The Studebaker Avanti is a fascinating car, personal-luxury GT with strong performance, unique styling by Raymond Lowey and his team, and built by the most unlikely of manufacturers in, of all places. South Bend. Indiana.
Ten years ago, you would be hard-pressed to see an Avanti on the market for more than $25,000, which was puzzling because when new, it was hailed as a landmark design, and production of the Avanti from 1963 to 1964 totaled somewhere around 5,200 total.
For comparison, two other landmark American cars were introduced in 1963, the C2 Corvette and the Buick Riviera, had much-higher production numbers. There were 21,513 C2 Corvettes built for 1963, and Buick produced around 40,000 Rivieras, making the Studebaker look quite rare today. The Avanti had the right ingredients all along to be a collector car worth considerably more money, and it was only a matter of time before they rose in value.
The Pick of the Day is a 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 being advertising on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in St. Louis, Missouri, and it appears to be a concours-level example. This car was owned and restored by one of the preeminent Avanti collectors in the world, and it looks to be in perfect correct condition.
The dealer describes the car as “exquisitely restored and fully detailed to concours-quality standards under the guidance of a devoted marque enthusiast.”
This Avanti is a rare R2 model, which means it was equipped with a Paxton Supercharger from the factory, and one of only 1,883 built during production. The supercharged 289cid V8 in the Avanti R2 was rated at 290 horsepower and 303 pound-feet of torque, making the car capable of a 0-60 time of 7.9 seconds, quite quick for an American luxury GT car in 1963.
This Avanti has been updated with a 4-speed manual transmission, the dealer says.
This car is presented in factory-correct Avanti Black paint with a correct Orange and Fawn interior. Now that may sound a bit odd, but the pictures with the ad show that it’s a great look, well in line with period taste.
The collector/restorer of the Avanti knows all there is to know about these unique cars; he won his class with one at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance a few years back.
The fact that an Avanti was invited to Amelia, let alone receiving a class win at the prestigious event, show that these cars are finally getting their day in the sun, and they are being recognized as the important cars they have always been.
Every detail on this example has been attended to, the dealer says, and the pictures with the ad tell the story of a superbly restored Avanti.
Sure, you could still buy a Studebaker Avanti in driver condition for around $25,000, but to obtain an R2 model and then restore it to this kind of condition would cost you much more than the $86,500 asking price.
To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.