Avanti R2, 1963, refresh

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Still Thursday, Oh no. Got a call from Greg. He was on a trip to pick up the Matheson engine parts at the plater and the clutch pedal of the maroon Avanti went to the floor. So just after noon Greg gave me a distress call to assist.

No problem, just pulled the trailer out of the pasture with the tractor, hooked it up to the Suburban and off we went. Found Greg on a bike path. So we started to winch the Avanti onto the trailer and my battery went flat. Decided to remove the Avanti battery and use it. Worked Great.

Got the Avanti all tied down and off to the plater to complete the mission. Greg picked up the parts and we headed home. Round trip it was about 60 or so miles.

Greg thinks that the bracket holding the clutch mechanism broke. Just really no way to get her home without being able to shift. I am sure that he will get under it tonight to see what is up.

Oh, and mileage with the new filtering system. 13.5 mpg with just the trailer and 11.5 pulling the Avanti. These are freeway miles at about 60 mph. So this is about 2.5 mpg over the stock system.

Here are a couple of pics of the rescue.



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And Greg has already figured out the problem with the maroon Avanti. Here is his report.

"Everything in life has a cost. Take the Studebaker Avanti. The enjoyment of the four speed is equal to the suffering of the clutch linkage.

Some time ago I lost the clutch release about fifty miles from here. Drove it home from "out in the country". Troubleshooting showed some worn and weakened parts which I repaired/replaced with new or even doubled in thickness. Things were working great.

Today, while in Metro traffic, I eased onto an expressway and when about to shift back in to fourth, thump goes the clutch pedal to the floor. I was able to drop it into high and cruise while I surveyed the situation.

I'm an old hand at driving with a broken clutch, but in the DC area I decided to just find a good place to shut it down and call for a tow.

Friends Frank, Dave, Lee, and then John Feser were called and a plan made. Feser dropped what he was doing and with trailer in tow, was on the way.

Safely delivered back to the hanger, I thought it prudent to take a minute to explore the problem. The previously beefed items up were in good shape, the steel bracket (nearly 1/4" thick) had broken off. The one that is welded to the car's frame. I guess fifty years was it's USE BY date.

Getting up in there with the engine in it looks like a problem. I can take a better look at the bracket on 5054 while it's engine is out.

I'm exploring the possibility of making a doubler bracket and bolting it in place.

To be continued....."



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It is Friday, June 1st. We are suppose to get huge thunderstorms this afternoon with tons of rain and high winds. Time to put stuff away. The Jag is going back into the barn garage this morning.

And Greg is hard a work on the maroon Avaniti that was rescued yesterday. Here is his progress.

" Getting started on the Avanti clutch caper. One photo shows the no mileage bracket on black Avanti R5054. Cars with automatic transmissiions have them but don't use them. Mine broke at the zig zag.

All I could find around here was a scrap piece of hot rolled plate of 1/4" thickness. I've band sawed a chunk and have heated and bent the zig zags in it.

Enough for tonight."




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Still Friday, but early afternoon. We have had some squalls rolling through the past couple of hours. We can see lots of stuff coming up from the south. Now the weather folks are calling for severe weather including tornado's and high winds. We were out this morning and saw that the power folks were staging their electrical power crews. I have everything put away.

I did take the Jaguar out for a run before she was put in the barn. Ran great. Clock is still ticking away and keeping perfect time.

When I arrived home the UPS guy had arrived. He brought me some rubber grommets for the Jaguar and Avanti; the suspension kit for the Suburban; and a battery cut off switch for the Avanti. I will need to make a mount for the cut off switch.

The bump stop suspension kit looks to be a quality piece. Much more robust than the factory stuff.

Just keep adding projects to my "to do" list.






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Still Friday, PM. Lots of junk coming this way, about an hour away according to radar. The TV weather folks are now going non-stop with reports and warnings. Reporting lots of wind, up to 60 mph, and big hail about 1/4 inch size. The clouds are really building around the farm. Here is a pic of the radar. We are in the middle, the stuff is to our south. Reports of tornadoes on the ground to the north east of us. Some schools are in lock down to our north.

