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Home Pick of the Day Pick of the Day: 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 with 1-family ownership

Pick of the Day: 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 with 1-family ownership

The uniquely styled coupe is powered by its factory supercharged V8 and 4-speed manual

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A true milestone design and among the most-memorable shapes from mid-century automakers, the Studebaker Avanti remains a standout as America’s first postwar grand touring car. 

But upon introduction in 1962, Avanti’s beauty proved to be more than skin deep. A factory supercharged version in stock fettle set the world’s record as fastest production car with an official speed of 178 mph achieved at the Bonneville Salt Flats, where it also broke 29 other speed records.

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The Pick of the Day is one of those first-year coupes with the hot setup, a 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 with its matching-numbers 289cid V8 boosted by a Paxton supercharger, and the 289 horsepower fed through a rare 4-speed manual transmission. 

This was how the car came from the factory, according to the Tucson, Arizona, dealer advertising the Avanti on ClassicCars.com.  “The only modifications from stock are the radial tires and CB radio.”

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The Avanti also has the kind of one-family ownership history desired for any collector car.

“The first owner was an Avanti Club member since Day One and meticulously cared for the car,” the dealer says in the ad. “One-owner car until 2005 when it was passed down to his niece who cared for the car until 2020. It was always garage kept in its homes in Tacoma, Washington, and in northern California.”

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The coupe underwent a “cosmetic restoration” in the mid-1980s by an Avanti specialist, the seller says, with the work including a repaint in the car’s original Turquoise color.  The fiberglass body has never been damaged and the chassis remains rust free, the seller adds.

“Its history is quite documented and comes with a full file box of manuals, Avanti Club newsletters, tons of receipts of work performed, registrations, and original purchase receipts when the car was bought new at ABC motors in Tacoma,” the seller notes. “We also have the original build records from The Studebaker Museum.”

The turquoise interior is largely original except for a new carpet recently installed, the seller says, and is in decent condition aside from a seam separation on the driver’s seat. The car also “runs and drives excellent.”

Avanti came near the end of Studebaker’s long timeline, which started out in 1852 as a wagon maker famed for building prairie schooners for intrepid settlers. The South Bend, Indiana, company closed its doors in 1967.  Just 4,643 Avantis were produced by Studebaker, with the 1963-64 models most sought after. 

This original high-performance Avanti is priced at $64,500.

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Hagerty
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Wow!
    What a special Avanti!
    It’s Sans Grill Style and with an angled nose and flush glass headlight covers were ahead of its time.
    So many Viewing angles of the Avanti’s design are unique and appealing.
    These have a roll bar incorporated into their structure too. When I once drove an Avanti I really liked the universal kind of industrial dash hardware (Switches) and Gauges, and the coolest design element to me is the asymmetrical hood spear that is inline with the steering wheel and with the driver’s straight ahead vision!

  2. Studebakers South Bend facility closed for good in December, 1963. Production of the Lark model continued until 1965 in Hamilton, Ontario.

  3. A significant design in a gorgeous colour scheme, with the best drivetrain offered- and one family owned!
    In a world of six figure ‘Vettes & Mustangs, designs made in their hundreds of thousands, how is this only $65k?
    Someone is going to really score on this one. Wish it could be me.

  4. Like a phoenix, the achievement that was ‘Avanti’ was destined to rise from the ashes left behind by Studebaker as it ceased production of automobiles, only to continue with its other business pursuits clear into the 21st century when the original Studebaker building was finally sold in 2008.
    It’s resurrection was begun immediately by former Studebaker employees, unwilling to accept the demise of an automobile so beautifully designed and engineered. Several decades of future Avanti iterations succeeded in demonstrating to it’s admirers that the pursuit of beauty and excellence is the goal itself.
    Few would fail to recognize the image of the Conestoga covered wagon invented by the Studebaker Brothers in the mid-1800s, The vessel that brought America to conquer the west, and within which my own maternal grandmother was born on the way west from Missouri in1890. Indeed, as a Studebaker dealer, one of the first station wagons sold by my own father was called, ‘Conestoga.’ But, I digress…

  5. I own a 1964 Avanti, Supercharged, 4 speed. Live in Florida, so am interested in adding AC without sacrificing the Supercharger. It is already piped for AC from factory, but supercharger was removed. Now I have it, SC but no AC. Anyone have any suggestions?

  6. Find someone to install a ” vintage aire” sanden compressor. A reputable automotive air conditioning shop can set you up.

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