1963 Studebaker Avanti R2

 Serial Number 63R 2216

Supercharged, Powershift Automatic, 69,000 miles.


"The Studebaker Avanti was a fiberglass bodied sports coupé built by the Studebaker Corporation at the direction of its president Sherwood Egbert between June 1962 and December 1963. It has been described as "one of the more significant milestones of the postwar industry", gaining iconic status with enthusiasts and collectors.

Designed by Raymond Loewy's team of Tom Kellogg, Bob Andrews and John Ebstein on a 40-day crash program, the Avanti featured a radical fiberglass body design mounted on a modified Studebaker Lark Daytona 109-inch convertible chassis with a highly modified Studebaker 289  cu.in. engine. Egbert planned to sell 20,000 Avantis in 1962 but could only build 1200 that year, the final total for its 18 months of production was only 4,643 units.

 The aerodynamically-slippery Avanti body and relatively light weight allowed the car to attain very impressive top speeds. A well-tuned R2 Avanti could do over 150 mph, earning it the reputation as "the world's fastest production car" by Car and Driver in 1962. '


As some of you may know, I find nice Studebakers around the country, fix them up and find new homes for them on Ebay. I found this 69,000 mile Survivor with it's second owner in Wyoming and had it trailered to a friends shop near Sacramento to prep for ebay.

This car was purchased new in 1963 and remained with that owner for 40 years until sold to the gentleman we bought it from in 2003. The first owner treated it like the rare, collector car it was from day one, as did the second. We found signs of his love for the car in the extras that came with the car. The factory owners manual, and other folders are always a good sign, but there was more with this car. We found Avanti Owners Club bulletins from back when the car was near new, a air brushed painting of the car, even a Avanti jacket. (all included with the car)

The car is pretty much a low mileage survivor, as it left the factory with only regular maintenance parts replacement, a repaint some 20 years ago, and recent new carpets and windshield. When we acquired the car in November, we replaced a noisy supercharger idler pulley with new unit, and rebuilt the supercharger and carb. My friend has been driving and enjoying the car as he worked on her. (see his comments down lower in the listing)


 


A few years ago, I coined the phase "There is nothing more expensive than a cheap Avanti" I said that after spending way more than I expected restoring more than one low priced Avanti. As with any collector car, you are far better off spending more money up front getting a nice car like this example than restoring a lesser car. The near perfect interior on this car is but one example I'll use to make the point.

 You could spend well over $5000 to do an interior like this. Most folks think only of the $2500 or so for carpet and upholstery, but may miss the $1000 or more to restore the gauges, the $650 to recast the steering wheel, the $400 sill plates, the $500 dash pad, labor and on and on.  Now think of the other items needing attention on the typical high mileage Avanti needing a full restoration. Look carefully at all the detail pictures at the more pictures link at page bottom and you'll see nothing is trailer queen perfect, but nothing is bad either.

The older paint is the weak point on this car, but it's still presentable. The paint looks fine from 20 feet, but is older and not 1st place car show ready. It will get high fives on the road, perhaps trophy at local meets, but is not up to the level of the interior. You could repaint the car, but than you'd probably decide to redo the very nice, but older chrome to match and end up with a car too nice to drive and enjoy.  The new owner will have to decide if he/she want to collect plastic trophies or drive and enjoy a supercharged Avanti at speed without worrying about a stone chip or two.   This is not a 25-35K show car, nor is it priced like one, and with new, nice paint and some detailing could well be.


As with the rest of the car, most everything under hood is factory original. you could spend under $30 for the correct radiator cap and battery hold down if that bothers you, and detail the rest for show if you want. The engine, and carburetor are numbers matching factory units. As you would expect with a documented 69,000 mile car, the engine carries great oil pressure, and runs strong.


Note the condition of all the gauges. All the pointers and backgrounds are unfaded, the bezel chrome is nice and other than the clock, they work perfectly. BTW, the clock probably needs a good cleaning to work, but I'd convert it to quartz movement since the old style movements don't last long. The dash pad is near perfect as is the steering wheel and interior chrome. (See detail pictures at the link at listings end) The lights, radio, wipers and heater/defroster are all working too.  

