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Avanti is a name given to a semi-customized automobile produced in the United States, that traces its heritage to the Studebaker Avanti of 1963-1964.
Following the closure of the South Bend operation, two South Bend, Indiana Studebaker dealers, Nate Altman and Leo Newman purchased the Avanti name, the body molds, remaining parts, tools, jigs, and a portion of the South Bend factory to continue making the Avanti. Altman and Newman had first approached the Checker Motors Company, maker of the iconic Checker Marathon and taxi cab, about taking over production. However David Markin, Checker's President reportedly stated that his company was not interested in building "an ugly car" like the Avanti.
These Avantis, called the Avanti II, were given a 327 in³ (5.4 L) Chevrolet Corvette engine and were meticulously hand-built to order in very small numbers.
On October 1, 1982, real estate developer Stephen Blake bought the rights to the Avanti II and shortly after that developed a more up-to-date backbone chassis with independent suspension, and a convertible model.
Blake's company declared bankruptcy in 1986, and the company was purchased by Michael Kelly, who relocated production to Youngstown, Ohio. These cars continued to be sold until approximately 1991.
A second generation of Avanti automobile was created by Tom Kellogg, one of the original Avanti design team members working for industrial designer Raymond Loewy, in the late 1980s. These cars were based on GM's "F" platform (based on GM's Camero/Firebird models), having the same styling themes as the Avanti is marketed today.