But the Jaguar NOS German made fuel pump arrived. Boy, the quality is impressive. Looks to be a direct replacement for the SU unit. I am going to keep it as a spare in the trunk with the tools to install it. Am really happy with my $50 purchase. Here are some pics.








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Saturday, June 2nd PM. For us the storm was just a rain event, minor at that. The storm seemed to split and break up just before it hit us. However, major damage and power outages to the north of us. Looks like we dodged a bullet.

Was going to work on the Jag this morning, but decided that I need to see how difficult it was going to be to put in the new bump stop suspension pieces. So jacked up the rear of the car to get maximum height and then started to take the old bump stop connectors out. They came out OK with a little Kroil and elbow grease. As usual, not much room to work in tight spaces.

But I got them out, assembled the new bump stops and put them in. I am suppose to have 1/2 inch between the bump stop and the axle pad. Perfect.

Here are some pics to include a comparison between the old and new bump suspension parts, the new parts installed with the body raised and finally one pics with the body back on the ground.

With the new stops installed it will be interesting if there is a different feel to the car as for sure the new stops are going to be resting on the axle pad, helping out the springs.

With this done, now I have about two acres of grass to mow.








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It is Sunday, June 3rd. No car stuff for me today. Spent the day repairing barn roofs to hopefully last another forty years or so.

But Greg had stuff to do to get the Maroon Avanti back on the road. Here is his weekend report.

"OK, back on the road again. Spent time on and off working under the Avanti with clutch trouble. I just got back from a successful test drive.

Photos show the upgrades and the repair to the clutch linkage.

* the new zig zag bracket fit fine. It's held in place by three 5/16" fine thread aircraft grade bolts.

* bolted to the bracket is the outer bearing for the cross shaft. I had previously repaired it by not only replacing the spring steel plate, but by adding another to double it's strength. That's when something else broke.

*the original connecting links have always proved troublesome, so I did away with their "bent rod" to use two clevis ends threaded together. This eliminates the off center force between the levers.

photo of the assembly before bolting things in place.

Close examination of the broken piece of zig zag showed that it had been cracked for years. No way to really see it until it departed.

Otherwise, it has been an enjoyable weekend, a movie, good food, good company and today we took the time to visit the Manassas Battlefield. Even though I've been a local resident all my life, this was my first time. My interest piqued by my recent discovery that I had kin who were members of the "Stonewall Brigade". A discussion with the Park Service guide taught me that their regiment had been the deciding factor in the outcome of that days events of the first battle of our Civil War. Another era to recall on Memorial Day."





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John, Greg's comment on Manassas remininds me of something I learned in school.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was created as a day to honor soliders who died on both sides of the civil war. Not to be confused with Veterns Day that honors both living and dead.

It was originally held on May 30th till Congress decided they needed a 3 day holiday around it.

It has now lost a lot of its meaning.

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It is Tuesday, June 5th. Put up another 100 bales of hay undercover yesterday, lots of heavy lifting. No car stuff unfortunately. And Greg has seemed to slow down too. But here is his report.

"Didn't have the camera with me, so just imagine the following:

*Seabiscuit getting an oil change. I've got about six thousand miles since the major rebuild. I think it's the third time I've changed oil.

*Giving Seabiscuit a bath and then a quick drive to Five Guys for a burger.

*Grabbing some sandpaper and rubbing on R5054 for a couple hours.

It has been such a pleasant evening, just right. As I put the car away I stopped to notice the Moon tonight. As it crept out from behind a thin layer of clouds, it was just brilliant. I don't know if I've ever seen it that bright before.

And oh yeah, I did get a curt response to my description of my clutch trouble. From my Sister's address came the retort "Next time, get a horse!" No way. I'm not going to be responsible for any pet that's too large to flush."

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It is Wednesday, June 6th. Busy with farm stuff, but Greg is pushing ahead on all fronts including major prep work on the black Avanti. Greg told me that the painter is about ready for the car so Greg has to get as much done as he can.

