A Trip Down the Other Makes Rabbit Hole Leads to 1981 Avanti "Custom" Begging for Death

1981 avanti for sale

I meant to write up this baby blue [sc:ebay itemid=”261163181245″ linktext=”Bricklin for sale” ] for only $3500, but the auction ended too soon. Clicking through on “related items” plunges one into a see of absurdity…

There’s a [sc:ebay itemid=”390535704436″ linktext=”1976 All-Cars Charley” ] 3 wheeler for $9,500 (from my favorite dealer, no less…) A [sc:ebay itemid=”111009890401″ linktext=”Vtec-swapped Riley Elf” ]? Maybe an [sc:ebay itemid=”350695618990″ linktext=”electric 4-door pickup” ] based on the SsangYong Actyon Sports? No? How about an [sc:ebay itemid=”170985907093″ linktext=”Oldsmobile” ] so malaise-y that its family banished it to Other Makes?

And now we arrive at our main dish for this Fastback Friday…an [sc:ebay itemid=”330868724434″ linktext=”Avanti 20 years past its expiration date” ].

The poor Avanti. Its original run as a Studebaker lasted through ’62-63, a period of awkward automotive styling across the board. Rather than be allowed to die with the rest of Studbaker, the original Avanti engineering and most of its styling remained undead well into the 80s courtesy of a series of entrepreneurial brand owners. This example gives a glimpse of a more late-70s take on the original.

 1981 avanti for sale

From the side profile in the main picture it almost looks like the offspring of a late-70s Trans-Am and a Jensen Interceptor. Looping around the front, we see it’s worse than we feared. That grille is from a Lincoln, somehow melting into the standard 7″ round headlights. More curious than the claimed “built in rollbar”, Corvette side flares or BMW fender vents is the history on this one: a theft recovery. Someone wanted this thing badly enough to steal it, then someone wanted it back badly enough to buy it back from the insurer. Why?

Auction ends Sunday! Guess the final sale price and win a prize absolutely nothing.

[sc:ebay itemid=”330868724434″ linktext=”eBay Motors – 1981 Avanti For Sale” ]


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31 responses to “A Trip Down the Other Makes Rabbit Hole Leads to 1981 Avanti "Custom" Begging for Death”

  1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    If a Corvette came up fast in my rear view mirror I'd pull in to let it pass. If that came up fast in my rear view I'd be reduced to fits of barely controllable laughter and probably crash in a fiery fireball.

    1. Van_Sarockin Avatar

      If that came up in my mirrors, I'd put my foot down and make a desperate attempt to flee. Who knows, it might be contagious? What a sad end for a great car.

  2. mdharrell Avatar

    I've been watching that All-Cars Charly (the seller incorrectly spelled it "Charley"). It's a bit spendy, even for an AACA winner.

  3. Devin Avatar

    I like the Lincoln Mark VIII grille. I think it really ties the whole thing together.

  4. JayP2112 Avatar

    The BMW fender grille is just tacky.

    1. mseoul Avatar

      What year was the fender grill added I wonder? That item was not broadly popular until the mid 2000's right?

  5. $kaycog Avatar

    That is very frightening. I weep for the poor Avanti.

  6. Number_Six Avatar

    Utterly despicable. It'd be good fun to show up to all your local car shows in this and talk about it earnestly "yep, such a rare and unusual car. Love it to bits". But it would be more fun to shoot it with a giant space laser.

    1. vroomsocko Avatar

      Sorry it took so long, it takes awhile for SOL to warm up.
      <img src="http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRiq2af1poBD5aBlo-3nBJCqWaMPkTJKzvmgLOhZnRH1CtdB1S5&quot; width="500">

    2. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      And more just. If ever the phrase 'Nuke it from orbit' applied it is now.

  7. Frere P. Avatar
    Frere P.

    <img src="http://proboscis.cc/images/zoom/MVMHUK/P_11.jpg&quot; width="600">
    Honestly, I see nothing wrong with the styling of this car.

  8. PotbellyJoe Avatar

    Wrong shade of lipstick for the pig. I think it is more of a winter.

    1. Van_Sarockin Avatar

      What season is 'Crusher'?

  9. stigshift Avatar

    Makes me appreciate the elegant aesthetic of the Pontiac Aztek.

  10. longrooffan Avatar

    Man-O-Man….that one even has this one beat…

    1. Mad_Hungarian Avatar

      Well, if we're going to compare it to something from the Turkey Rod Run, neither of these Avantis compare to the brutally abused chopped purple Continental Mark II.
      Also, the red Mark AVIIInti, or whatever you would call it, looks like it could be put right again simply by swapping a correct front clip back in. The interior looks like it was not messed with.

  11. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
    Dean Bigglesworth

    It looks happy… retarded, but happy. I can't hate it.

  12. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

    Hooniverse (commenter) asks: What car deserves an Avanti-style ignominius prolonged undeath supported by a small clientelle of crazy weirdos?

    1. rustylink Avatar

      Good question!

      1. rustylink Avatar

        40 years ago…Checker!

    2. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      Abandoned GM models:
      Kappa platform
      Holdens we never got (wagon and ute)
      Fiberfab Aztec

      1. stigshift Avatar

        GM haiku? Cool.

      2. smokyburnout Avatar

        The Wiki page for the Kappa platform has this uncited reference to the platform being sold to a Spanish company. I feel like I would've heard about that if it happened, but then again I was looking because I felt like I had heard something.
        <img src="http://i.imgur.com/sD0gfPX.jpg&quot; width="600" alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" />
        It's reskinned, with a V8 swap… They're only building 30. Even at bankrupt-GM prices wouldn't it be a bit expensive to buy the tooling for a platform to only build 30 cars? It'd be cheaper to import used ones. Let's see what their website says about how they're made. http://www.tauro.eu/exclusividad.html
        "texto fabricación"
        <img src="http://distilleryimage10.instagram.com/c2ae3988bb0b11e1af7612313813f8e8_7.jpg"/&gt;
        That's a 2007 VIN. Mystery solved.

        1. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          Thanks for that. It's gems of information like that, that make this site so good. Alas, I can only thumbs up you once. : )

  13. rustylink Avatar

    4 words… kill it with fire..

  14. Bud Greyling Avatar
    Bud Greyling

    Metaphor fail: "Clicking through on “related items” plunges one into a see of absurdity…"
    'Sea', not 'see'.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      "Sea" is indeed standard usage in this construction but "see" may be taken as a play on the visual nature of these ads combined with overtones of the episcopal meaning as a seat of authority, in recognition of eBay's prominent position in this field. I assume that's what Tim intended.

  15. SPring-heeled Jack Avatar
    SPring-heeled Jack

    Doesn't look any worse than a stock Avanti.

  16. Dirty Dingus McGee Avatar
    Dirty Dingus McGee

    Like many, I appreciate a good custom job.
    Sadly, this isn't it.

  17. ConstantReader Avatar

    Never liked the original styling, but this is NOT an improvement