Keep reading to find out why Studebaker's continuation coupe is worthy of the Corvette museum's hallowed halls?
There are plenty of Corvettes out there worth being enshrined in the National Corvette Museum, but the latest donation has Corvette ties that you might not know about. Once the museum reopens following the Covid-19 shutdown, visitors will find a gold 1977 Avanti II nestled in among 67 years of Corvette history, and here's why.
The Avanti II was essentially a continuation car after production of the Studebaker Avanti ended in 1963, and from 1965 until 1983, this sporty looking coupe was powered by various Corvette engines. When production of the Avanti II started, these cars used the Corvette's 300-horsepower, 327 cubic-inch V8, and by 1977, the Corvette's 180-hp 350 cubic-inch engine was found under the hood. On top of the use of Corvette engines, the NCM press release also says that the Avanti II's fiberglass body was fabricated by the same company that has made the Corvette bodies since 1953.
The car was donated by Vietnam veteran Bernard Hammer whose passion for Avantis and Corvettes runs deep. He's owned three Corvettes in the past and he's got a C8 Corvette on order, but his appreciation for Avantis dates back to the car's Studebaker days. Hammer recalls falling in love with a Studebaker Avanti back in 1962, and he was finally able to purchase this gold 1977 Avanti II 55 years later after his wife passed away in 2017.
Hammer's Avanti II is an eye-catching car with a beautiful gold paint job, and a two-tone brown interior worth of a '70s sports car including the thick shag carpet in the trunk. This car will surely draw attention even parked alongside cars like the C7 ZR1 prototype, the final C7 Corvette Stingray ever produced and various artwork penned by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth.
And just in case you're wondering, no you can't enter your Avanti into the NCM's online car show.
Source: National Corvette Museum