" Seeing progress on the day job. The Wright 8-60 uses an idler gear to drive the magneto. The same tooth count as the crankshaft gear, different configuration. Using clues from the Wright 6-60 and a fair photo of the eight, I been able to reconstruct what they've done about the bearing installation and reliefs to cut weight. I've also drilled and tapped the case to accept the magneto mounting plate. Meanwhile Scott has returned to the copying of plastic parts for his display engines. Scott is the plastic facimilie king.

Night shift, Spent another couple hours block sanding 5054. Working my way around to the passenger side. As of now I have yet to do the areas below the horizontal crease, around the trunk opening and below.

Satisfied with that, I prepared (stuffed full of rags and duct taped the openings) the aluminum intake manifold and glass bead cleaned the outside.

Photos: *Fixture for machining stock gear to proper configuration. Photo shows roller bearing installed.

*Drilling the mag mounting plate.

*Idler and mag in place. Next to determine how they mounted the spindle for the idler.

*Scott moulding and releasing plastic engine parts for his display engines.

*Several pics of 5054 sanding progress.

*Cleaned and prepped intake manifold ready for installation.

That's the scoop for now."










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It is Thursday, June 7th, AM. I am still doing lots of farm stuff, but I hope to get the Avanti out for a run today. But Greg is moving forward on all fronts. Wow, the Wright V8 is really coming along. Here is his report from last night.

"June 6th. Big day for our country and the world, thanks to my Dad's generation.

Nice evening, a little on the cool side, but ok for working on the hill. I decided to get the engine compartment ready for color coats. Spent my time wet sanding the nubs and scratches out of the epoxy primer. I'm not after a Pebble Beach winner, but I want it nice again .

If I'm to stick to my plan, I'd better get busy with transmission issues. I think I parked the car back in the late seventies because it was acting up and I didn't feel like pulling the automatic. It was heavy even then. Don't have any excuse now, so I drug the thing out and the bell housing is now loose for cleaning and painting.

The torque converter is now the issue. Should I send it out for overhaul? I don't know how they fail, but I do know that I don't have the time to tear the car down should I find out later that it has a problem.

As for my real job: The Wright 8-60.

I loosely installed the cylinders that were waiting on the floor. There's a lot of little things I can do to it, but anything substantial has to wait for the crankshaft that's in the works. So I'll return my attention to line boring the cam bearings in the Wright vertical four already underway."







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It is Friday, June 8th. Heading out with the Jag on a long test drive so make sure the fuel pump is OK. Either do or die.

Bill and Kathleen from San Diego stopped by for the night on their way to PA and NY. They have been on the road for two months doing a cross country tour of the US. This is their second trip around the country, they did it a couple of years ago and stayed with us a week or so. Great to see them again and their new rig "Thor" that Bill built up from a base army truck. Here are a couple of pics. It is based on a Mercedes Benz 1017. Needless to say it is a beast and off road capable. The camper is in the UP position, it drops to half height when travelling. If you want to know more about the truck or their travels you can visit Bill's blog. It is at Bill Caid Home Page (1&1)

And here is Greg's report from last night. We are about to get an education in fitting an Avanti auto trans. I am going to reading intently for sure.

"In an attempt to follow my plan of getting the R-3 ready to go back into 5054, I made some transmission related phone calls today.

It had been acting up and that's why I put the car away.....over thirty years ago. I've decided to replace the torque converter with a rebuilt one. With one on the way, I need to be prepared to install it. Along with it comes a centering tool that I rent by the day.

In the meantime, I need to make sure the bell housing is centered with the crankshaft. This involves careful measurement and adjustment with a dial indicator and a soft hammer. If there is runout, a little percussive adjustment and when true, lock down the bolts, drill and ream for the dowel pins.

With this in mind, the bell housing was cleaned and painted. While watching the paint dry, I transferred the engine from the assemby stand to my wooden cradle.

Bellhousing is hung in place, indicator at the ready. Let the fun begin. But not tonight."





Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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It is Sunday, June 10th. We took a long ride in the Jag last night, gaining confidence that the fuel pump is OK.

Bill and Kathleen left in their expedition truck so we headed out to pick up hay rounds. Lot of weight for even a 3/4 ton, but she pulled it good. The new rubber bump/suspension stops worked great too.

Today we have to unload the hay by pushing it off, be prepared for pics of them rolling down the hill.

Pics of the Suburban and Mercedes truck together, Suburban with its hay load, and the bump stops with the loaded trailer.

And of course, Greg's Saturday report.

"I stayed up late last night to dial in the bell housing. Double checked it this morning and satisfied, I locked down the retaining bolts. I then began opening up the dowel pin holes in steps with reamers.

Then I checked the mail. Friend George Krem, who's had his hands on more R-3's than most, offered a little piece of Studebaker/Paxton lore. The bell housings on the two factory R-3 cars that he's owned (of the nine) both had red housings and transmissions.

I'm not trying to pass mine off as a factory built R-3, but what the heck. Even though you can't see the thing, I mixed up some of the R-3 red and shot it, and other engine parts as well that still needed it. Harmonic balancer, the HO pulley and the power steering belt pulley as well. So now I'm ready for the incoming torque converter.

It was a good day for painting, ditto for a ride in old maroon Avanti for ice cream. We'll see what tomorrow brings."










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Still Sunday, but PM. We played at farm work and unloaded the trailer. Of course I managed to get the truck stuck in the winter's rotted hay in the boy's pasture. Took some digging, a few spare planks from the new barn roof, and a little help from the Kubota, but she came out without the trailer attached. The trailer came out via the Kubota a few minutes later. Here are some pics of the flipping of the bales off the trailer. Also used a long pole to push a couple of bales off. Just too much fun.

Took the Jag out for a run as friends came over and wanted a ride. Getting more confident that the car can go long distance again. But will take the spare fuel pump, filters and more tools with me.

Time to jump into the pool, it is 93 degrees!

Speaking of fun, here is Greg's painting report.

"Decided today was the day to shoot the color in the engine compartment. Humidity was down, temperature was up and visitors (Coco and Roth) were gone.

I did some final prep work and paint was mixed. Out of excuses.

So now, two good coats of PPG single stage urethane later, it's there in that tin barn paint boot from Hell soaking up the dirt and bugs.

I left it with a couple boo boos to fix later. While spraying with my ancient DeVilbiss gun, did the customary BONK with the cup right in the most visible area. Piled on more paint to flow over the scar, and so I got the also cusotmary sag adjacent to it. Noticed a couple other sags after I rolled the car out into the light. A victim of the old "One more pass, it'll look like glass." syndrome. Nothing like shooting a black car in the dark.

A saving grace is this paint's forgiveness for this kind of thing. Later on it can be sanded and buffed unlike some of the modern finishes that gets harder than glass in a short time.

So at this point, the car is almost ready for the engine installation. I can work out any paint problems later.

I haven't seen any stainless brake tubing come in, remind me to check my order."











Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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It is Tuesday, June 12th. Raining all day today. That is a good thing, the pastures need a drink. Also started to harvest our blueberries. A great crop this year. Picked a couple of gallons. Most are in the freezer already.

And Greg is making great strides on getting the black Avanti engine ready for install. Here is his report.

"UPS made good time getting the new torque converter here. The evening was spent getting ready for installation. Hardware located, cleaned and the flex plate installed on the crankshaft flange. I machined two new oversize dowel pins for the housing alignment and knocked them in place. The torque converter then hung and it's screws loosely installed. That accomplished, the bellhousing was bolted on.

At that point, the rented factory alignment tool was used to position the torque converter with the housing and it's bolts tightened. Another check mark on the long list of things to do.

The remaining big deal to do before the engine is installed in the car was to drive on the harmonic balancer. A snug fit, never fun in the car.

