The world’s finest Avanti dash pad and glove box door pad are now available exclusively from Nostalgic Motor cars.
These dash pads and glove box door pads are made from the original Studebaker Avanti tooling and/or blue prints, which makes them New Original Stock-NOS. This dash tooling I purchased from Avanti Motors on a separate deal and was not part of my purchase of the Avanti Motors Parts Division of all the Studebaker Avanti tooling, blue prints, part numbers, etc. on Nov. 9th 1989 (over 30 years ago, how time flies). If a part is manufactured from the original tooling and/or the original blue prints the parts are New Original Stock.
They fit all 1963-1964 Studebaker Avantis and all 1965-1985 Avantis They are soft to the touch, twistable and you can push extremely hard over the gauge cluster (see pictures) without any cracking of the dash pad, just like you could when the Avanti was made, new by Studebaker or Avanti Motors. They are made from the correct color naugahyde, just like Studebaker and Avanti Motors did. They will have to be dyed for the 1964 Avanti colors and/or the 1965-1985, just like it was done by Studebaker and Avanti Motors. 99% of all the Avanti dash pads that I have personally touched and squeezed are much firmer (if not hard as a rock) than when they were originally installed in 1963-1964 Studebaker Avantis (which are almost 56 years old) and all the 1965-1985 Avanti have the much to firm or rock feel when you try to squeeze them as they are now 34-56 years old.
Even a N.O.S. dash pad manufactured by Studebaker and /or Avanti Motors as a replacement part is 33-53 years old, will be much firmer than it was when manufactured
I still have an N.O.S. Dash pad I purchased from Avanti Motors in 1983, that has never been installed on a fiberglass dash buck. It is hard as a rock and completely deformed from it’s original shape and is totally worthless, but was still in it’s original box on a shelf, in a dry, cool environment
I have been told by some Avanti owners that their dash is original and it looks just fine, but if you can’t push down real hard (like the picture) over the gauge cluster, without cracking your original dash pad, it will need to be replaced, now or in the future. The problem with replacing it in the future is that I am a 76 year old journeyman tool maker. My friend and partner on this dash pad project is a 75 year old journeyman tool maker. It took him over 2 1/2 years to bring back all the dash pad tooling to blue print specifications and another 1 1/2—2 years to make the dash pads that are the world’s finest Avanti dash pad/glove box door pad ever made by anybody. We are both in good health for our age, but things change.
These Avanti dash pads are incredibly difficult to make correctly as Studebaker and Avanti Motors found out the hard way.
I've installed 15 of these dash pads on the buck and in the Avanti car, and they fit like a pair of custom gloves, every time
I have personally installed more N.O.S. replacement dash pads than anybody else in the world and know how they should fit thought the whole process. It’s very easy to install the dash pad on an unmodified/unmolested fiberglass dash buck with my instructions even for a novice. I have been installing dash pads for over 40 years and the N.O.S. pads from Avanti Motors did not fit as good as the ones made by Nostalgic Motor Cars.
Don’t mistake Nostalgic’s N.O.S. dash pads for the reproduction dash pad that is being sold by others, years ago, that was a hard shell overlay, glued on over your old dash. There is also a reproduction dash pad that is being sold by others using the original Studebaker part number. They are very difficult to install, if not impossible. If you did get that reproduction dash pad installed. The glove box door pad would not fit. In most cases you had to use your old glove box door pad. There were many issue with correct appearance. The most noticeable was around the gauge cluster overlay. They are almost as hard as the old one you took off, but not quite as hard as a rock, but they are cheap $350.00 to $850.00
There is a company that you send your old dash buck & pad to. They told me they removed your old vinyl covering, remove some (but not all) of the old foam, glue on a layer of new foam over the old foam, they try to make the foam look like and Avanti dash. They vacuum form black vinyl over the foam, for an extra charge they will dye the dash pad to the color of your choice. When they are done, the dash pad looks good, until you compare it to N.O.S. pad from Nostalgic Motor Cars, you can see it was handmade and varies, in a correct appearance. As for the correct softness, twistability and push test as the photo shows. It probably won’t crack, but way too hard, almost as hard as the old one that you thought was in such good condition. These hand formed dash pads cost about $2200.00 plus shipping, plus the extra charged to dye them the color of your choice and the wait time is about 8 weeks after they receive your old one.
