Project Car: 1963 Studebaker Avanti

The seller provides very little info on this project-grade 1963 Studebaker Avanti, one of the desirable early models that wasn’t just a warmed-over replica like the later models would become. No, this was from when the Avanti was true to form, with loads of pretty details and plenty of high-end touches that reminded drivers they weren’t just in dad’s Corvette but a powerful luxury liner that could keep up with the best muscle cars of the day without sacrificing comfort. The Avanti as shown here has faded paint, a tired but complete interior, rust inside the engine bay, and plenty of mold on the headliner. If you’re still interested, check out the Avanti here on eBay where bidding is over $5,500 with no reserve.

Enthusiasts still get excited over first-generation Avantis, and there’s good reason for it considering there isn’t much like them on the road. The combination of power, speed, luxury, and exclusivity rarely comes together this well, and even though the Avanti named lived on after Studebaker closed its doors, finding a car from the period in which the legendary automaker was in control are the best years to restore. This car comes with its original hubcaps, chrome bumpers, badges, and more, and even wears a license plate on the front end that looks like something a proud owner would display at a car show.

The Avanti was graceful inside and out, and certainly stood apart from the contemporary Corvette for this reason alone. Despite being able to keep up with the big boys on the street, the Avanti was layered in luxury with plenty of chrome accents, ornate switchgear, and other appointments that didn’t exactly come standard in lower-tier models. The Avanti was such a hit that numerous entrepreneurs worked to keep its name and brand alive after Studebaker pulled the plug, trying valiantly to migrate the iconic design to modern chassis with modern features, sometimes getting a government subsidy in the process of doing so. Still, nothing comes close to the original.

The lack of information in this listing is somewhat disappointing, especially for a seasoned eBay seller with the username “63avanti.” Perhaps this is just one of many Avantis he’s sold, and he figures anyone hungry enough will come to him with questions if they wish to take a major project like this on. Hopefully, the conversation will also illuminate whether there’s any rust underneath, as the rust visible inside the lip around the hood opening is significant enough to justify asking whether it will be found anywhere else on the car. Still, it’s a no reserve auction and the Avanti does appear complete despite clearly needing total restoration, which can help justify taking on a major project like this one.

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Comments

  1. Gary

    Get it safe to drive, do a deep clean on the whole car and drive the snot out of it

    Like 6
  2. George Mattar

    Great car that came too late. Would love to get this because surprisingly there are NOS parts to be had.

    Like 6
  3. Sam Shive

    Gonna need a HAZMAT Suit to clean the MOLD out of the inside.

    Like 1
  4. Raymond L Saunders

    At that price its a steal, pull the headliner and carpet, steam clean the interior, rebuild brakes and soft things, usual engine stuff…and Avanti….itll be back, flipper will get it…and good for them…

    Like 1
  5. Neil Larkins

    Wish I had the money to do a 100% top to bottom, inside out, resto.

    Like 2
    • Dave

      Me too! Then I’d spend it all on a Vette

      Like 2
  6. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Very unique car. My own most memorable experience with one was back in the late 60’s when I was working as a parking attendant. Great car to park but one heck of a car when it came to finding the headlight switch to turn them off.

    Like 2
    • Neil Larkins

      I worked as a parking attendant in downtown KC, MO in 1965. Kept hoping for an Avanti, Jag or a ‘Vette or other exotic to come in but none ever did. Dang the luck.

      Like 1
      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        That Avanti, a couple of Firebirds including a 400 convertible, 66 & 67 GTO, 442, couple of Hemi’s, 427 Impala, 426 Max Wedge Fury, SS396, Jag XKE and that’s not the entire list. Just a few of the cars I got to drive and park when I was doing the parking lot gig. The job paid like crap but the cars made up a little for the lack of $$.

  7. 433jeff

    I just never got this car

    It took 40 years to appreciate the 66 charger, and now i get it.

    I just never got this one

    Even though i dont like the old Porsche air cooled expensive cars, I get it.

    Like 1
  8. Steve Clinton

    Mold on the headliner, seats, door panels, center console, steering wheel…talk about being ‘under water’!

  9. Allen L

    Dual circuit master brake cylinder?
    I take it that is not original, but a worthy upgrade.

  10. Keruth

    with all that mold, i’d need to see the hog troughs

  11. Steven Doan

    I read the comments in earnest with great hopes to find an obligatory warning about checking the HOG TROUGHS and once again Barn Finds doesn’t disappoint! Likewise for the old Vette ad warnings about checking the BIRDCAGE.

    Some of this stuff is pushing 70 years old, I would hope a potential buyer would check EVERYTHING if they hoped to ever title, license, insure and subsequently operate it again on a paved public road.

    Barn Finds you make me smile daily and provide a great sanity break to the workday, THANKS!

  12. mrfeez

    Would love a picture of Hog Troughs, To Bid or not to Bid, will be determine
    by Seller’s reaction to simple question.

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