Before I did that, another problem was taken care of. Upon disassembly I noticed the supercharger pulley had been scored where it fits into the balancer. An arbor was made and pressed into the pulley , indicated in the lathe and then the pulley trued for a better fit. I might wait until the engine is in before I put the pulleys on, don't know.

After I put a couple cover plates and the temperature sender on the cylinder heads, the engine is ready for installation.

And, thank you Randy for reminding me to check on the brake lines. You'll be glad to know that yes they were ordered, they will be coming soon.

Now to package the old converter and tool. Back on the brown truck tomorrow.

Looking ahead.....when this engine is out of the shop, and while I'm putting the other Paxton engine and Matheson together, I think it will be time to get reacquainted with the 1910 Overland engine that I took apart about twenty-five years ago. Talk about the trail growing cold............"







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It is Wednesday, June 13th. Rained all day yesterday and then a big thunderstorm roared through last night about 8PM. What a light show!

Today I will be cleaning up the Jag and the Avanti over the next couple of days getting them ready for the big local car show on Sunday.

And Greg is working on his engines. I have asked him what the "other" engine is for. Here is his report.

"It was a dark and stormy day..... and night. Not a good night for working in the tin barn, so I dabbled in the shop.

I gathered some of the remaining loose parts for the R-3 engine and loosely put them in place, to get them off the floor and also take inventory. At this point the engine is waiting to be back in the car. Before that happens, a crossmember must get readied, the steering box cleaned, painted and bolted back in place, things like that.

With some time on my hands, I worked on the other engine (Greg told me that this will be a display, probably next to the R5 that is at Rob's museum in MD). The crankshaft is now fitted, the main cap hardware torqued, end play adjusted, the gear driven in place and then a job I'd been putting off because it's a pain. With the camshaft the next component, I needed to hone the tappet bores before that can happen. Not a fun job, snaking the hone in place, fighting with the stones to get them in the bores and keep them there. Take the hone out to check, sometimes do the hole again.

Anyway, that 's done, tappets slide in their holes, all's well. Next, the camshaft will go in, crank slinger and seal , then the front cover will go on. Guess I'll have to be looking into the piston/pin/rod/ring situation pretty soon."




Edited by unimogjohn
added that the second Avanti engine will be for display (see edit history)

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Still Wednesday, PM. I did some quality time in with the Avanti. Worked on polishing the chrome on the gauges. All the bezels had rust on them. Used lots of elbow grease and Simichrome polish to get off most of it. Really looks nice now.

I probably spent three hours getting them all cleaned up. They came out great. It was great sitting there, listening to the "Lost in the 60s" music radio station too. Took me back a few years, actually, a lot of years.

The first pic is when I got the car a couple of years ago. You can see the little rust particles. And then the final three pics is what they look like today.





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It is Friday, June 15th. Not much going on in my car world, but Greg is firing on all cylinders. Here is his report.

"Two screws loose. I've gotten the camshaft lubed and installed in this next Granatelli 304, but before I can install the timing cover I need to find the two screws that secure the camshaft retaining plate. When it comes to misplacing things, I'm the King.

Otherwise, I've gotten the steering box cleaned and spray bombed, next I'll get it back in position and tighten the bolts.

A visit to my paint guy leads me to believe I might be ready for him before he's ready for me."


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It is Saturday, June 16th. Just took a break from detailing the cars for the show tomorrow. The Jag is done and now have to pull the Avanti out of the garage. Leaving tomorrow morning at 7 am to make sure we get good parking spots in the shade.

Thought you might like to see the trophy award the 1928 Buick received last month.

Also Timmy the llama is enjoying the big rounds we put in his pasture. Who says llamas can't jump.





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It is Monday, June 18th. Had a nice Father's Day at the car show. Hope that you all had a good day too.

The car show was well attended. Well over 350 cars with more outside the official area. We got there at about 7:30 AM with the official opening time of 8:00 AM. Glad that we did as the main street was almost full of cars. No bother as we like to park on a side street that is in the shade all day.

The show was packed with cars at about 10 AM and the public came in. Tons of people, so many that you were stuck standing down main street.

