Avanti drivers meet for Winterfest in Florida

An original Studebaker publicity photo introducing the 1963 Avanti.
An original Studebaker publicity photo introducing the 1963 Avanti.

The sporty Studebaker Avanti, a radically styled fiberglass coupe created by a design team led by the celebrated Raymond Loewy, is today considered the last hurrah of the South Bend, Indiana, automaker that traced its roots back to covered wagons of the 19th century.

Introduced to wide acclaim in 1963, the Avanti lived on even after Studebaker’s demise, resurrected several times through 2007 and gaining collector-car status among a legion of fans.

Avanti enthusiasts come together in Gainesville, Fla., from February 6-9 for the annual Avanti Winterfest, a celebration that also marks the 20th anniversary of the Avanti Club of Florida. The event will be highlighted by an all-Avanti car show on Saturday, February 8, at the Best Western Plus Gateway Grand in Gainesville.

Winterfest, which recognizes Avantis from every manufacturer including the defunct Avanti Motor Corporation, will host a number of tours for Avanti drivers, including a visit to the Studebaker collection of Steven Cade, a “spouses’ tour” to the historic town of Micanopy and a Sunday lunch tour to High Springs, Fla. A special seminar features a professor from University of Florida who will focus on Loewy and his influence on design.

The public is invited to attend the car show in Gainesville on Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm. For more information, send email to tompinnel@yahoo.com.

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