Long Term Storage: 1963 Studebaker Avanti

A factory 289 4-speed car, this solid Avanti is in need of attention, but would make for a great restoration project. After spending time camped out at a restoration shop in the North East, the shop closed abruptly and this Avanti was towed to an impound lot. Apparently time and contact info was lost, but the current owner has enlisted the impound lot to sell the car. This Avanti project can be yours for $6,000. Check it out here on craigslist out of Western, Massachusetts. Thanks to Peter for the submission!

A factory 289 V8 4 speed is more than enough to make you smile when rowing the gears in an Avanti. The condition of the drive-train is not mentioned, but after doing some research on the car, it appears it has been sitting for the better part of a decade. There is some leaf and dirt debris around the edges of the engine bay, but an overall good cleaning would leave it looking good enough.

Unfortunately the interior has not held up too well over the time spent idle. The carpet appears wet and rotted, and there almost appears to be a small algae patch growing on the driver side floor. Perhaps it is an illusion? There most certainly is mold on the door panels, seats, and dash. Truly a shame, as it seems this car was in great shape in the 1990’s when it came up for sale in Cincinnati, Oh. If you search the Avanti registry, they have recorded information on this car via its vin number 63r-2936, and they have captured an old craigslist posting where the seller was seeking an appraisal of the car.

Although the paint is worn, the body is still in very good shape, along with the glass and bright work. Never the less, perhaps the paint could be gently buffed to offer a higher luster than the current eggshell finish. Certainly a great car to make something of, this Avanti could be a sweet find resurrect. You could fully restore this machine, or clean up and restore the interior for a survivor style project.  I definitely like and appreciate the 4 speed gear box, and think that this could be a great project that would offer fun and reliability. With unique styling and a muscular drive-train, are you a fan of the Avanti?


  1. KevinLee

    I do think that the Avantis we’re a great looking car. The way the front bumper mimics the angular front end works because of it’s thin profle.

    Like 4
  2. dave brennan

    Could be nice. Too bad they left the windows open(or wharever)Btw: Nevertheless is one word

    Like 5
  3. Sandy Claws

    Do we have a solid title here? Seems doubtful, could be a real expensive headache. I can just see it now, the long lost grandson of the original owner finds it in a shoe box cleaning out his estate and now he comes with it and the cops to claim your freshly restored South Bend wonder. Tread cautiously.

    Like 8
    • Bodyman68

      Not if impound lot did proper paperwork and applied for a title or registration to obtain ownership.

      Like 1
  4. Frank Sumatra

    Aerosmith wrote a great song about the asking price for this car- “Dream On”

    Like 9
    • PatrickM

      Yeah, $3,000.00 tops… with so much work to be done.

  5. Mountainwoodie

    Damn shame that this was allowed to deteriorate to the point where a restoration with a total tear down and rotisserie needed. That water damage on the inside is going to look ugly in the pan. And its a 4 speed for chrissakes……….I know life gets in the way but sheesh….

    The seller will have to give it away

    Like 6
  6. Maestro1

    The car should be rescued as a part of American Automotive History. If you are concerned about restoration costs, these cars will have a strong upside in the near future, and I also would not be shy about driving it. But remember that you will be North of
    $35,000.00 if you don’t do your own wrenching. Go to it, put your hands on it and see if you can get to its Bones (underneath) for a good examination.

    Like 3
  7. Al T

    I’d be more interested in the 68 442 W-30 behind it. Any info on that?

    Like 6
  8. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    New upholstery is easy enough. Rust issues; floor pans are available as are other metal areas of rust. Not for me, I’m the worlds worst body man. But for a talented person on a budget you could probably make something of this Avanti.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  9. fleet butterfield

    Being a Studebaker enthusiast, I can tell you that the whole body is fiberglass, so no floor pans or rockers to rot out. The body was made by the same company who made the ‘vette bodys.

    Like 2
  10. plwindish

    This ’63 needs a complete restoration. If you are talented and can do the work yourself, you won’t be quite as upside down in the car when finished. Its checks many boxes being a ’63 with a 4 speed, but having AC or an R 2 motor would boost the value more. The body, including floors is fiberglass. The torque boxes or “hog troughs” probably need to be replaced and would need the body lifted off the frame, but a complete restoration would separate the body and frame anyway. That being said, a restored ’63 R 1 4 speed would be in the $30-35 K range when done. They are beautiful cars, I have two, a ’76 and an ’89 and have put my share of resources into them.

    Like 1
  11. Nels

    I think this is my old Avanti. It was actually the cover car on Cars and Parts magazine November 11, 1993. That was the thirtieth anniversary of the Studebaker plant closing in South Bend. A nice article if you can find it.
    I will say, it is a shame is has deteriorated to this point. However, it was a very solid car and probably still is.

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