Original Owner (Really!): R-2 Supercharged 1963 Studebaker Avanti

While I see a lot of “one-owner” ads that are really “one-owner + one or two flipper” ads, this 1963 R-2 Studebaker Avanti really is a one-owner car; the seller and his new wife bought the car on August 10, 1965 (note, many Avantis stayed unsold on dealers’ lots past their model year) and they immediately drove it from Buffalo, New York to L.A. and back for their honeymoon. It’s listed for sale here on eBay and is located in Elma, New York. Heavy bidding (over 50 bids as I write) has driven the price over $18,000 without meeting the reserve.

The Avanti has always been one of those polarizing designs that people seem to either love or hate. Personally, I’m a fan, especially of the original round-headlight versions (the headlights were changed to squareish bezels for the 1964 model year, although production of all Avantis ceased in December, 1963). The fiberglass body comes with it’s own set of headaches, but in this case the seller tells us it’s only been repainted once (in the original color) and that the car’s serial number R-4687 means it’s a transition model and has some 1963 and 1964 parts.

Just look at those sharp and distinctive lines!

The seller replaced the original interior dash and console with wood grain. As you can see, this car was fitted with the three-speed automatic transmission. Notice the styling of the dash — very European influenced.

This car has had plenty of maintenance throughout it’s life, with an engine and transmission rebuild less than 5,000 miles ago and a supercharger rebuild last year (although I wonder why the belt isn’t in place in this picture). The seller tells us that everything works except the tachometer and clock. It’s not often you can purchase a car from the original owner after more than 50 years! What do you readers think? Is the car worth more than $20,000?


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  1. Jim M

    Very nice car, hope it finds a good new home. The first thing to get rid of is that $2.00 plastic gas filter!

  2. flmikey

    If the seller is using the example from last year’s auction of a similar vehicle to his reserve, then I am guessing he’s looking for six figures….so, to answer your question, yes, it’s worth over 20 large…easily…very nice, original car…

  3. Jack M.

    Recently rebuilt engine and transmission, just seems odd that they reinstalled the heater hoses from 1963!

    • elrod

      Nailed it Jack. No tech worth his salt would have hooked those up…

  4. Tom Justice

    Should be a good value at 22-25K, worth about 3-4 K more with a 4 speed (Hagerty). Almost the best of all but certainly really nice and anyone would be proud to own. Replaced parts of the interior will probably bring the price down for the real Studie groupies out there.

  5. Jose Delgadillo

    Always a favorite and I’ve seen several in person close up. I like that it was a blend of luxury and performance. Not as much performance as a Corvette but much better than a T bird. It was smaller than the ’63 Riviera but just as trick. A true GT my favorite kind of car.

  6. Chuck Cobb

    Agree with getting rid of the cheap fuel filter. DANGEROUS Elma, New York is correct, east of Buffalo. I thought it might have been Elmira, but isn’t.

    • Rabbit

      No, it’s Elma. About 10-15 minutes from Downtown Buffalo, if you shoot straight out William St. Not the first time it’s been up for sale either. Last summer (?) I spotted it on eBay & wanted to go have a look, no time. Always had a certain fascination for these cars since I met a fella up in Niagara Falls (20-something years ago) with two: One NA and one an R2, both in Blue Mist. As I recall, he was trying to find someone to restore the steering wheels where they had cracked. Great guy, really sweet cars.

  7. Beatnik Bedouin

    One of those cars I always wanted since they were new, but with a four-speed. The blower really livened up what was a pretty old design by ’63.

    Sadly, it was yet another market disaster for a company already on its way to automotive oblivion.

    • JP

      I wouldn’t say the design was dated by ’63. Show me any other car that looks as “modern” as this from the same era. Studebaker was always way ahead, design-wise, of the other brands, imho. And it wasn’t really a marketing disaster – production problems probably contributed more to its lackluster sales than the car itself. Too little, too late…

      • Rabbit

        I think BB was talking about the 289 engine, JP. No way the body was outdated. :P

      • JP

        In that case I sort of agree, although the blower had been in use since the ’50s. Those 289s were pretty good engines, though. Very sturdy.

  8. Duffy Member

    It’s a dandy. Beautiful vehicle.

  9. Marco

    Although “interesting”, put me in the camp of not being a fan of the design. Reminds me of a Gremlin Pacer! Waynes World!

