Dry Stored for 25 Years: 1963 Studebaker Avanti

Update 4/7/20 – This Avanti is back on eBay! Hopefully the seller has set a realistic reserve so it finds a new home this time.

From 11/8/19 – This 1963 Studebaker Avanti R1 has been parked for 25 years, but still looks like a project worthy of rejuvenation. The seller notes that it sports some evidence of period custom touches, and you’ll note the driving lamps and Thunderbird wheel covers in this photo. It runs but will need a proper brake job before you can call it a driver. Find the Avati R1 here on eBay with bids approaching $6K and the reserve unmet.

The original, Studebaker-built Avanti remains an eye-catching car, even today. Featuring dynamite looks with good power, these still rate to me as one of the more under-appreciated driver’s cars available today. If a Corvette is too attention-grabbing or uncomfortable, I’d put a classic Avanti at the top of your list, even better if you can find a supercharged example. The seller notes it’s fitted with a stainless exhaust.

The interior features non-original leather seats, but the original buckets are included with the sale. It’s tired inside, but not a disaster; the steering wheel will need restoration and the console is in need of a cleaning. I can’t quite tell if that’s some mold forming, but the picture above appears to show moisture collecting on the glass. The dash appears to be uncracked in the larger photos on eBay.

Engine-wise, the seller notes it starts, runs, and shifts, but some problem areas are listed: the surge tank has a leak and the ignition switch should be replaced, and the seller further notes that if you’re a perfectionist, the chrome engine components need to be re-done. Overall, for a car that’s been sitting, it hasn’t suffered too greatly in storage, and any reserve under $10K seems like a deal for an R1 Avanti driver.


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  1. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Nice one…..and they keep coming up but just never have been on my list of Studes to own.

    Good luck with it !

    Like 4
  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I can’t see an Avanti in my future, but if I was this is one I’d at least check out.
    Looks pretty good to me.

    Like 4
  3. DRV

    They are a great touring car and some really good ones are still cheap. Costs pile up quickly to surpass the value, so you must love it or leave it.

    Like 7
  4. Bear

    <3 these round headlight Avantis!!
    There used to be a black one parked in the driveway of a house that I delivered newspapers to (@5am) when I was a kid in SouthSanFranciscoCA.
    (…approx 1975 or 1976.)
    I was always careful to not bump into it with my heavy canvas newspaper bag.
    I really like the placement of the driving/fog lights on this one, as that seems to match the theme well. (Is that a factory option location??)
    Wish I had the funds available in my toy budget for this one.
    (…so many nice toys, but not enough room for them all in my barn. …nor enough $$ in my bank account.)

    Like 6
    • Dennis M

      I like the placement of those driving lights as well, quite unique. Doubt that was an option as I have never seen one like that before and factory designers don’t tend to be that iconoclastic.

  5. Vince H

    Interior has been replaced from a later model.

    Like 1
  6. kenzo

    Always been a Stude fan. So was my dad and brother. My first car was a 1950 Champion for $25 in ’62.
    As a big side note Jeff the wheels are true spoke not Thunderbird hub caps.

    Like 5
    • Neil

      My first car was also a ’50 Champ, in that nasty pea green. $ 125.00 in ’65. I had to wait a year to register it as I was underage. Didn’t stop me from hiding it from my parents and driving it. Bought at the pool hall from a guy shipping off to Vietnam. He didn’t come back unfortunately.

      Like 1
  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Back when I was a young pup stationed in Germany with the army our Major had one of these, it was said he opened it up to 180 mph on the autobahn. Now I can’t say for sure since I never rode with him, but some of the junior officers had rode with him and had to change shorts afterwards.
    This example has potential for a nice car with very fast top end speeds if that’s your thing.
    God bless America

    Like 3
    • ken tilly UK Member

      Something wrong with your Major’s Avanti speedometer John as the fastest speed recorded, by a supercharged Avanti at Bonneville, was 169 MPH. great cars nonetheless.

      Like 2
  8. Wayne

    I would believe maybe 160 MPH with a supercharged model.
    My Dad drove one and claimed an easy 140 MPH without breaking a sweat. Not the most aerodynamic front end, but there are a lot worse front ends. At least the front ends on these are smooth. I remember seeing some Bonniville pictures, but don’t remember any speeds.

    Like 2
    • Jeff DeWitt

      There have been Avanti’s with Studebaker power that have done over 200 MPH at Bonneville.

      Like 1
  9. kenzo

    @ Bonneville Andy Granatelli did the flying mile @ 168.24 mph and the 10 mile record of 163.9 in a supercharged R3

    Like 8
  10. Wayne

    Thanks kenzo. I wounded if that was stock?

    Like 4
    • Jeff DeWitt

      Yes, the R3 engine was a Studebaker option.

      Like 3
  11. Ken

    I didn’t know ‘62 Thunderbird wheel covers came with the stylized Studebaker S. Live and learn, I guess. 😎

  12. That AMC Guy

    Well, AMC towards the end was using Buick wire wheel covers with an AMC logo pasted in the center. Years later when they started peeling you could see the Buick tri-shield logo underneath. Maybe Studebaker did the same kind of thing?

    Like 2
  13. Dougie Member

    Well, I drove one for a while in the sixties. It was a hot mess.
    But you guys are missing the essence of this car. I mean it’s obvious the design is very unique, and a historic piece. Designed by Raymond Loewy. Here’s a quote to substantiate what I’m saying:

    The highly creative and successful Raymond Loewy, named “the father of industrial design”, had designed nearly everything from razors to railroad terminals. He was responsible for notable symbols including the Lucky Strike cigarette packet, the Coca-Cola bottle as well as creating logos for Shell and Exxon.Nov 5, 2013

    This dude designed the Coke bottle, my friends! And known as “The Father of Industrial Design”

    You’re welcome! lol

    Like 5
  14. 19sixty5 Member

    A pro-touring type of build on an Avanti ll shell could make a very interesting car. I wouldn’t have the heart to take a nice original and hack it up, but a later model that needs a full restoration, and a fat wallet, you could have an awesome and unique automobile.

    Like 1
  15. H5mind

    In the Sci-Fi movie ‘Gattica’, set far in the future, the main character tools around in an electrified version of one of these. I always thought, “That makes sense.”

    Like 3
  16. Vince H

    The wood grain around the gauges is from a later Avanti.

    • WayneC Member

      My round headlite 64, serial #4803 had the walnut grain on the dash, center console and steering wheel. This looks original. My round headlight 64 serial #4442 did not have the wood grain.

  17. Paul L Windish

    Looks to be a nice looking original except for interior. I had a ’64 R 1 with ac back in ’66 that had the red/fawn interior with black exterior. I had it well over 120 many times as a teenager with more guts than sense. One never gets over these cars as today I have 2, a ’76 Avanti II and an ’89 Avanti convertible.

    Like 1
    • Vince H

      It is for your car. This is a early car. It should be tan.

  18. Kenn

    Johnmloghry, 180 kilometers/hr is 111 miles per hour. Your Major had the kilometer speedo in Germany. A common mistake by servicemen overseas was to presume a much faster speed down the autobahn than was actually occuring by U.S. standards.

    Like 1

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