1984/1985 Owners Manual

Finally got around to scanning and cleaning up a copy of the manual that came with RQB-4245. Technically a 1985 model, this copy has only “1984” references in it. One can imagine that a leftover 1984 book was used as they didn’t bother to reprint for 1985, what with all the other problems going on at the time.

I edited this version to remove all “model year” references, which makes it useful for 1984 and 1985 owners, but I don’t know enough about 1983 (and prior) years to know how relevant this will be for those cars.

For those that have access to a printer that will print two-sides, the blank pages are there so you can use the “Booklet” printing feature within Adobe Acrobat Reader to print it like an actual book, then fold and staple like the original was made. If you have an original manual, put it away and use this printed one in the car. You can always print another if it gets dirty/damaged.

Download it: 84-85OwnersManual


Build Sheets

Called up Nostalgic Motors last week seeing if they had a build sheet for RQB-4245. Betty emailed me a few days later saying they had one, but it was marked “VOID” with a date of September, 1985. The paint and interior colors on it didn’t match my car (which is believed to be original), either.

Later, while going through the glove box, I found the original radio bezel (the Blaupunkt Sacramento having been replaced with a Pioneer in November 1998) that had a hand-written number on it, 4238.

I emailed Betty back asking if she had anything on that car, and she did, though it was crossed out with a large “X”. The colors on it, however, did match mine exactly. Light blue metallic, blue leather Recaro seats, dark blue carpet.

Weird. I’m open to hearing from anyone who might know why this would happen, or knows the whereabouts of RQB-4238.

Once I get the copies of them both, I’ll scan and post them here.

And so it begins…

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.