In February 1961, Studebaker proposed a new sports car that could boost the company’s image and attract younger buyers. Designed on a 40-day crash program, the Avanti featured a head-turning body design, riding on a modified Lark Daytona chassis, powered by a modified 289 Hawk engine.

To get the car to market quickly, fiberglass body panels were chosen over sheet metal, and MFG was selected to produce them.

The Avanti debuted in April 1962, with a base price of $4,445 — as much as a Ford Thunderbird coupe and slightly more than a Buick Riviera. To Studebaker’s delight, the public loved it!

Reminiscing about those early days of fiberglass cars, CEO Richard Morrison recalls, “I cataloged all 100 parts of the Avanti on 3×5 index cards.”