Noted Significance in Automotive Culture
These cars are unique auto projects that have come into the Bez Auto Alchemy shop, some of which have historical significance in automotive culture.
Raymond Loewy’s Personal 1976 Avanti II
This Avanti in the care of Loewy’s family, was brought to the shop for preservation work, from the Studebaker Museum in South Bend Indiana. Raymond’s daughter, the late Laurence Loewy is seated behind the wheel in this photo. Photo Courtesy of – Loewy Design provided by David Hagerman (Raymond Loewy’s son-in-law)
Brad Bez of Auto-Alchemy did a great job repairing Mr. Loewy's last Avanti. We wanted to keep it as original as possible. From his engine expertise to his excellent body and interior restorations, his craftsmanship far exceeded my expectations. Along with his competitive rates, I'm most happy to recommend his services. Many thanks to Lew Schucart, Editor of Avanti Magazine, for introducing me to Mr. Bez. - David Hagerman, CEO Loewy Design
I drove the '76 Avanti II home Monday night, complete with NASA stickers and American flag - still getting use to the Chevy 400. It brings back cherished memories of Laurence speeding through Monte Carlo and French villages with reckless abandon. The car will be featured at Raymond Loewy Museum fund raising events in the ATL area. - David Hagerman, CEO Loewy Design
Ernie Wolf’s 1982 Avanti II
Photo Credit – Ernie Wolf
Ernie brought his Avanti into the shop for some minor repair work, just before he put the car up for sale. Ernie and his Avanti have a place in Studebaker auto history. Ernie designed and produced Skytop (Moon Roof) power kits for the Avanti Motor Company from 1979 to 1987. As Ernie tells the story, Avanti was at the end of their financial solvency and he had not been paid for a good number of Skytops. While inquiring about the payment in arrears, he talked to the company manager who told Ernie they just didn’t have the money to pay him. Not missing a beat, Ernie replied, “What about this car right here? (This was a cream color Avanti II sitting on the showroom floor.) I’ll take this car as a partial payment for what’s owed.” The rest is history. The deal was struck and Ernie drove the Avanti home and enjoyed this car for 30 years!
Helping Preserve A Second Loewy Personal Avanti
French carburetor arrives at our shop! (Follow this link to read about it.)
“Daniel Chouin I Brad,
I could not dream of more attention for my Avanti !
Thank you for your perfectionism and your investment on my carburettor’s problems.
Your explanations and your pictures explain everything very clearly !
I am particulary deeply touched by your words.
The carburettor is a little bit like the heart of the car… this carburettor that maybe Raymond Loewy did try to change some settings with his mechanic…
Unfortunately, I can’t send the entire car to you… but, it is already an honor to have one of the most famous Avanti heart surgeon on bedside of a part of R4578 !
I doubt to be “an excellent conservator” but I try to do my best to make run this Avanti the best possible while I keep the appearance of the car as original as possible.
Félicitations & Salutations de Paris !
Quote from Daniel Chouin
(present owner of one of Raymond Loewy’s personal Avanti)
R3 Avanti Engine Roars To Life Again
Studebaker factory worked with the Granatelli Brothers/Paxton Products (a division of Stude Corp) to produce R3 engines with superchargers. Only 9 Avanti R3 engines and one Lark engine actually rolled off the production line at the Studebaker factory.
This Avanti with it’s now matching numbers is part of an exclusive club. At one point in it’s life, the engine was separated from the car. Randy was able to reunite the engine with the original body.
A well tuned, Paxton supercharged 289 V-8 engine brings 335+ hp to the table. Back in the day the Granatelli brothers, at Bonneville Salt Flats, set 29 production-car speed records with these blown “stock” Avantis. Studebaker cars and engines continue to set and hold classic car land speed records.
Randy called on Brad to be the engine-side doctor for the first run and engine break-in. Brad worked closely with Randy as restoration consultant, as well as refurbishing a number of mechanical parts for the car and rebuilding the Paxton blower.
Watch the VIDEO as Brad keeps his eyes and ears tuned to every nuance of sound, using the timing light and temp gauge to check operating levels.
1963 Avanti R2
The final finish and paint work and engine tuning was completed by Brad Bez. Brad’s expertise was the driving force that led to completion of this project.