Over the past couple of months, ACM’s Avanti has undergone some major changes and our monthly updates on the ACM’s Collection pages have been showcasing the recent progress. The car has been completely stripped by our all-volunteer rescue team in Bellingham, Washington, under the direction of James Bell of the Bell Studebaker Museum. In final preparation for paint removal, James and his crew cleared out everything under the car-- the driveline, brake and fuel lines, exhaust, etc. so they wouldn’t be in the way of soda blasting the frame. The volunteer crew, who are all members of the Whatcom County chapter of the Studebaker Driver’s Club, have meticulously dismantled the car taking care to label and bag all parts. The rear end was swapped out with a temporary one and the refreshed rear-end, new leaf springs plus suspension from the A-arms out in front will be replaced once the car has returned for re-assembly.
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The sights and sounds of a foreign country - even a familiar one - often jog our senses and transport us to another time. Coming from a land of SUV's and bland sedans that all seem to look alike, I'm always thrilled to see the kinds of vehicles embraced by our cousins "over the pond". What I love the most is seeing those wacky London taxis and the wild and wonderful Bristol double-decker buses - it's like seeing some long-extinct pterodactyl flying past!
Apparently, Harold LeMay must have felt the same way. Over the years, he managed to find and buy not one, not two, but three of the darn things. One of these fascinating machines was donated to America's Car Museum by the LeMay family and we are very proud to have it. So proud, in fact, that we elected to include it in our pool of vehicles for our Adopt-an-Auto program. The list includes all levels of vehicles we want to restore and allows people to donate the badly-needed funds to help us get them Museum-ready.
We added this great example of UK ingenuity to our list and within days, John Lyons, one of our newest Steering Committee members, scooped it up. John knew full well that he will be the proud "parent" of this bus for 5 years and will get to come to the Museum when it's done for a fun family photo shoot. In the meantime, we will display the Bristol at our new place in Fife - and allow the millions of people a year who drive past us on I-5 a short glimpse into the past and into the fun world of British transportation.
Cup of tea, anyone?