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This car came to me, after another shop had botched an engine upgrade, and a couple of small modifications. This car is a post Studebaker, Avanti, it was born with a 327 Corvette engine, the customer purchased a Chevrolet Performance 383, from there it all went wrong. The exhaust was poorly installed, the after market a/c was hitting the brake master, the cooling hoses were cobbled together, and everything was thrown together. The car was nearly un-drivable.

We upgraded from 14" Tru Spoke wheels with 205/75/14's to 17" Centerline billet 508's, with Pirelli p-zero's. The factory front disc brakes, and rear drums, were upgraded with Turner disc brakes, front and rear. A C3 Corvette brake booster, and a Wilwood master cylinder were modified, and installed. I relocated the a/c compressor to the right side of the engine, and moved the alternator to the left, for clearances.

I fabricated a stainless steel upper radiator hose with a fill cap to replace the 5 piece mess from the other shop.  when they installed the engine in VA, they didn't have any way to ventilate the crankcase, they reused the original intake and valve covers from the 327. I installed Billet Specialty's valve covers with proper PCV, and breather.


Custom a/c lines were fabricated to deal with the relocated compressor. A late model Ford windshield washer reservoir was mounted inside the right front fender with the filler coming through the apron. The shorty headers had ceramic coating applied for looks and heat control. Also new mandrel bent tubing was fabricated to link the headers with the stainless exhaust kit installed back east. The left side was fabricated with a ball socket joint, to allow the oil filter to be removed. DEI heat shield was added to the power steering lines due to their proximity to the exhaust. 

This year (2016) the Avanti is back, for the entire suspension to be rebuilt, sway bar upgrades, QA1 adjustable shocks on all four corners, and a T56 Magnum 6 speed install.

Needless to say the T56, is slightly larger than the T10. American  Porwertrain sent me a basic C2 Corvette swap kit. The Avanti's  transmission tunnel did require some cutting and patching with fiber glass mat.

The area under the heater controls had to be cut out and raised, along with a 2"x2"x10" notch where the fire wall and tunnel meet. Both spots were glassed back in with mat and resin.

The transmission mount had to be modified. It had to be shortened in length to go back further into the X frame, along with lowering the mount location to maintain the angles.

The drive shaft was also shortened to fit. American Powertrains  White Lightning Shifter, was able to locate the shifter handle nearly in its stock location. The installation was not an easy process at all. The Avanti's X frame and floor / tunnel clearances made it nearly impossible, to complete without modifying the interior / console / carpet.

The sway bar kit serviced as an upgrade for the Avanti by Studebaker Int., is not a bolt in, as advertised. The rear sway bar has a 3.5" shallower u shaper bend to it. This requires new braces to be built and welded at the frame mount.

The shorter shape of the bar changes the angle of the pin that attaches to the frame. Also the factory mount plates lack the strength to deal with the stiffer bar. I fabricated these replacement from 1/8" plate, and welded them in place.

The front bar is also ill fitting. If the new bar is mounted to the frame, it is 3/4" away from the control arm mounts. The stress that would have to be applied to mount this, would wipe out the bushings on both the sway bar, and the control arms.

I built a plate and sleeve setup to go into the frame rail, since Studebaker didn't reinforce the frame where this pedestal mounts. I boxed in the mount, then had to weld on a top plate with a saddle type bar bushing, to move the bar closer to the control arms. After  20 plus hours of fitting and fabricating, the sway bars bolted on.

In the end, it is a fun and unique car. 1967 Avanti is powered by a GM Performance ZZ 383, backed with a T56 Magnum 6 speed, and a Dana 44 rear end with an Auburn posi with 3.73 gears. The car is rolling on 17" Centerline billet Champ 500 wheels, with Pirelli P-zero tires, Turner Brakes 4 wheel disc brakes, and  sway bar upgrades 1" front and 3/4" rear bar. It also has, QA1 adjustable shocks on all 4 corners, rebuilt king pins and all new bushings, front and rear. Along with all new/rebuilt steering, Wilwood Brakes master cylinder with a C3 corvette buster, and A/C. Ralph also put in a new stereo, with a cd changer, a mirror mounted back up camera, along with LED lights all the way around.