1963 Avanti R4 Tribute – debuted at MCACN Show in Chicago – Nov 2016
Gold winner in Street & Modified Judged Vehicles
The Windy City car show was a good time, met lots of car owners, enthusiasts and other builders. This show is always an automotive high point, typically focusing on Corvettes and Muscle Cars with special displays each year. The visitor traffic was amazing. By the end of the show, my vocal chords were worn down to a raspy nub and the brain part that does engine explanation was on life support.
This year the MCACN organizers with the help of Ed George (dedicated Avanti owner) brought in a special display of Studebakers – The Bonneville Reunion of performance cars. You can imagine the excitement among Stude owners about this display of legendary cars. Plus there were other Studes from around the Midwest on display – very proud weekend for the Studebaker community. Great turn-out of cars and owners. Read all about it in the Winter/Spring Issue 177 Avanti Magazine, available through AOAI.
These cars were a surprise for many mainstream gearheads. Wait. What?
Avantis were race cars and hold speed records as well as continue to set new records on the Salt Flats?
The R4 is a frame off, from the ground up resto mod with many unique parts, all engineered and fabricated at Auto Alchemy. Lots of time and lots of hand work. I was running right up to the show deadline finishing the resto mod on this car, so barely made it under the wire for entry. Due to this, the R4 was not able to be shown in group with the other Studes, but was given a great show spot where the car did shine!
The engine explaining part…….how the R4 Avanti is a hot and sexy muscle car.
The finished engine!
…and now for the rest of the story.
The judges came around, they checked every little and big thing. Their immediate inspection feedback was “There’s lint under the driver’s seat and some in the trunk”. That was it – they had nothing more for me. I was a bit puzzled (having judged some car shows myself), I thought there might be more conversation from the judges. Nope!
OK – the judges’ assessment is the word. I tossed it off and went back to interacting with visitors. Given the requirement for stellar car cleanliness in this show, I was pretty sure the R4 was out of the running for awards.
I was worn out, dead tired by the end of the last show day. My get up and go had cruised on out of the room. So I opted out of the awards ceremony at the far end of the show hall. I was with the R4, readying it for the drive-out in the morning, when someone hollered at me.
“Hey, did you hear? You just won Gold in your show class.”
I shook my head in disbelief. Great example of playing it close to the chest – you never know what’s going on in the heads of those judges.
What a surprise. You can be sure, any future shows I enter…..the cars WILL be lint-free and spotless!
“Brad Bez is well known nationally for his work on Avantis and Studebakers. One only has to look at Brad’s red 1963 Avanti to see how good he is at fiberglass repairs and painting older cars. Brad can repair body damage (sheet metal and fiberglass), paint, sanding, and install new trim.”