I first visited the Avanti factory in the summer of 1984. Living in suburban St. Louis at time and between my junior and senior year in high school, I told my mom I was going to stay at a friend’s house for a few days. I loaded up my Pontiac Sunbird with a cooler and set off on the more or less 400 mile drive to South Bend, Indiana.
I don’t remember much about the drive itself other than getting run off the road and into the median by a semi-truck somewhere in Illinois and a guy passing me on the highway, only slowing down long enough to shout out the window asking if I had any “speed”. In hindsight, I can see how foolish this whole trip was, but it was a helluva trip and really got me “stuck” on Avanti’s from that point “forward.” No pun intended.
I seem to recall just walking in to the factory offices when I got there and asking if I could look around. Some of the photos I took that day still exist, and they are posted below.
Yesterday, September 16, 2012, after several years of searching off and on, I bought a 1985 Avanti (RQB-4245). I always preferred the body color bumpers, the smooth, non-lined dash panel and the Recaro seats.This one – as near as I can tell – came originally with wire wheels but is now fitted with steel wheels and hubcaps, as the photos show.
I say “as near as I can tell” as while the car is very well documented, going back to the original sales contract when the car was purchased in July 1985 from David Taylor Cadillac in Houston, but no window sticker or build sheet.The car came with a set of Tru-Spoke wire heels – in severe need of clean-up and replating in the trunk.
My plan is to document what I do with and to this car during the time I own it – first on the list is a good cleaning. Next I’m going to see about tending to the deferred maintenance that is due.