Rare Supercharged/4-Speed: 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2

This 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 might not be perfect, but it is probably one of the nicest original examples that you are likely to see today. It is a one-owner vehicle that looks like it has been very well cared for, and is solid in every sense of the word. Located in Portland, Oregon, it has been listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $37,500, but the option is there to make an offer.

Finished in the imaginatively named Avanti Gold, the Studebaker presents very nicely. The vast majority of the paint is original, with only a couple of minor touch-ups over the years. The owner says that the driver’s side quarter panel did have some staining due to gas spillage, but that this has been repaired. Otherwise, the Avanti appears to be free of rust issues, or any previous accident damage. The external trim and chrome all look to be in really good condition, while the glass looks like it is free of any significant pitting or scratches.

I’ve been sitting looking at this photo and trying to find a word to describe the interior that isn’t the word “gorgeous!” The amazing thing is that this is a 56-year-old car with a light-colored interior, and apart from the driver’s seat cover and the carpets, the rest of it is said to be original. The presentation is quite astounding, and it just screams luxury. There is nothing for the next owner to do but to sit back and enjoy the feeling and look of luxury that this interior conveys.

Being an R2, the 289ci V8 engine has been fitted with a Paxton supercharger. This boosts output power from 240hp up to 290hp. Those horses are sent to the 3.73 Twin Traction rear end via a T-10 4-speed transmission. As with the rest of the vehicle, the presentation here is first-rate, and I think that you could take your pick of which surface you wanted to eat off. With the supercharger having recently been rebuilt, the Avanti is said to run and drive extremely well.

Between 1963 and 1964, the build total for the Avanti R2 was a mere 1,883 cars. Of those, less than 500 were fitted with the T10 transmission. The styling might not be to everybody’s taste, but that hasn’t stopped the Avanti from developing a really strong following. With values rising slowly but consistently, these are a car that really could be a rock-solid long-term investment. The pricing on this one looks to be very competitive, so if a personal inspection reveals a clean and solid car that is as good as the photos and description seem to suggest, then this could be a great classic car buy.


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  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Wow, very nice. I like them, never seen one in person. Looks like a blast to drive. I hope they handle, with this set up it would be a lot of fun. Cool that the trade in was a 1955 Chevy, Lets see, Corvette, 2 door, 4door, Wagon? Expensive car, about $1000 more than a base 63 Sting Ray

    Like 2
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Friend’s got one without the supercharger. Same color. Handling is not something these cars are known for. Kinda like a ’53 Buick Roadmaster with no shocks. Even with the quirky body shapes all over them the total package is really good looking. This car is the best one I’ve ever seen.

    Like 3
    • ccrvtt

      Glad to know that someone else remembers that story about the Buick Roadmaster without shocks. Please tell me where it’s from as my memory fails me.

      • Robert L Roberge

        Sounds a lot like Tom McCahill.

        Like 1
    • Kenny

      I have driven many of them– have you ever? I am restoring another one right now, as a matter of fact. I have found the handling to be at least as good, maybe better, than any other car of similar vintage…

      Like 3
      • Robert L Roberge

        During this time I drove a ’59 AH 100-6 while a collegue drove an Avanti. In my young mind, they were comparable, handling wise but the Avante’s extra power always left me in the dust in a str8 line.

  3. RayT Member

    I saw two of these at a local car show last week. Both were finished in the same color scheme. One looked almost as immaculate as this one, the other was pretty shopworn. I think the latter was being driven by its original owner.

    Always liked the design, especially earlier cars like this that did without the square trim around the headlights. My father and I had a “test ride” (short, because of the crowds) in one the night they first arrived at the local Studebaker dealer, and many years later I had numerous conversations with Tom Kellogg, who designed the Avanti for Loewy. Those memories add to the appeal for me. The R2 engine and T-10 make it just about perfect.

    I don’t know what Avantis fetch these days, but the price seems reasonable if all is as advertised. Given secure space and money, I’d be talking to the seller.

    Like 7
    • Arthell64 Member

      I never did get the styling on the Avanti but they do have a following.

      Like 1
  4. RoughDiamond

    Wow! Imagine how many unsuspecting drivers you could blow away with that 390 HP engine, 4-speed transmission and 3:73 rear axle. That Avanti styling is beginning to grow on me. I love how the designer flipped the “160” on the speedometer dial and to me that is about the perfect instrumentation design.

    Like 2
    • Steven Ligac

      That’s, uh, 290 horses, RD.

      Like 6
      • Superdessucke

        These could hit 60 in around eight seconds and the quarter mile in the high 15s.


        If you were driving around with that mindset, you’d get taken to school early and often, probably starting with a soccer mom in a Toyota Sienna minivan with 10 things to do.

        These were not drag racers. But at the time, they were pretty quick and of course very stylish.

        Like 2
  5. JOHN Member

    The Avanti (Italian for “Forward”) was really a groundbreaking car. They set a bunch of speed records at Bonneville, around 30 of them. The cars had padded instrument panels standard. They incorporated a built-in roll bar, the aircraft styled rocker switches just above the rear view mirror, door latches that essentially became structural elements. Power front disc brakes. Bucket seats that were true buckets, with plenty of side bolster. The cool aircraft styled heater controls on the console, nice full instrumentation, the pass-through to the trunk from the back seat. Studebaker was a very forward thinking company, they were unfortunately ahead of their time, market wise.

    Like 6
  6. Mark

    I didn’t see any mention of what the mileage on the vehicle was. The photo of the odometer shows 17,000+ miles but whether that’s the 1st or 2nd time around it’s open your interpretation. I looking at how well the car presents I would say it’s on the 1st time around but you never can tell.

    Like 2
  7. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I like it, always did like them. Had an encounter with an Avanti in my youth when I worked at a parking lot. Had one come in one day and while I was parking it, I couldn’t turn off the headlights, couldn’t find the switch. I disconnected the battery because of that and explained it to the customer when he came back at which time he showed me it was in a roof console. To this day I remember the embarrassment of that. Never looked up to check the roof for the switch.
    I don’t know if the $$ is good or bad, but it’s a nice car none the less.

    Like 5

    Under appreciated in my opinion. Way advanced for the time. Always liked the styling, and always surprised they didn’t constantly overheat without a grille

    Like 2
    • Kenny

      They have a large grille underneath the front bumper. They have no reputation of overheating.

  9. Vince H

    Does not say what engine work may have been done. The red intake manifold and engine should be black

    Like 1
  10. Joe Haska

    WOW1 This is one of those cars that you usually don’t think allot about but when you see one this nice, you think wow, I want this car.

  11. Ken

    Studebaker’s crowning achievement. It’s a shame it didn’t save the company, but nothing could have at that point.

    Like 3

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