The Studebaker Avanti was shockingly different in 1963, when the faltering South Bend, Indiana, automaker burst forth with America’s first grand touring car. At a time when towering tailfins were fading and U.S. production cars had taken a decidedly conservative turn, the Avanti coupe was an absolute standout of mid-century design.
Studebaker debuted the Avanti in the same model year as two brilliant new automobiles from General Motors, the second-generation Chevrolet Corvette, now called the Sting Ray, and the European-influenced Buick Riviera. Remarkably, the Studebaker coupe was created by acclaimed industrial designer Raymond Loewy and his team in just 40 days.
Avanti gained a lot of attention for Studebaker, but it was too little, too late, and the automaker was forced to shut down not long after, with just over 4,600 Avantis sold. Avanti did, however, outlive its parent by a long shot as multiple companies built replicas of this special car for many years after the company folded.
The Pick of the Day is a 1963 Studebaker Avanti, a high-performance R2 model with a 289cid V8 boosted to 289 horsepower by a Paxton supercharger. This was the hot setup for 1963, although only a small percentage of cars were sold with the extra muscle. One reason: the space taken up under the hood by the supercharger made it impossible to fit air conditioning.
This Avanti is painted Gold with a “fantastic Fawn and Camel” interior and is in great condition, according to the West Chester, Pennsylvania, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com.
“Nicely restored with new paint, chrome and interior, and fully serviced including engine rebuilt by Wetzel Motors, rebuilt supercharger, carburetor, alternator, stainless-steel dual exhaust and brake and fuel lines, brakes, suspension, tune-up, whitewall radial tires, and much more,” the ad says.
The Avanti looks exceptionally nice in the gallery of photos with the ad, with gleaming paint and chrome, attractive interior and clean surfaces in the engine compartment and underside. The Studebaker “runs and drives great,” the seller claims.
The asking price for the performance version of this groundbreaking car is $32,500.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.