MonteCarloSS.com

Avanti Monte Carlo body?

Posted By: myeagley87

Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/20/21 05:12 PM

My dad and I own what we believe is an 87 SS body that was originally sold to Avanti as part of a complete vehicle. There are 26 miles on the odometer and the car is basic, no t-tops or power windows. It sat in a garage in Western PA until my cousin bought it and found a donor chassis from a wrecked SS with the intention of piecing it all together. He didn’t have the time so he sold it to us.

My questions are: is there a way to tell if this really is an Avanti body? If so, what is the car worth?

We have the original window sticker which says it was delivered to Martin Chevrolet Sales, Inc.
The options are:
Gray buckets ($147)
AC ($775)
Console ($110)
LSD ($100)
Cruise control ($175)
Tilt steering wheel ($125)
Radio delete ($56 credit)
Posted By: AkronAero

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/20/21 08:00 PM

Call Mike Cramer at Mikes Montes. He knows the history and has two with a dozen miles on the odometer and which still have plastic covering on upholstery. The chassis and drivetrains were sold to the then avanti division of GM (?) and the bodies and interiors pulled and eventually sold off. Recent pricing would be maybe 10K. More if someone had a purpose on mind. Need to re-title of course. What are colors and were they stored i side or out?
Good hunting,
Gordon
Posted By: Fred SS

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/20/21 11:59 PM

I have heard of this before. Gordon is right. From what I have read, Avanti received complete Monte Carlo SS's and removed the frame and drive train. They then sent the body back to GM. If you have a donor chassis and a original Monte Carlo SS body from the Avanti works, then you will have a unique vehicle. It will take time to piece it all back together, but I think it will be worth the time and effort.

Good Luck,
Fred
Posted By: PB86SS/87LS

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/21/21 02:44 PM

Sounds optioned just like the Avanti SS's were. Was it missing some items like the column, console lid, etc? I think they grabbed and used them with the rolling chassis.

Mike would be a good source, as mentioned he had two, might of sold one of them, I saw in person a couple times in the last 2-3 years. One he worked to get a title for I think he might of sold the other one. I think he said he knows or knows of others floating around, there was someone who posted on here many years ago who had one, I don't know if it's one Mike bought or a different one though.

What it's worth is hard to say. Without a title it's worth is in parts, if you can get a title and put it together it becomes interesting. It wouldn't be original but the body and most of the interior would have 26 miles on it, so it would or should look the part and like a show car. And it has a cool back story, but it never would be worth what a low mile all original SS would bring since it had to be pieced back together. Would be a nice excuse to put whatever drivetrain and suspension in it if you wanted something other than stock. But if you have a clean original frame/chassis nothing wrong with putting it together how it would of been when new.

If you have and are willing to sell the radio delete plate I would be very interested smile.
Posted By: Derrick

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/21/21 03:38 PM

Without a title worth not alot with a title worth something but with not being all original not worth as much as a all original SS.

What color combination?
Posted By: zelm86ss

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/21/21 04:22 PM

I live in Bremen where Martin Chevy was located and even worked there in high school washing cars. Behind the dealership in a large field about the size of a football field and there were rows and rows of Monte SS cars and some Monte LS and El camino cars. I was in high school and the Monte SS was and still is my favorite car ever,so walking up and down the rows of them was pretty cool. I asked why we have all of them and they said they were being sold to Avanti. I got my car on 11/7/88 and still have it today.
Posted By: PB86SS/87LS

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/22/21 02:15 PM

I found the window sticker copy I took a picture of when at Mike's back in 2017, might try to post it later. I do wonder how many they purchased. I don't know if GM or dealerships bought anything back, I'd guess most were sold off and wouldn't think GM would take anything back, not sure what scenario they would. Also wonder how many more are tucked away.
Posted By: Mick

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/22/21 03:41 PM

i think the avant bodies are the perfect setup for new frame with aftermarket suspension, and new ls motor. if built right could easily get investment back out of it
Posted By: upflying

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/23/21 02:46 AM

Originally Posted by Mick
i think the avant bodies are the perfect setup for new frame with aftermarket suspension, and new ls motor. if built right could easily get investment back out of it

something like this?
https://www.schwartzperformance.com/chassis/1978-1988-g-body-regal-monte-carlo-chassis/
Posted By: Mick

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/23/21 03:49 PM

yeah about what i was thinking, about 10K in chassis(doing it yourself, understand the option above as well) and then about $10K in a nice body. $20K(give or take $5K) in a car like what you would have would be worth in IMO
Posted By: upflying

