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1969 Avanti II, 8075 original miles

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Like many of you, I never really looked at the Avanti II as more than a curiosity. The Studebaker versions were a neat footnote in the company's history, but the Avanti II became such a caricature of itself in the '80s that it was easy to dismiss. But the truth is, after seeing this amazing 1969 Avanti II, I'm inclined to say that the original vision of a high-end luxury/performance car is actually what these early Avanti IIs were. This one, for example, features a gorgeous hand-made leather interior, impressive fit and finish, and the heart of a Corvette. Hard to argue against that.

The story is interesting, too. Originally ordered in Camaro Hugger Orange by a major Cleveland Browns football fan, he took delivery in spring of 1969. Sometime during the summer of '69, he fell from a ladder and died, never having taken his beloved custom Avanti to a Browns game to show it off. Instead, it passed to his widow who kept it for many years until its second owner, who was a friend of the family, convinced her to let him have it. Since then, it has been in his care, getting only enough exercise to keep it healthy. The mileage is 8075, and the car is 100% original.

The fiberglass is in excellent shape, without even signs of age, which Corvette fans will understand all too well. The Avanti II guys made their own fiberglass bodies, and the quality is quite high--beyond what GM was even doing with the Corvette. As a result, there are no stress cracks or delaminating areas, and the finish looks amazing for being 43 years old. Chrome is production-grade and in similar well-preserved condition.

The original owner also specified a black and tan leather interior because it was as close as he could get to his beloved orange and brown football colors. Seats and carpets are in excellent condition, and I doubt the back seat has ever hosted a passenger. The original aircraft-inspired switchgear is intact, and the full compliment of gauges are fully functional The car is equipped with factory A/C, which would work with a recharge--the current owner says that for the first 10 years of his ownership he would get it recharged every 3-4 years, but since he never drove the car and it always eventually leaked out, he stopped bothering. Everything else works, including the alarm system with its own key in the rear quarter panel.

The engine is a 300 horsepower Corvette 350 linked to a TH350 3-speed automatic. Corvette owners will find the engine bay familiar, and even the original emissions equipment is 100% intact. It seems that the larger radiator hoses have been replaced at some point, but everything else appears to be vintage 1969, including the plugs, wires, heater hoses, and exhaust system. It's not detailed, but a weekend of clean-up would pay big dividends. Even the tires are the original 205R15 Firestone narrow whitewalls from 1969, so I didn't drive very far or fast on them, but the car starts instantly, idles well, and moves without a squeak or rattle inside.

A stunning survivor with an 8-inch thick stack of documentation behind it. An unusual car that still turns a lot of heads, exotic but with a Chevy's reliability and affordability. Asking $27,900 and we're always happy to listen to offers. Thanks for reading!













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