Model year 1963 was historically notable for three main reasons: the Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray, the Buick Riviera and the Studebaker Avanti, three pieces of landmark design that each seemed to exemplify mid-century American automotive style.
The Pick of the Day is one of them, a 1963 Studebaker Avanti in rarely seen red, a color which seems to accentuate the coupe’s unique details.
The Avanti was then and still is a polarizing design, with fans admiring its sleek, forward-looking shape highlighted by the grille-less front end, and critics finding it, well, just plain weird.
I remain firmly on the fan side, finding the Avanti highly evocative of the era; there’s something about that asymmetrical bit of flare on its hood that speaks to me. My friend Dave Kinney, a well-known classic car writer and appraiser, is totally hooked on them.
The complex fiberglass body was shaped by a team headed by the famed Raymond Loewy, which rushed to complete the design in just 40 days. An early example of the so-called “personal luxury car,” the Avanti was mounted on the chassis of the Studebaker Lark Daytona and powered by the 289 cid V8 from the Hawk.
“They built 3,834 of these fiberglass gems in 1963,” said the seller, a Simi Valley, California, dealer advertising the Studebaker on ClassicCars.com. “These cars were very uniquely designed, and there has been nothing like it since.”
This Avanti looks to be in good condition, a largely original Southern California car with a rebuilt 289 V8, automatic transmission, power front disc brakes and air conditioning. The dealer calls it, “A very original survivor with the exception of electronic ignition, electric fuel pump and radio.”
“The interior has newer upholstery, carpets, headliner, and trunk and glovebox liner,” the seller adds. “There is also an original owners guide, production order and documentation.”
The Avant looks extremely attractive, at least to my eye, in the galley of photos in the ad. The price seems quite reasonable at $26,900.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.