Who doesn’t dream of doing this with their childhood dream cars?
Studebaker made the Avanti four-seater hot rod as the last swan song for the Indiana auto maker. While the Avanti model wasn’t able to save the brand six decades ago, it did inspire an Indiana man to keep the cars alive. Mike Baker has made his childhood dreams come true with his restoration work at his auto shop.
"This is going to be a hot rod here in a week or less," Mike Baker said as he worked on the interior of a red 1963 Avanti, telling WTHR 13 Indianapolis news.
Mike Baker grew up in South Bend, Indiana, which was the home of the Studebaker factory as well as the birthplace of the Avanti. "It was the fastest production car in 1963. My love for this car is it's a handmade, limited production automobile. The nice thing about working on this car is once we work on one, we know how to fix the next one.”
"This car that's been dormant for a while in someone's garage is brought back to life," Baker said. "The best thing about it is getting them tuned up, running and driving them down the road.”
Studebaker only made around 4,600 Avantis, which are nearing the 60th anniversary of the model. Other companies made the Avanti until 2006, but the Studebaker ones are the most important to car collectors.
"It's incredible that they came up with this design in 1961.”
Baker’s hobby became a full-time business back in 2017, with a shop packed with Avantis and a waitlist for over a year for customers to get their’s into the shop.
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