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Supercharged 1964 Studebaker Avanti R2


Studebaker is long gone, but one of the greatest legacies they left us was the Avanti. Many collectors overlook these cars because of their awkward lines and fiberglass bodies, but we think you will consider this one after seeing what is under the hood. It has been in storage since 1983 and is listed here on eBay where bidding is currently at $2,800. A special thanks goes to Joey K. for sending this in.


Most Avantis were fitted with a warmed-over version of Studebaker’s 289 V8 which was good for 240 horses. Studebaker wanted to offer more power though, so they joined up with Paxton to develop a high performance model. By fitting a supercharger they were able to increase horsepower to a respectable 290 and as you can see, this 1964 Avanti is one of those rare R2 models.


This car requires a full restoration, but any Studebaker nut will agree that this one is worth saving. The supercharger makes it more desirable and the four-speed transmission is a nice bonus. A few parts are missing and the engine smokes, but we have seen worse brought back to life. So, do you think this supercharged Stude is worth the cost of restoration or should it go back into the barn?


  1. Skip Middleton

    Heck yeah, it’s worth restoring. A rare car and an even more rare model of that car. Unless there were major pieces missing or major structural issues, a car like this is always a candidate for restoration.

  2. Steve

    Boy,that was easy it looks like we already have a buyer,good luck skip

  3. Ron Bajorek

    wow, looks like a ton of work, gimmie a later Avanti that I won’t feel bad about resto-moding

  4. Bill

    Check out the white wall tires in the video.

  5. Robert J

    This is definitely worth restoring. I would love to have it, but if I bring any more home I’ll have to live in them.

  6. Dan Farrell

    One of the things that amazed people about the Avanti was the quality of the fiberglass work. I remember seeing the Studebaker 289 in a friends car. It looked to be about the size of a Ford 390.

  7. Jeff

    Was this the first engine by FORD to produce more hp than cubes?

    • Goose

      The FORD 406 was rated at 405hp, close but no cigar….

  8. Jeff

    TYPO: Studebaker, I just read 289, long day here…..

  9. Dolphin Member

    I remember when these came out. They took the No American car world by storm because they seemed like a breath of fresh air for car guys. They looked European—or at least what seemed ‘European’ to No Americans back then. I never drove one but friends who did said they got a lot of attention from people on the street, but they didn’t handle like a sports car.

    It’s a rare car and deserves to be saved so people can see what a Stude could be back then.

  10. Jamie Wallhauser

    Current bid is $4,300 and as far as I’m concerned all Studebakers deserve restoration, this one in particular!

  11. Kman

    Well, with almost 6 days to go, the price has climbed up to over 6 large. If it goes any further, it’s going to make it tough to do much with it. I could see tweeking the suspension and steering as well as the engine to get a little more out of it but there may not be room that the way this is going. Too many cars, too little time.

  12. AMCFAN

    Cool Story here. AMCFAN’s father has told many times.
    When he (dad) was 18 he worked at a local Studebaker dealer in a little town near Cincinnati. He was what was refered to today as a lot tech. The shrewed dealer would hide in the dealership on Sundays and collect license plate info on those on the lot. Monday he would run the tag numbers through the local good ole boys and start calling. “Hey” ” I hear you are in the market for a car”
    Harvey ordered in a new 1964 Lark with the Advanti R2 engine and 4 spd. trans. When the car was delivered it was prepped by the service department. The R2 emblems,super charger and chrome on the engine was removed. When a customer took it for a test ride it was always the same. Wow! What power! This car must have brought many Larks from South Bend Indiana to Ohio
    Dad stated Harvey let him take the Lark to the dragstrip. Free advertising as The car was lettered up Harvey Motors with a giant stuffed rabbit in the back seat. (The rabbit was the dealer mascot.) The Lark won its class time after time untill dad got bored and started jumping out of class. No one could figure how a little Lark could run like that. Protest money was gathered and dad was asked to tear it down or get out. End of the racing Lark.

    • scot

      ~ @ AMCFAN
      fantastic bunny tale.
      . term ‘shrewed dealer’ cues memory; -also called ‘tin slinger’ or ‘dog-catchin’ – times change, in our current parlance; ‘affordability advocate’
      i am forever partial to R-series Lark or Daytona ala Andy G. more than any Avanti, any year.
      why weren’t Studebaker, Packard , Nash, Hudson, Willys, Kaiser, Frazier and/or & so on…unable to cooperate? they all shared parts from outside suppliers, (sometimes from each other) i have read the negotiation play-by-play but still don’t see how any of them thought they’d survive without combining their strengths.

