Wednesday Wanderings

Using this post title means I will hear Kristina Train’s version of “I’m Wandering” in my head for the rest of the day.

I was originally going to write about the Woodill Wildfire, the first production car with a fiberglass body, and title the post Wednesday Wildfire. However, while no disrespect was to be intended, I ultimately felt that post title would be inappropriate given what is happening in California. Are any of you in the fire zone?


Is Thanksgiving really a week from tomorrow?! I mean, I know it is, but that just doesn’t seem possible. I give thanks for my wonderful wife, my family and my close friends, but I am not satisfied with my life. During a meeting with our broker a couple of years ago I told him that I was neither a “glass half-full” nor “glass half-empty” person, but that I don’t even see the glass. That comment did elicit quite a laugh.


OK…where did everybody go? I know that people who are not reading this can’t answer, but the tremendous surge in readers has almost completely reversed itself. Does anyone still reading want to offer an explanation?


From the Avanti Motors website that is still up despite the fact that the company has been belly up for more than a decade is a picture of the last Avanti coupe (circa 2006), at least as I write this. An Indian company is manufacturing a car called the DC Avanti, but I don’t consider that to be a successor to the Avanti line.

I think this is an amazing looking car and an excellent modernization of the original style. These cars were basically re-bodied Ford Mustangs and were, therefore, very current in terms of the automotive technology available at the time. This Avanti was available with either a V-6 or a V-8; the V-8 produced 300 HP and 320 LB-FT of torque.

The last owner of Avanti Motors, Michael Kelly, was one of two dozen people accused by the FBI and the SEC of operating a giant Ponzi scheme. Subsequently it was revealed that over 7,000 people had been defrauded of close to $350 million. Avanti Motors closed for good; Kelly was sentenced in December of 2012 to five years in prison (after having spent six years in prison subsequent to his arrest) and died a year later of cancer. Kelly had previously owned Avanti Motors from 1986 to 1987 and then repurchased the company in 1999.

My wonderful wife and I live near a couple of sites that used to be factories for two of the Big Three automakers. One of those sites has been repurposed, but the other site languishes unused. That site leads me to dream about manufacturing a luxury GT car like the Avanti. Once again from the movie Diner, if you don’t have dreams you have nightmares.



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4 thoughts on “Wednesday Wanderings

  1. We are about 80 miles from the nearest fire – we were closer last year. But we’ve had tremendous smoke, particularly over the weekend. I’ve got to change the cabin air filters in both of our “Mazda-ratis”. When the air – fresh or conditioned is on – it’s like the system is blowing smoke in the car. 😦

    Here’s your post at the Studebaker Drivers Club:


  2. Stay safe to everyone in Cali!!!! That looks to be the Avanti II….it had the 327 Chevy V8 in its engine bay. It was the more modern variant but plagued by reliability issues with everything not V8 related. I actually wanted one for a long time.


    1. Hey, Steve! The Avanti in today’s post is from the last generation and is Ford-based. I love the look of all of them except the four-door sedan.


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