 

As you probably know, frame or hog trough rust through is a deal killer on most any Avanti. This one appears to have seen very little winter driving and both are solid with only the typical surface rust.


My friends comments on the car.

"This Avanti is one of those cars that makes an impression in many ways. While it's not a show car, it has one of the best looking original interiors I've ever seen. Sitting in an original is different than sitting in a restored car. Driving this one is as though you have stepped into a time capsule. The feel and look of the dash, gages, seats and steering wheel remind me so much of how it was "back then", I have to keep looking at my iphone sitting on the passenger seat to bring me back to the present day.

 The paint is the weak point on the car. It does have a decent gloss to it and may come back to more of a shine with more devotion to it, but at this stage, its still a 20 footer. In traffic, it brings all the thumbs up you could want. I see cars slow down as they come by to look over the car and offer smile after smile. At the gas station, I answer many questions about what it is and who made it. Naturally, the younger crowd asks, "is Studebaker made by Ford or GM?" A teaching moment to be sure.

 Mechanically, the car is sound and the engine fires nicely and runs well and the transmission shifts as it should with no noises from the rear end or elsewhere. The brakes are firm and stop effortlessly. None of the drive train gives me any cause for concern, but the new owner, as a matter of course, should go over the entire system, especially the brakes, to be sure all is in tip top shape before making the car a daily driver.

The chrome and stainless on the upper body is all very nice original. The bumpers could use replating if the car is repainted, but as is, they still look very presentable. The rubber snubbers on all the bumpers are in good shape. I will go back to the interior once again. Viewing this car from the inside out is a rush. The car is beautiful to see and a blast to drive. "


Since the car was "well bought" and needed very little work, our reserve is way under the $24,000 for a even a average supercharged Avanti.

 (NADA average Retail Value)
"This vehicle would be in good condition overall. It could be an older restoration or a well-maintained original vehicle. Completely operable. The exterior paint, trim, and mechanics are presentable and serviceable inside and out. A "20-footer".

You could well afford a first class paint job and still be well under average car market value. If we don't make our low reserve, we'll do the show paint and relist, but I'd rather see the car driven as-is rather than have yet another trailer queen for sale.


More pictures Here

Avanti NADA value Here

Avanti speed record Video

Studebaker Avanti web page Here

Just some of the cars I've found new homes for on ebay Here


Just some examples of my 100% positive feedback on car sales.

Good car......as described in ad......'goldenhawk' helpful and easy to work with

 Nice R2 Hawk! It's great to start with a rust free car! Thank you :)

WOW! THIS CAR IS E-V-E-R-Y-T-H--I-N-G to me. STUDEPENDOUS! Thanks!!!

honest and responsive, car exactly as described, integrity on ebay, excellent!!!

Just like what was listed very pleased great photos easy to deal with. AWESOME car!! Everything he said it was. HONEST car guy

AAAAA+++++++ car was described accurately, got money's worth. AAA+++


Perfect transaction -- car exactly as advertised Honest and reliable


car was as adv. very helpful in every way. would do business again


car is as advertised-Very honest person to deal with-will use again-THANK YOU


Car was exactly as described; fully satisfied; A+


Car accurately represented, outstanding service, a credit to the hobby and ebay.


Car was as advertised and more. Just what I needed.


Great communications. Pleasure to do business with. A beautiful car. Thanks.


great to deal with, car was exactly as described in ad. square dealer!!


Car as described :) Happy with purchase... recommend Seller !!


Great transaction on a great car. A pleasant purchasing experience, A ++


Great Seller. Great little car. Thanks a bunch. A+++++


Great little car, excellent communication, very ethical seller, Thanks John!


Perfect transaction -- car exactly as advertised Honest and reliable


Nice '63 Avanti - as advertised - smooth transaction - THANKS !!


U R a great asset to we ebay car nuts. Thanks John We're thrilled. YUP !!!!


Nice car. Well worth the investment.


car was as represented . A plus


Car exactly as described. Great seller--highly recommended! Very helpful!


car was as adv. very helpful in every way. would do business again