As a journeyman toolmaker, I don’t see how any one can make anything but a simple part, the way the original manufactured intended without the original blue prints/tooling, especially as complicated as the Avanti dash pads are to make correctly.
New original stock dash pads part number 1350520x1 and glove box door pads part number 1350523x1 are $2000 plus $100.00—$140.00 shipping to the 48 states, plus $35.00 for special packaging and a box. The shipping cost also includes insurance
This could be a very limited run, so if you think you may want to replace that 1963-1985 Avanti Dash pad now, or in the future, you might want to purchase it now as the availability and price is subject to change. They will never be cheaper than this introductory price of $2000.00 I have included 2 pictures and a sample of scrap dash pad. 1st picture shows the dash pad and door pad mounted on a fiberglass buck with all the gauges radio, speaker grill or tray installed. The 2nd picture shows a dash pad and door pad ready to be put in it’s special packaging to be shipped out.
This is a list of the most frequently asked questions:
Why are the new Original Stock Avanti Dash pads, made by Nostalgic Motor Cars, so expensive ?
They really aren’t that expensive, when you figure in the dollar inflation from 1983 to 2019. Adjusted for inflation, $100.00 in 1983 is equal to $252.59 in 2018
In the very early months of 1983 when the factory told me they were going to change the original dash tooling, so they could leather cover them for the 1983 anniversary and the 84-85 model, they stated if I wanted dash and glove box door pads, I better order them before they changed the original tooling ( by filling in the grooves) and etc. As the leather and/or vinyl will not stay glued in the grooves of the dash pad over time.
I ordered 12 dashed and glove box door pads and stated I was in no hurry as long as I got them before the tooling was changed. I was aware it would take months to get them, but I didn’t’ want any that they may have had lying around.
The list price of a dash pad and glove box door cover in 1983 was $1000.00
If you use the bureau of labor cpi inflation calculator $ 100.00 spending power in 1983 would be $252.10 in 2018 That calculates out for a $1000.00 dash pad and glove box door cover pads in 1983 would cost $2521.00 in 2018, from Avanti Motors, if they were still in business, and didn’t raise the prices. These figures don’t lie. So if the introductory price from Dan Booth at Nostalgic Motor Cars for the world’s finest N.O.S. dash pads ever made for the Avanti is $2000.00 in 2020 it’s a real bargain”. Unless you are comparing it to a reproduction dash pad, for about $350.00 that they only sell to a professional and is not returnable for any reason, even from that professional shop. The Nostalgic Motor Cars N.O.S dash pad is still a bargain at $ 2000.00 when it is compared to the dash pad which has new foam glued to your old foam. It’s then the hand shaped, to resemble the Avanti dash pad, before it has a harder than original black vinyl skin vacuum formed over the foam at a cost of about $2200.00 plus $100-$200 to dye the black dash pad fawn, plus the cost to ship your old dash pad still on the fiberglass dash buck wth the glove box door assembly to California. The turn around time is about 5 months form the time they receive your old dash assembly, then the shipping back to you. These shipping cost will far exceed my shipping and boxing charge of $35.00 for the special box and $100-$140 to the 48 states
Why are the reproduction dash pads made and sold by others, feel as hard, if not harder, than my original (hard) 1963-1985 Avanti Dash Pad ?
My best guess is since they don’t have the original blue prints which again list all the correct material needed, for a correct dash pad. They probably used a sample dash pad that was at least 20 years old. As the last time Avanti would have made a fresh dash pad, would have been in the late 1982 or early 1983. That would most likely make their sample at least 20 years old. That 20 year old dash pad would be a lot harder than if it was 20 years earlier and/ or they may have used a harder material because it was much easier to work with or because that is all that was available to them.
I had the correct Avanti materials manufactured for me. I could find all kinds of incorrect material, but not correct materials. I have said this all along. I am a journeyman tool maker and you can’t manufacture a 100 % correct part, without the original specifications and all the information that is found on the original blue prints. When you also have the original tooling, and you realize that every Avanti dash pad that was ever made by Studebaker and Avanti Motors, came from that tooling. Whether it was a scrap one (and a great number that came off or out of that tooling was scrap and we still have that problem today) or a good one. So you realize that by using 100 % correct material and 100% correct tooling, you could produce a 100% correct dash pad. All you have to do is figure out how to do it.
