Can you guess what this is?
It’s the original carburetor tag from the first Avanti (R2) that Raymond Loewy owned. Lew Shucart, recently in France visiting and touring with Daniel Chouin (present owner/caretaker of Loewy’s 63 Avanti) brought this to our shop. It’s the carburetor from Loewy’s car. Lew who “smuggled” Not! – the carb in his non-carry on suitcase, said it looked as though the airport officials had opened his suitcase to inspect the contents. What? No…..why would they do this? grin
Museuhotel in l’Utopie, France
Photo Credit – Lew Shucart
While in France Lew and Daniel toured the countryside and went to a local AOAI meet in Loewy’s Avanti. The car engine didn’t run right, wouldn’t idle, tried to stall out. In other words, it was badly in need of a carb overhaul. Daniel removed it from the Avanti, Lew popped it into his luggage and flew home with it.
This is how I refurbish a carburetor. It’s completely disassembled, every part is inspected, cleaned, accounted for, parts repaired or new parts installed.
In the case of this carb – it was missing the thermostatic choke, it was jetted incorrectly, the vacuum pistons (which should be dry and clean so they move freely) had been oiled, gumming the pistons – they were stuck. The accelerator pump linkage was homemade to compensate for a missing spring under the pump. The metering rod springs were too stiff – causing the carb to run overly rich. The throttle and choke shaft castings had excessive wear. I bushed them with brass and the base of the hot idle compensat0r valve was bent, causing the valve to be open all the time.
It’s an honor to be asked to work on another of Loewy’s Avanti. Helping preserve these historic, iconic cars is important to me.
Too many times, these old cars end up at the crusher. Gone forever! With the loss of these cars, we remove from our culture, the ability to educate our younger generations to the traditions of our automotive history. Without active hands on preservation and restoration knowledge that can be passed forward, these beautiful classic cars will become too soon a dim memory. All we will be left with, are photos (or unrecognizable rodded contraptions).
I want to give a big shout out to Daniel Chouin for caring about these automotive traditions and for being an excellent conservator.