The cars were all kinds, but I would guess that over half of them were hot rods or modified in some way. A few original cars but not too many. Here are a few pics.

Also we ran across this 2002 Avanti outside the show area. Does not look too much like our Avanti, but it had a lot of people looking at it.

We had a great time. We talked to lots of folks and were interested in the Avanti and Jag. I was surprised on how much folks new about the Avanti and had never seen or sat in one. They could not believe "how modern" it looked today.

But the Jag was clearly the hit. We had lots of discussion on it with folks and many took the opportunity to get inside to have their picture taken. I think that the front seat is worn out. I especially like to have the kids get in and turn the big steering wheel. Who knows, in twenty years they may be driving this car. Oh, the Jag was awarded a "top fifty" award by the other show participants voting.

We headed home about 4 PM after a stop at the local ice cream store. Here is a shot of the "green" cars together.











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It is still Monday, PM. Oh noooooooooooooo, my little Craftsman riding mower when up in smoke. Sort of. Was mowing along, and it started spitting out plums of white smoke and then died. Tried to restart and nothing. Out of fuel, but how could that be, just filled it. Where did it all go? Well, in the crankcase! About a half a gallon of fuel in the oil.

So drained out the oil, took apart the carb and cleaned it all out, and started her up. Started, but running badly and with some smoke. Ordered a carb kit. It is a gravity fed system so I believe that the needle valve is bad. No fuel in the float. More later.

And on another note. A rescue mission to Baltimore, MD. A week ago there was a post on the buy/sell forum for help getting a 1922 Buick Model 45 started. So Larry (dibarlaw on this forum) talked to the owner only to discover that it quit running over three years ago and the owner had no clue as to what to do. So Larry and I formed a plan to go to Baltimore this coming Wednesday and see if we could help out and get her running again. We both have to drive about four hours R/T, but we hope that in 4 to 6 hours of troubleshooting/repair we will be successful to hear the old girl cough back to life. Here is a link to what started it all to include some pictures of the car.


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It is Wednesday, real early on June 20th. Heading off this morning to rescue the 22 Buick near Baltimore. Have camera, will report success or failure.

And Greg has some issues too. Here is his report with more great stories.

"Haven't had a lot to report this week.

Sunday we went to walk through the Sully Plantation car show. The first thing I did was step out of the car and into a mowed over chuck hole. The resulting sprained ankle has put a major kink in my program. With Barbara's first aid and the History Channel, it is on the mend. Mended enough to visit Seabiscuit/Maroon Avanti this evening.

We had it out the other day long enough for it to hiccup. That was when I turned it around and put it away. The points looked a bit frosty, I stuck in another set. I also pulled the carburetor to find a bit of sediment in the bowls. Cleaned and blew it out and replaced the inline filter. Tonight I spent a few minutes adjusting the point gap and it seems happy again. Didn't test drive it though, with this bum ankle.

So with no real progress to report tonight, I'll tell you a story. Stop me if you'd heard this one.

Black Avantis are pretty rare. The factory only offered them for a while since they magnify any body imperfections, it took a lot more preparation prior to color. I think then there was an extra charge, then not available.

My black 5054 Avanti was a repaint, originally white, it was black by the time I bought it in '69. I like it black and it will stay that way.

After I got out of Uncle Sam's Air Force I used the car for daily transportation. Life was good. I was attending a local community college, their new automotive course which amounted to my working on the car in class, then taking it out to the newly opened Rt 66 nearby to see what it'd do. It was straight, looooong, and the miles were marked. Hardly any traffic to boot.

And I met this girl and started dating her. One day I stopped by to pick her up and did she ever fly into me. Giving me what-for for two timing her. She even knew who the blonde was in the car! One of those instances when you look over your own shoulder to see who she was talking to. My denials didn't help much, but it finally smoothed over.

Sometime after that things made more sense. I passed another Avanti in town. I'd caught Hell because some guy named Jeff Brown had also bought one and it was just as black as mine. We became good friends.

