Custom headlights installed in R4 Tribute Avanti
It was a beautiful Sunday, warm spring air, the sun was shining. Perfect day to take the Avanti out to do a winery tour. The wineries are grouped, mostly along one country highway, which winds among green tree stands in moderate hill country, opening out on fertile crop growing river bottom land. It’s an enjoyable drive when you’re behind the steering wheel of an Avanti.
We hit a couple of our favorite wineries, tasted some new blends from the vintners and picked up bottles of our “special occasion” Ice Wine. Then stopped for a late lunch at another winery – delish! By the time we finished eating a rain storm had blown up from the south. Nothing to worry about, just a light spring shower.
We got on the road and started heading back into town. We were out on the bottom lands straight-away, cruising through the rain – listening to good tunes – talking about car stuff, of course. There was a fair amount of traffic on the road that day, not unusual for a Sunday afternoon. Like us, people were beginning the trek back into the city.
We hit a strong pocket of rain and the cars ahead of us began to slow. We adjusted our speed, too. I checked the rear view mirror to see what was behind us – cause ya never know…… Sure enough, there was a big delivery van barreling up on our rear. The rain water was whipping across the roadway and that van was not slowing down. Gripping the steering wheel, I prepared to take the Avanti off the side of the road to avoid a rear impact. At the last moment – THE VERY LAST moment the van driver realized he was about to rear end us. How he managed to get that truck slowed down in time, we will never know.
This was the day I decided the Avanti was in need of a tail light upgrade. Avantis have design perfection tail lights, I did not want to alter this aspect. I needed to figure out how to make the tails lights brighter, more visible. I began researching, working on the challenge.
If you drive your Avanti in real road conditions, if it’s not a trailer queen or you’re not a purist who prefers original all the way (all good choices), you might want to consider upgrading your lighting system. Head lights, as well as tail lights and while you’re at it, you might as well do the instrument panel lights, too. This is one area where Studebaker under engineered…those original lights with old style bulbs are downright dim.
We’ve always driven our classic cars everywhere, day and night. It’s a pleasurable part of owning them. If your car is a driver, too, brighter lights make sense. These are upgrades for driving safety and should not affect car show judging points.
I installed LED headlights and rears in this white Avanti, as well as smaller size LEDs for the interior lighting. They make a world of difference.
I am still enjoying your carburetor rebuild on my R2 Lark. To be honest with you, it is almost scary when the car is moving and I floor it, the way it takes off…but I am grinning ear to ear at the same time!