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/23/21 08:27 PM

Originally Posted by Mick
yeah about what i was thinking, about 10K in chassis(doing it yourself, understand the option above as well) and then about $10K in a nice body. $20K(give or take $5K) in a car like what you would have would be worth in IMO

Maybe it was answered already but do those Avanti throw away bodies still have a VIN? Without a VIN, how would you title it?
Posted By: AkronAero

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/23/21 09:54 PM

Body VIN but will not match replacement/new frame
Posted By: myeagley87

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/24/21 01:57 AM

Thanks for the info and feedback. It is silver with grey cloth. We have a title but I’m not sure if it’s connected to the body or donor chassis. The body still has a VIN. I plan on asking my cousin a bunch of questions this weekend since he knows most of the history.
Here’s a couple pics of the car, odometer and window sticker (which is in rough shape but still legible).

https://photos.app.goo.gl/acwvU5hsromnWkUq7
Posted By: PB86SS/87LS

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/24/21 02:17 PM

Very cool, thanks for sharing. Interesting that they came in different colors, the body color wouldn't matter so I wonder how they decided which color to order.

As yours does, as far as I know they all have VIN's, they were regular production cars and Avanti didn't keep or need VIN's, just the rolling chassis plus I believe the steering column, console lids possibly too. If you see an Avanti that used the Monte chassis they made their own console but share the same lid GM used. I wonder what they did with all those brand new wheels too now that I think about it. Mike was able to register the one he has, sounds like it was a pain and took time, much of that is probably because it's a 35 year old car that was never registered.
Posted By: upflying

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/25/21 01:16 PM

Time to start an Avanti body, Monte Carlo SS registry. Even more rare than the '86 Aerocoupe and Mexican Monte Carlo.
Posted By: kw87ss

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/25/21 04:56 PM

Back in about 1986 or so, the Avanti used the Monte Carlo SS drive train. I lived in South Bend, IN at the time (where the Avanti was still being built in the old Studebaker plant). A block from the plant, I remember seeing rows of SS's in a fenced in lot. I'm sure they were donor cars for the Avanti, as GM would not sell them just the drive trains, they had to buy complete cars. I wish I had taken some pictures.
Posted By: upflying

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/27/21 08:52 PM

Originally Posted by kw87ss
Back in about 1986 or so, the Avanti used the Monte Carlo SS drive train. I lived in South Bend, IN at the time (where the Avanti was still being built in the old Studebaker plant). A block from the plant, I remember seeing rows of SS's in a fenced in lot. I'm sure they were donor cars for the Avanti, as GM would not sell them just the drive trains, they had to buy complete cars. I wish I had taken some pictures.

You have to wonder if Avanti marketing executives didn't want to let consumers know they were only riding on a G-body for the luxury-premium Avanti cost. I've been hanging around this forum for 20 yrs and this thread was the first time I had heard of the Avanti connection with our cars.
Posted By: 88ssBrent

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/27/21 09:14 PM

Same here, I had never heard of them either till this thread.
Posted By: PB86SS/87LS

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/28/21 02:05 PM

Here are pics from I think 2017 when I was at Mike's. Don't think he minds sharing, he was happy to show us the cars. He mentioned he knew of others including one LS out there, if I recall.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Derrick

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/28/21 03:27 PM

Correct may or June 2017 we went down there and saw them
Posted By: upflying

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/28/21 04:12 PM

Avanti ordered cars without AC? Seems like that should be standard in an Avanti.
Posted By: Derrick

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/28/21 04:16 PM

They did have a/c probably used there own system for the firewall. Used gm a/c parts on the motor
Posted By: srvctec

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/29/21 03:09 AM

OK, I've no clue what all this Avanti talk is about (go ahead and call me an idiot), have no recollection of hearing of it over the years and tried Googling for info on it and came up with nothing. Were they some kind of custom car shop or what?
Posted By: PB86SS/87LS

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/29/21 01:40 PM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avanti_(car)


Some basic Avanti history, not many details on the Monte Carlo thing but it mentions it there, and that in 88' they used the Caprice instead after the Monte was no longer made.

