Stephen Blake planned to resurrect Avanti's racing heritage
by entering Avantis in two key racing competitions. Blake's racing program included the Daytona 24 hour stock car that was built by Dillon Enterprises in North Liberty, Indiana and the Mid-Ohio Escort chassis car designed by Herb Adams. The Daytona/Dillon car performed at the Daytona International Speedway in early February 1983. The Mid-Ohio/Escort car raced at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in mid August 1984. Both cars bore the numerical designation "28." Ray Dillon of North Liberty, Indiana built the chassis for the 1983 car and Bo Laws of Orlando, Florida installed the Chevrolet small-block V-8 engine. Joe Ruttman was top driver. Dillon actually put together two Avanti racers in only a few weeks and BLP Products, Inc. provided both the qualifying engine and the race engine. With this team's combined efforts Avanti No. 28 shattered the existing GTO Class record. Herb Adams, a California engineering consultant, created the new suspension for the 1984 car – a race car-style design with coil springs mounted over shock absorbers and double wish-bone A-arms at each corner. The car was outfitted with four-wheel disc brakes and the wheels were shod with wide-profile Goodyear Eagle Gatorback tires. This Avanti finished 29th overall and 3rd in the prototype class in the around-the-clock endurance contest for Showroom Stock cars.
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