1984-1985 models be repainted.

Any other problems since you posted this review?

1973 Avanti II RQ-B 350

Model year1973
Year of manufacture1973
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 350 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired135000 miles
Most recent distance165000 miles
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

When the Raymond Loewy team designed this car, they simply created a classic ("cosmic") beauty

Faults:

Old window and doors seal replacement.

Usual type maintenance & upkeep after 30 years.

Steel Torque Boxes (frame to fiberglass body medium) replaced.

General Comments:

The Avanti II (1966 - 1982) was an updated version of the Studebaker Avanti original - which was massed produced. This model was custom built 'by hand' at the same plant, in small numbers, by mostly the same workforce.

The main difference was that contemporary GM engines and drivetrains were used.

When you buy an 'Avanti' of any era, (1963 - 2005), you are primarily buying the classic design - which has been essentially the same over the years. The modern 2005 model, although re-created by one of the original designers, still carries the same 'DNA' as the original.

It's a great car to drive and because of its comtemporay looks, it gets lots of attention from the public - who often think of it as being from Europe, even though it is also a collector car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th March, 2005

1980 Avanti II RQB 350

Model year1980
Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership1980
Most recent year of ownership1998
Engine and transmission 350 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance35000 miles
Previous carToyota Cressida

Summary:

Its class and distinction of being unique were unsurpassed

Faults:

An improperly installed inner tube caused a tire blow-out.

The clock never worked.

General Comments:

The use of every day systems from large manufacturers made service and availability easy.

The uniqueness was that nobody had one like it, and very few people knew what it was.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th September, 2004

30th Sep 2004, 19:06

Finally, an AVANTI review on this site.

I hope to get an Avanti someday, until then I am having to make do with a Buick Reatta. The ones I like, though, are the post-1983 versions after Stephen Blake bought the company and updated the appearance.

9th Nov 2004, 16:35

I am having difficulty understanding the last comment.

Cannot tell whether the writer is upset because the new Avanti is (was?) not still being built the exact same way as they did it 40+ years ago, or is it because all of the various entities that have been building it since Studebaker stopped making it have not been updating it with the latest technology? If they had, it most likely would be priced well into six figures, have even lower production, and be even more out of reach of many who would like to own one.

As it is, the new Avanti is hardly the "same old same old" that the writer accuses it of being. Rather, it is for those who always admired the looks of the Avanti, but want one that can be used for reliable daily transportation, which the original is not and will not ever be, no matter how restored it is. It is still a 40+ year old car with corresponding technology. You want to buy one of the originals to drive on weekends, fine, but don't disparage the choice of those who want something more reliable with updated technology, but still possessing the look and spirit of the originals!

4th Nov 2011, 09:09

I have to say that the Avanti (and many of the great Studebakers) were ahead of their time. The Avanti's styling is timeless, and would still look great if it were just being introduced for the first time today. I wish I had had the chance to own an original back in the day.

Average review marks: 8.3 / 10, based on 3 reviews