On Friday May 4th 2018 a very good, long time personal friend of mine came to my indoor swap meet space at the St. Joseph County Fair Grounds in South Bend to visit for a awhile as he does almost every year. He saw my display of the new original stock dash pads that I would have for sale later in 2018 His name is Bob Lee, he was one of the former owners of Avanti Motors with the Altmans, and others. He is also a real true Avanti enthusiast and owner. He was also their attorney and has a tremendous amount of knowledge that is unknown by others. When I speak to him on the phone, or in person, I try to ask all kinds of question and his answers are always new and very informative. By the way, he still sends or brings his Avantis to me, in Michigan, from South Bend for repair, if he cannot find knowledgeable repair there. When he looked at the dash pad display, he said “ are you making these now?” I replied “no, I am not, but my friend and journeyman tool maker is!” He asked “ do you know how incredibly difficult those dash pads are to make correctly?” I replied “yes, my friend was and is having a tremendous number of problems, as you get one solved, 10 more pop up”. He told me one of those unknown very interesting stories. When Avanti Motors first started to manufacture the Avanti II Harold Simons, their plant manager, would walk in to Nate Altman’s office at the end of the day and state “Nate, I just can’t figure out how they made those dash pads”. As Nate spun his cigar in his mouth, he said “Harold, go home and have dinner with the wife and we will talk about it tomorrow”. Harold would come in very early the next morning and keep trying to make the dash pad. At the end of the day he would return to Nate’s office: “Nate, I just can’t figure out how they made those dash pads correctly” and again s Nate spun the cigar in his mouth he replied “ Harold, go home and have dinner with the wife and we will talk about it tomorrow”.
Apparently this went on for some time, as my partner experience, those same difficulties that went on for many, many months. The only thing that was accomplished was to run scrap and try and figure out the problems. Just like Harold Simons from Avanti Motor and Studebaker, My partner figured out how to make a dash pad, but again, just like Studebaker and Avanti Motor, he still runs scrap dash pads
What makes your New Original Stock dash pads the best ever made by anyone?
Simply put; absolute attention paid to detail ! When reworking the original tooling back to the original Studebaker blue prints, many changes had to be made to match the blue print specifications. If you don’t have absolute blue print correct tooling, you won’t get a 100% correct part.
100% correct materials, if you don’t have absolute 100% correct materials, your finished product won’t be correct in appearance, fit , shape, or the squeeze and twist test and very important to note will be the fitting to the fiberglass buck etc.
I think the two dash pads available from the aftermarket prove this point; of what’s correct, and incorrect. If the reproduction dash pad is as hard or harder than what you are replacing, how can that be correct? What’s more, why would you spend the money? In the original Studebaker Avanti Parts book they call the dash pad “ cover, safety pad”. How can the reproduction safety pad be harder than the old cracked safety pad?
How can I tell if I need a new Dash pad ?Customers comment to the question: I purchased my 1963 Avanti new, in 1963. It only has 33, 000 miles and has always been garage kept. The dash pad is in perfect condition and has no cracks. If memory serves me correctly, my dash pad was much softer, when my Avanti was new.
Your memory is most likely correct. I personally purchased my first 1963 Avanti in 1964 and I still have it. It has less than 10,000 original miles and has never been left outside., except when it was driven down the road. The interior is like new in all respects, except the dash board pad is hard as a rock. I noticed in about 1978, when I started changing a lot of dash pads on customer cars. They were starting to crack at the speaker grill opening and each top corners of the glove box door opening, but they were not all that hard. They were just a little more firm than I remember my 1963 being, when I purchased it in 1964, but they were cracking away. My hard as a rock dash pad still looks perfect, but is as hard as a rock. I started changing a lot of dash pads in 1978 on 1963-64 Studebaker Avantis that were cracking and getting firmer. This is the way I figured it out in 1978, how an Avanti dash pad was coming to the end of it’s useful life span and before it started cracking. I discovered that if I took a brand new dash pad that I got in 1978 from Avanti Motors and two different balls. 1st ball is a common foam child's ball that they bounce (see picture) This particular foam ball is 3” diameter, with a happy face on it. Now squeeze that ball as hard as you can. Now squeeze the dash pad on the gun sight above the gages. As you squeeze both of them, try to twist your hand at the same time. They both should feel the same. The ball might be just a little softer. Now take a brand new unused tennis ball, again squeeze and twist your hand on the tennis ball. Now do the same squeeze and twist on the dash pad over the gauge cluster on the gun sight. If your dash pad feels more like the tennis ball, than the foam ball, your dash pad should be replaced, because it’s harder than it was when the Avanti was new. Your original dash pad will never become softer but it will, with time, begin to crack and get harder.