  10. Ronald G Bajorek jr

    “Now I need to pin those needles, got to feel that heat
    Hear my motor screamin’ while I’m tearin’ up the street” …….(nice, yeah I’d put a Tremac in it)

  11. Joel Chamberlain

    Great car here. I have a 69 Avanti. I get stopped every time I drive it, by interested and amazed people. I like the car a lot and plan to keep it for a while. It has the original 327 chev engine that I had rebuilt and it runs super.

    • Ronald G Bajorek jr

      great car Joel, somehow these Chevy powered Avanti IIs are more to my liking than the original ones (although i prefer the round headlights) Ray Loewy was a god-damn genius, one of my must have cars is one of these or a cad-powered 53 Starliner Coupe

      • wcastor Member

        I have at this time, a round headlights 64 plus an 87 with a 350 (it was a 305). I also had another 63 and 64. I prefer the ones with the Studebaker engine. Back in the late ’60’s, I used to try and hunt down whatever GM I could find, especially Corvettes. Sometimes I lost but most of the times I would win. That was in my really crazy late teens. At the time my Avanti was just an R-2 4-speed that was massaged slightly. This was in Denver in 1968-70.

  12. plwindish

    Nice looking car the original owner has taken good care of through the years. If Webster had the term polarizing design in the book, there would be a picture of the Avanti there. I in contrast to Marco’s comment, love the design having had a 64 fifty-two years ago as well as currently having a 76 coupe and an 89 convertible the past seven years.

    • Eric H

      The convertible looks like a fox body mustang with less rake to the windshield, and an “interesting” nose job.

  13. Andrew not amember

    The determination that it takes ( especially when married ) to keep a car is outstanding . How many marriages last that long ? Not an Avanti expert on value ,but a great story regardless.

  14. Ocana70

    That’s what a dash should look like. 8 Gauges and plenty of switches!

    • Nrg8

      Less the mactac

  15. pete

    I have to think that she should sell in the 30’s maybe more. My 63 Hawk with the Borgwarner automatic will chirp the tires going int 2nd, but I would prefer a 4 speed

  16. charlie Member

    “If you could have any 5 cars you wanted, for free, but no possibility of selling them, so price, and appreciation, and depreciation, were not possible, and you had to drive them at least 100 miles a month”….. For me, this would be one of them. Either engine, either shape headlights – the Studebaker ones had Studebaker interior trim, the later ones had various sorts.

  17. BOP Guy Member

    She’s a beauty, I really love these !

  18. Ron

    Curious what the owners write up means by “the hogs are good”?

    Very nice driver quality car, not likely to bring anywhere near $115k though.

    • Ray

      Hogs refer to the torque boxes that connect the frame to the rockers. Commonly referred to as “hog Troughs” due to their shape. They are very prone to rust. Mine were replaced by the previous owner.

      • Ron

        Thanks, that is a term I wasn’t familiar with but now I know.

  19. Peter

    Looks as though the blower has been fitted and final flourishes not done when engine shot pic taken. Hoseclamp also absent.

  20. Tom

    To answer your question Ron , the Hogs are the hog troughs , they are the frame reinforcements they run front to rear on both sides and are shaped like a hog trough . They are know to hold dirt and moisture and commonly rust out . Its a body off frame to replace them.

  21. Tirefriar

    Proper name is torque boxes, but hardly anyone knows them other than hog troughs. These can be replaced without having to remove the body:


    4 years ago I was very close to buying an Avanti II out of Chicago with a Chevy 400. The dealer asked for a non refundable deposit prior to doing PPI. Being in California and not physically seeing the car I passed. Avanti is definitely on my bucket list but then most of the things I ride and drive are off the beaten path.

  22. Ken

    In July ’17, this car was listed on eBay at $50K/obo. The auction is gone, but this page on BaT sums it up: https://bringatrailer.com/2017/07/01/52-years-owned-1964-studebaker-avanti-r2/

    The BaT article said (back then) it was a ’64, not a ’63.

  23. Steven D Visek

    Always a bit disheartening when a seller compares their car to far nicer examples that sold at auction. It is a nice driver quality car but nowhere near that $115K car at Mecum or the $90K one that sold at the same auction. Where the eBay auction finished was a bit low IMHO, but I think $30-35K would be fairly sold and bought.

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