No Reserve Starter Classic: 1987 Avanti II

While most Avanti enthusiasts are hungry for the early production models, the later cars represent a low-cost point of entry into classic car ownership with dirt-cheap maintenance and tons of exclusivity. This later Avanti II is from the era when the company was reincarnated in South Bend, Indiana, and despite the lofty projections, all that’s left of that chapter of the Avanti story are cars like this Champagne Pink example listed here on eBay with bids just over $7,000 and no reserve.

The paint job is as memorable as the Avanti’s design, and the seller claims it’s original. Apparently, this Avanti was owned by an actual Avanti dealer in Buffalo, New York, and the seller is just the third owner with recorded mileage of under 25,000. So many of these Avantis are low mileage specimens, undoubtedly because owners thought they would someday be hugely collectible. While the first generation Studebaker-built models are sought after, even those cars are still attainable for most.

The later models did lose some of that style that made the early cars so striking, along with the supercharged performance of the rare R2. To me, that’s always been the challenge of wanting to own one the more storied performance brands to come out of the United States: it may look the same, but the Avanti II is still a few hops away from the real-deal cars that broke the mold in the early 60s. This example comes with the standard bucket seats, as opposed to the deeply bolstered Recaros some models got.

Power-wise, you wouldn’t be blown away by an Avanti II from this era, but the 305 will be exceedingly easy to live with and cheap to maintain for years to come. It’s paired to a three-speed automatic transmission, and while it does run, the seller notes it could use a tune-up. His plans to restore the Avanti II have changed, so after 10 years in storage, it’s now up for grabs. The Avanti will need some love – the seller notes the weather seals have perished – but there aren’t many bargains left in the collector car marketplace. Would you bid to own this Avanti II?

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Comments

  1. Mitchell Gildea Member

    A starter car?! This car is a finisher car! A transporter of Gods! The gooollllldennnn God!

    Like 7
  2. alphasud Member

    When I was a kid I got into assembling models. The first model I purchased was a Studebaker Avanti. The lines were way ahead of their time and even in the 70’s the cars still looked fresh and modern. The Avanti 2 lost that trying to keep the lines while conforming to current regulations. The result was disappointing. It’s too bad Studebaker couldn’t keep it together. I really liked the Hawk and the Daytona.

    Like 13
  3. Joe Haska

    Every time I see an Avanti for sale, I take a very close look, I just think they are a great car for the money. Maybe one day when the stars and moon align , I will own one.

    Like 8
  4. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    I still have the 1/25 Avanti, 62 Corvair coupe and…gulp…62 Rambler American models built by my father in the 1960s and all painted in what I think was called “Primrose Pink” by Pactra. Three of my most favorite cars to where metallic pink.

    Like 6
  5. Dave

    It doesn’t need a tune-up, it needs a cam. All those GM flat tappet cams self destructed with the introduction of low ZDP oil, per EPA mandates. A roller cam 350 will slide right in place of that did 305 and double the HP. Also, if that really is a 3 speed automatic someone swapped out the 700R4 overdrive.

    Like 10
    • Bob A.

      It takes a lot more than “a roller” cam” in an old school 350 to “double the HP” of this 305 (“as installed” SAE Net state vs. same).

      Like 5
      • Dave

        Know the subject before spouting off. You can make 300 ponies by accident with a 350. That 305 made 140.

        Like 1
  6. SubGothius

    By this year they dropped the “II”, as it was no longer a continuation run of the original Avanti on remaining old-stock Studebaker chassis, and became just an Avanti-style body mounted on a Chevy chassis, initially Monte Carlo and then Caprice.

    Like 8
    • Major Thom

      Actually the “II” was dropped back in 1984.
      Apparently some think any Avanti that was not built by Studebaker has to be a “II”…

      Like 1
  7. Sam61

    Like it…ok iteration of the original. Incorporation of 5mph bumpers is good. The color is a little different but most have been a choice on the original…cover car on an Avanti coffee table book.

    If I had stupid money…maybe swap the engine, level/lower the suspension, thin white walls/steel wheels with original wheel covers, work in some nos badging as well as do work to the dashboard to give it an original “vibe”.

    Always liked Avantis…nice find!

    Like 7
  8. Charles Simons

    Yes I am going to bid in it.

    Like 4
  9. Craigo

    If “it only needs a tuneup” which is relatively inexpensive why wouldn’t the seller do it?

    Something 🐠ey.

    Like 4
    • ADM

      That’s like “It needs a battery.”

      Like 2
  10. craigo

    I’ve owned three Avanti 11’s.

    No complaints but the 305 was really weak on performance 😪

    Like 1
  11. Hollywood Collier

    Only needs a tuneup ………is exactly like the a/c only needs a charge. LOL

    Like 4
  12. Steve Suzor

    Right on about the cam in that 305. Had two pickups with that engine and the cams failed in both around 45k miles. And I change my oil every 3,000 miles. With the valve covers removed, you could see that some of the valves were barely moving.These things idled ok and ran good up to about 1200-1500 rpm then started missing badly. I didn’t learn about the cams until I had already changed every part in the ignition system. Tried to get help from GM and they told me it was my fault for not maintainng the engine properly.

    Like 1
  13. R.J. Rains

    A friend of mine Jim Lange owns the “Due Centro” 1963 Avanti, holds a speed record of 223.238 MPH at Bonneville… don’t think the 305 will get you there.

    Like 1
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Wasn’t Jim Lange the host of the Dating Game?

  14. Craigo

    Two 305’s couldn’t get you there.

    The least responsive cars that I’ve owned but they look GREAT!!!!

    Like 1
  15. Carey Hill

    repowering with a stout small block would be relatively easy

  16. John J

    The problem with this car is the interior. The original Studebaker Avanti and the cars that followed kept the original type interior through 1985. There were no 1986 cars. In 1987 they moved the car off the original Studebaker chassis and completely redesigned the interior, particularly the dash. My opinion is the 1987 onwards cars are a kit car. They just bolted the Avanti body to a Monte Carlo chassis. The dash was cheapened to the point it looks like a poorly executed kit car. The radio and HVAC controls are really installed badly. For me the post Studebaker Avantis to get are the 1966 – 1985 years. They kept the original style interior. The 83-85 cars had the nicer Recaro seats. 84-85 had the H.O. 305 from the Camaro.

    Like 1
  17. Paul L Windish

    I’m a current owner of a ’76/400 SBC and an ’89/383 SBC Avantis, and a past owner of a ’64 R 1. Its really a shame that the ’84-’91 Avantis weren’t equipped with a 383 SBC instead of the 305. I bought my ’89 resto-modded with the 383 and has the performance the 305’s were lacking. Both of my “after market” Avantis are of higher quality than the ’64 I had years ago as a teenager. The price for the above Avanti is really reasonable and a low cost way to get into the car hobby.

    Like 1
  18. Craigo

    Some years they made the Avanti 2’s with a corvette 350 block. Newman & Altman new what they were doing.

    My cousin had an 87 Convertible which looked great but road like crap. Closing the door was an experience.

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