How do I know these dash pads are made correctly?
As a journeyman toolmaker, I know the absolute necessity of having the original manufacturers original blue prints and tooling. I purchased all the original Studebaker Avanti blueprints and tooling on November 9, 1989 from Avanti Motors in Youmgstown, Ohio. This allows Nostalgic Motor Cars to continue to manufacture New Original Stock parts just like Avanti Motors did from 1965-1985
I purchased the original Studebaker Avanti dash pad tooling and blue prints much earlier from Avanti Motors in South Bend, Indiana. I was aware of all the problems that Studebaker and Avanti Motors had making dash pads. I was also aware tht the original tooling that had been changed and repaired many times from 1963-1983. These original Studebaker Avanti Dash pad blue prints are drawn to full scale and consist of many pages.
The original manufactures blue prints will give you all the information needed to make the tooling and to manufacture that part correctly. They will specify the type of material, harness of material, grain type on that material, thickness, color sometimes a brand name etc. If you can’t find a dimension that was not written down, you simply measure the blueprint, they are normally that precisely drawn on those blue prints..
The blue prints also give you all updated revisions made to that part with dates and drawings of those revisions. This allows the possessor ( Nostalgic Motor Cars) with the reworked tooling and correct materials to produce the world’s finest Avanti Dash pad ever made by anybody.
The most difficult part was to make the specified materials comply with the original tooling, that will form that beautiful dash pad skin. It was almost impossible. Studebaker and Avanti Motors experienced the same problems. The dash pad skin is now placed in the original foam tooling . When the poured foam product expands, it must flow into the areas without any trapped air pockets. It also has to expand to the correct push and twist test. This is also extremely difficult to accomplish as there is a precise amount of time before the foam stops expanding and migrating. If all doesn’t go well, I have a scrap dash pad to dispose of, just like Studebaker and Avanti motors had to do many, many times.
Is the dash pad from Nostalgic Motor Cars difficult to install and do I need a heat gun?
First, Never, never, never use a heat gun on an Avanti dash pad. Heat guns are used to stretch and or manipulate the outside vinyl covering on the Avant dash pads that are simply not made correctly. This makes the vinyl stretch to a different shape when trying to make a ill fitting dash pad fit the fiberglass buck. Then you have to fit th the gauge cluster overlay, radio bezel overlay, glove box door gauges, radio, and end caps. Even if a professional installer had accepted this challenge, the final results are far less than Studebaker and Avanti Motors ever manufactured or installed. You may notice on some Avanti dashes that a welting was made for around the gauge cluster overlay, to disguise an unacceptable fit between the overlay and the reproduction dash pad. I have never used a heat gun on an Avanti dash pad manufactured by Avanti Motors. It was never necessary and should not be.
Second NO ! They’re actually very easy and fun to install. Even with no previous experience and or special tools. Before the finished dash pads are shipped to me from the manufacturer, in it's own shipping box, they are thoroughly inspected and test fit to a NOS, fiberglass buck. Just before I ship one out, I remove it from that special shipping box and remove the temporary wood support ( the factory never had any kind of support attached to the dash pad for shipping) I then make the four speaker grill holes in the recess. I test fit the pad to a NOS fiberglass dash buck. I install a speaker grill with it’s four studs in to the dash pad and place it on the dash buck. It is then thoroughly inspected by my eyes and hands for any defects. I then pull the end cap vinyl and the vinyl at the windshield area for it’s fit. A N.O.S. dash gauge overlay and radio bezel overlay are placed for a fit and inspection. The very last fit and inspection is the glove box door.
The NOS dash pad comes with factory photo copies of instruction on how to remove and install an Avanti dash assembly for 1963-1964 Avantis. The factory never offered instructions on how to install a dash pad.
I have now written up instructions with some photos on how to install the N.O.S. dash pad from Nostalgic Motor Cars. But please call me on the phone 248-349-4884, so we can talk
I prefer to talk to you on the phone, one on one, so you will completely understand what tools are need and if you are capable of this installation.
If this is beyond your physical ability and/or desire. I will install these for you. Cost is on a time + materials on a unmolested dash buck. I prefer to have the old original pad still on the fiberglass buck and glove box door as this answers questions that may show up.