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Studebaker Avanti 'Operation Air Lift'

Avanti Owners Association International Celebrates Studebaker Avanti Operation Airlift - Dayton Stop

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The Studebakar Avanti reception as unveiled at the Los Angeles & New York Press Previews as well as the NY Auto Show was an unmitigated success. Initial reaction was well above anything Studebaker could have anticipated and bordered on the unimaginable.

Studebaker now faced a dilemma. How could they possibly introduce the car to the approximately 2,000 plus dealers comprising their network? It would be literally impossible to spread nine cars over 2,000 dealers. They needed a plan.

This is where I believe ingenuity, an aggressive president, with a military background took over. Sherwood H. Egbert’s time at Studebaker was a closely followed effort. There has not been much written about his career prior to Studebaker. It appears his career in the Marines Transportation Squardrons during World War II proved to be ideal for solving this problem.

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A Plan was developed to airlift two Studebaker Avantis to introduce the NY Auto Show Avantis to airports near Studebaker Zone Offices. The Avanti would be unveiled in a hanger at the airports to an audience of dealers, financiers, and interested VIP customers. A program was developed and used in all 26 cities that comprised Operation Airlift.

Operation Airlift touched down in Dayton on May 8, 1962 introducing the Avanti to Studebakers Cincinnati Zone Dealers.

The Avanti Owners Association International will host its 2019 International Meet in Dayton September 4-6 2019.

A discussion, photos, and film of this monumental event will be featured Wednesday at the meet hotel.

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Dayton offers the rare opportunity to live aviation and Avanti history.

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Registration Forms for the meet are included in Avanti Magazine and are also available online at

Any questions contact Hull-O Ventures for answers.

John Hull -

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