If you are reading this, I assume I have some explaining to do.
Since Wichita On Wheels is assigned to the back page of the Saturday sports section, we occasionally have to step aside for special offerings. This week and next, the sports folks are presenting their annual football previews, which are printed as "wraps" around the regular sports section. That requires using the back page where you would normally find the Wheels section.
So for these two weeks, Wheels will be inside the sports section, which means it will have to run without color photos and it will occupy a smaller space. We should be back up to size, in full color, for the Sept. 3 issue.
I decided this would be a good time to wrap up our readers' vintage daily drivers series, since we only have three submissions left in the basket. We'll run one today and finish up the other two next week.
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Frank and Sally O'Donnell's Avanti technically didn't fall within the guidelines of late 1970s or earlier. But their 1985 Avanti is basically a modified version of the original Studebaker models produced in 1963-'64.
Frank O'Donnell explains that from 1965 on, General Motors V-8 engines and various other mechanical parts were used since the original Studebaker parts were no longer available. The original fiberglass body styling remained intact, though.
"This car has been a daily driver, accumulating 137,600-plus miles and is in original condition," he wrote. "The GM V-8 displaces 5.0 liters and a GM 4-speed automatic transmission is fitted. Otherwise, the running gear is of the original Studebaker design. The front seats are from Recaro and the steering wheel is from Nardi.
"Avantis have never caught on as collector cars despite their low numbers (approximately 8,100 cars), unusual styling and easy maintenance. My guess is that 'unusual styling' = 'funny looking' for most car people," he concluded.
If that puts me in the minority, so be it. I think it's a great looking (and obviously very reliable) car.