Jeff followed a law enforcement career. Wrote me a ticket once. I was cruising through town and in the mirror I see flashing lights. Pull over wondering what I'd done. Up strolls Jeff who writes me a citation for owning two or more Avantis.

Another time I had stopped by his place one hot summer evening. I had parked my gold four speed one out by the curb. Having just gotten off work, he was sitting there with only his uniform pants on, no shirt socks or shoes. Then KEERASH! Up he jumps and out the door he flew. I took off in pursuit to find that a carload of characters had plowed into the rear of the Studie, crunched it up pretty good.

Jeff got there just as the driver was trying to find reverse. Without hesitation, Jeff took a flying leap into the window on the driver's side, wrestled him for the keys and turned the ignition off. Jeff explained in no uncetain terms "You (expletive deleted), you hit MY friend's Avanti!" as others in the car were bailing with knapsacks of contraband. "Greg, go get my gun!" That's my friend Jeff.

Jeff stopped in to visit today. White on top but still carrying his badge and gun. We had a good visit. I showed him the latest in the Wright factory, he gave me the latest on the Wayne Automobile Company story.

I can pick good friends."


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It is Thursday, June 21st. A very long day yesterday, but lots of fun. Did I say hot? It was 106 degrees on the road yesterday driving home from Baltimore on the Buick rescue.

On the car rescue. It all started a couple of weeks ago in the Buick for sale forum. A son wrote about his Dad's 1922 Buick Model 45 that had broken down and not run in several years. To make a long story short, Larry (on this forum and a HS shop instructor/teacher) and I agreed too meet Charles at his home to see if we could help to get the old girl running.

So leaving here at 6:30 AM we made it to Baltimore around 9AM, and Larry arrived shortly thereafter from his home in PA. We had a nice talk with Charles about the car and then we went to work.

The old girl had not been driven in about five or six years after the engine had quit after a show. So she has been sitting in a garage, sleeping all that time. Larry and I formulated a plan to check out the electrical and fuel to see if we could bring her back to life.

We decided spark was the first issue, and after an hour or so working on the starter generator to free it up we were able to spin the motor. We did pre-oil everything. She turned over with Charles helping with hand crank, but nothing. Larry then noticed that the number cylinder exhaust valve was not working. Interesting to see that push rod bend back and forth. So that stopped us for another couple of hours while we remove the valve rocker assembly, freed up the valve, and re-bent the push rod back into a semi-straight position. Tried again and we have a weak spark to the block.

But it still did not fire, so checked the points. No wonder a weak spark. Half of the points were gone. Charles had a spare set and Larry worked to replace and adjust it. We also checked the timing and it looked pretty good. Now we had good spark, onto the fuel.

We figured that the old fuel was back, and so it was, so we bypassed the entire system and fed fuel from a plastic bottle. We tried and tried, and the little engine tried and tried, but all we could get out of her were some weak coughs and sputters. We were not getting fuel for to the engine through the carb.

After working on the car, adjusting, banging, checking everything twice, Larry and I gave up for the day. It was almost 4 PM, and we all were spent working in the heat of the day.

We then talked to Charles for a long time and told him our impressions of the car and what it would take to get it running again. It needs so much work and not just a "drive by" to get her going again. She has suffered from not moving all these years.

All in all, I think that Larry and I were successful. We solved some problems and repaired some things. We actually had the engine wanting to fire off. And I had a great time finally meeting Larry and working with him.

Here are some pics of the car. Actually, she is a very sold car, and very presentable as is. The mechanicals just need a good going over to make her a good driver again. Would be a good first project for someone. Lots of extra parts too that came with the car. I would say that she is about 98% complete. I think that if I had it for a couple of weeks she would be running again. But Charles, who is 78, and his family have to make some decisions to repair or sell the car, or just let it continue to sit. Larry and I estimated that it would take about $2K for a vintage repair shop to make the car run and reliable again.

Well, Larry and I gave it our best shot. Larry is going to keep in contact with Charles via his son, so there will be more to the story in the future. I certainly hope that the old girl gets back on the road, I think that she will in time.










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