45 000 €
- 11 261 Miles odometer reading
- 289 ci Studebaker V8
- Boite automatique
1963 Studebaker Avanti R1 Coupe
In the early 1960s, Studebaker, at more than 100 years old was the longest surviving nameplate in the automotive industry. The Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company had been formed in 1852 as a wagon and coach builder, gaining a reputation for affordable, reliable products. They went on to become one of the precious few American coach makers to successfully transition to automobile production at the turn of the century. An early partnership with E-M-F had Studebaker selling E-M-F automobiles in their dealer network. But quality issues led to Studebaker taking over that firm’s automobile line and the rest, as they say, is history.
Through the years, Studebaker remained staunchly independent in the face of competition from GM, Ford and Chrysler. They produced many a great car, and particularly in the post-war era, were not afraid to take some daring stylistic risks. Yet as the 1940s rolled into the 1950s, Studebaker began to struggle financially and their product line became more and more staid and dated and they lacked the funding to fully develop new products at the same pace as GM and Ford. In the early 60s, new company president Sherwood Egbert saw the runaway success of the Ford Thunderbird and Chevrolet Corvette and realized he needed a “personal car” of his own; a sporty Grand Touring coupe with four full seats and healthy performance. Just 37 days into his tenure as the top man at Studebaker, Egbert sketched out a concept whilst on a flight from Chicago, handed it to his team and demanded quick action.
Given just 40 days to work up a design, chief stylist on the project Raymond Loewy and his team (comprised of Tom Kellogg, Bob Andrews, and John Ebstein) worked 16 hours a day from a rented Palm Springs ranch home, and penned a sleek and ultra-modern body to sit atop a somewhat antiquated Lark Daytona platform, reworked by engineer Eugene Hardig to resemble a sporting car. Given the complexity and subtlety of the Avanti’s curves, fiberglass was chosen as the most cost effective material to build the bodywork. Early production woes with the body supplier meant delays and buyers grew impatient. Although production of the Avanti lasted only two years, with fewer than 5,000 examples built, it has rightly earned its place as a stylistic icon; one of the greatest designs of the era, and a significant piece of both Studebaker and American automotive history.
Our featured Avanti R1 is a 1963 model, finished in the colors of Avanti Red over a burgundy interior. It has been extensively restored in the past to a very high standard. The red paint is beautiful, laid down on very straight and properly aligned panels. Known for its lack of excessive adornment and heavy trim, this delicately detailed Avanti features straight, crisp bumpers, correct side-view mirrors and restored emblems. The superb factory wheel covers are highlighted by correct whitewall radial tires, the owner wisely avoiding aftermarket modifications and maintaining the purity of the original design.
Like the exterior, the interior has been restored to a high standard with burgundy upholstery appearing very attractive. The dash is highly stylish, inspired by the supersonic jet age and featuring extensive instrumentation all packed into a driver-focused pod. An original AM/FM radio is fitted to the dash and additional switchgear resides in the center console which again, continues the jet-cockpit theme. The quality of the restoration impresses in the very well sorted cabin, with beautiful instruments, excellent brightwork, as well as a correct headlining and soft trim.
Studebaker’s proven 289 cubic inch V8 engine resides under the forward-hinged hood and presents in lovely original condition with correct valve covers, air cleaner, period correct battery, and assorted fittings and markings. The engine is mated to an automatic transmission for relaxed, all-day cruising ability. The chassis and undercarriage have benefited from a full restoration and remain in very tidy and correct condition.
Our featured 1963 Avanti is a genuine and highly desirable, numbers-matching example that has received a great deal of restoration work, with careful attention paid to preserving original and correct components. The car has seen regular, sympathetic use and maintenance and remains in wonderful order.
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