If you Google images for 1987 Avanti you will see some links/pics, you can see the console lid and I'm pretty sure the shifter is also straight from the Monte. They even have 86-88 Monte side mirrors but not sure if those were taken off the donor vehicles or bought from a GM parts bin, maybe a different application too, the Caprice or f-body might of had a better match for the door angle, not sure.
Posted By: upflying

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/29/21 03:17 PM

double post
Posted By: upflying

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/29/21 03:21 PM

Avanti history also mentions the need to install narrow offset wheels from a front wheel drive car to compensate for the wider track of the Caprice on the '88 and newer Avanti's.
Originally Posted by srvctec
OK, I've no clue what all this Avanti talk is about (go ahead and call me an idiot), have no recollection of hearing of it over the years and tried Googling for info on it and came up with nothing. Were they some kind of custom car shop or what?

Like I mentioned earlier, Avanti probably wanted to keep the use of Caprice/G-body running gear a closely guarded secret from Avanti buyers. No need to tell the owner he is only driving a Chevy. Probably the reason why there arent many photos or history in google about it. You aren't alone, I didn't know about it either.
Avanti's were assembled at the old Studebaker plant in South Bend Indiana.
Posted By: srvctec

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/30/21 02:09 AM

Originally Posted by PB86SS/87LS
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avanti_(car)


Some basic Avanti history, not many details on the Monte Carlo thing but it mentions it there, and that in 88' they used the Caprice instead after the Monte was no longer made.

If you Google images for 1987 Avanti you will see some links/pics, you can see the console lid and I'm pretty sure the shifter is also straight from the Monte. They even have 86-88 Monte side mirrors but not sure if those were taken off the donor vehicles or bought from a GM parts bin, maybe a different application too, the Caprice or f-body might of had a better match for the door angle, not sure.

Thanks for the info! I had no clue and at least now I know those were some UGLY cars, IMO. Heaven forbid they drove them in the country at night and needed the sides of the road lit up. It would be impossible with the headlights set so far behind those giant front "fins" or whatever they are called, to see anything off the side of the road. Really strange looking without a grill of some sort, as well.
Posted By: Fred SS

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/30/21 07:25 AM

A few years ago I saw an ad of a Monte Carlo SS that was reported to be never titled. The photos showed a white Monte SS in the back of an auto repair shop covered in dust with what they say are the original assembly line window stickers from the factory. The ad said that the vehicle was destined for Avanti but did not make it there, probably due to the change to the B-body. I think these few Monte's that did not make it to Avanti may be worth serious cash in the future due to their history. What do you think?
Posted By: PB86SS/87LS

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/30/21 02:17 PM

If they didn't make it to Avanti they should be like any other SS, so if it sat stored somewhere all depends on how it was stored/maintained. Not sure if it changes the value but would make it a little more interesting and would be uniquely optioned, since they all would be from that dealership and optioned the same way, basically no options except buckets/console, cruise/tilt, posi and the radio delete credit. Wonder how many others are out there. We did have a few threads on these over the years:

One member owns/owned a 87' Avanti: http://www.montecarloss.com/community/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=854499

Supposedly 166 Avanti's were built this way but some used the El Camino and some the LS possibly(maybe they wanted the highway gearing?). I've never seen an Avanti El Camino pop up yet, or an LS.

There was another thread here but I can't find it, the SS was a white/burgundy Avanti one, not sure if one Mike eventually bought but the owner at the time posted similar to the OP here just did.
Posted By: upflying

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 06/30/21 08:01 PM


I forgot all about this 10 year old thread
Posted By: IndyJimW

Re: Avanti Monte Carlo body? - 09/30/21 02:07 PM

I own a 1987 Avanti Coupe that was made from the 1987 Monte Carlo SS. Avanti Motors used the original Studebaker frame and body with Chevrolet engines and transmissions from 1966 to 1985, when Chevrolet decided not to sell to them anymore.

Since the wheel base was the same as a Monte Carlo and the body is fiberglass, Avanti Motors redesigned the floor to mount to the Monte Carlo frame for the 1987 & 88 models, 1989 on used the Caprice frame.

Avanti's have their own VIN plates, but I was able to find the Chevrolet VIN on the transmission. I placed it in the Monte Carlo registry. If you look up the Chevrolet VIN it will show as a Incomplete chassis, same as the frames used for RV's etc.

Avanti Motors used the complete frame with steering, suspension, exhaust, brakes and running gear. Also used steering column, console lid, door seals, jack and tire iron.

The engine mounts on my 1987 Avanti are moved forward and only use two bolts, for some reason.

The stretched version of the Avanti Coupe used the El Camino chassis.

Hope this helps.
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