      @ Richard D Nener, didnot know that!
      @ Joey K., i believe those numbers set the rational path.
      . while an LSx would be tempting in any Studebaker i would never hot rod this unit after 50, check> 50 years.
      pay attention to these, overlooked.

  13. FRED


    • Fred

      Keep it Studebaker and bring the engine up like the Granetelli engines of the day… around 305 cu in but incredible horse power the actual numbers were never released by Studebaker but could be raced right off the show room floor/// an Avanti did 171 mph at Bonneville stock off showroom floor tested by an independent firm that’s back in 1963….What took Corvette all these years to finally catch up with now the small block 427. Keep the Studebaker -a Studebaker and amaze your car buddies. I wouldn’t want to use anyone elses engine on a nice car like this….

  14. Richard D Nener

    Ian Fleming had the First one in the UK back in the day :)

    • kmanfirst

      Ian Fleming gave one of his characters from the James Boond series, CIA agent, Felix Leiter, a “Studilac”, being a Stude with a Cadillac engine. I had an Old’s with a Caddie mill.

  15. Tom

    “Awkward lines,” my patootie. Designer Raymond Lowey brought a Euro sensibitity to this car and it was killer in 1964. Inside and out. I did some marketing work for the company in 1981 as it was being positioned for sale, and got to watch the build process. Hand built indeed.

    • Phil

      Awkward lines? Are you kidding me. This automobile was recently on display in a large art museum in Los Angles as an example of artful form and design of the 20th century. Not just cars, but art in general. The fact that Studabaker made serious managerial error around the delivery and marketing of the vehicle played a role in the company’s demise. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful cars ever.

  16. Joey K.

    Thanks Barn Finds for publishing my submission :-)
    I would like to point out that of the Studebaker Avantis – 1964 is the lowest production year, the R2 model (supercharged) was the lowest produced variant of the 1964 year and VERY FEW R2s were made with the 4 Speed Manual. The majority of R2s had the 3 speed Auto. I THINK (not certain) that there were something like 150 or less of the R2s with the 4 speed stick made in 1964. This is THE collector’s Avanti. No offense to the customizing crowd – but with the rarity of this one, I’d prefer to see it restored as built. The R2 289 has enough oomph as is.

  17. Chris

    Not a “sports car” but more like a Buick Riviera with a more exotic sporty appeal. The late Avantis had square headlight trim and covers which gave the front end a better look. Nice V8 growly exhaust note.I always liked the interior design touch of overhead switches. Stude 289s are hard to modify as the intake and exhaust passages impeded any really serious buildout, but it can be done. Lots of low end torque and the blower for top end are a good match. The Avanti is a true four seater and is a good sized car,but a pretty clean shape . Stock and in good tune, a four speed R2 should be good for 135. The very rare Andy Granatelli blown R3 version was able to pull 196 at Bonneville but needed well over 500 hp to do it. The R4 was supposed to be a production vrsion of the Bonneville car but was never built. The R5 was supposed to be a Granatelli modified 289 with a big four barrel carb with 290 hp, but production of the Avanti stopped before it was ever built for production. Avantis continued to be built after Studebaker went under but with Chevy small blocks under the hood. They still look fresh and interestng and I still want one.

    • scot

      ~ first Chevy powered Avanti was built with surplus Studebaker underpinning, but eventually built on GM F platform, then Ford. upon return of Micheal Kelley Avanti moved from Ohio to Georgia, then to Mexico. the last Avanti (so far) rolled off the line in Cancun, Mexico in 2007. It used a V-6 Roush Racing Engine.
      i love the convertibles cause they evoke a Jensen Interceptor or Aston-Martin DB-6 from the A pillar to the tail.

    • Terry brandli

      The R-1 is a 289 with one four barrel carb, R-2 is a supercharged 289 with one four barrel, R-3 is a supercharged
      304 with one four barrel, R-4 is a 304 with two four barrel carbs, R-5 is a 304 with two Paxton superchargers and a fuel
      injection system off of a helicopter. Ron Hall got his 304 Avanti over 200mph at the salt flats years ago. The last I knew
      his car was at the Studebaker museum in South Bend.

      • Joey K.

        I’m going to say this point blank – I am not nearly old enough to have been around when the Avanti was in production – therefore most of what I know has been based upon research and personal experience with a 1964 R2.
        What I have gleaned from this – is that although some R3 blocks were produced by Studebaker – the vast majority of what are being called R3 blocks are in reality bored over 289 blocks. Personally – I have no problem with someone boring over a 289 to make a 304 but I do think it is unethical to brand it as an authentic R3 block when it isn’t. It would also seem that the R3 blocks were NOT in general production and it would seem that there was only 1 R4 was ever built. Adding to the confusion – occasionally Packard engines made their way into Studebakers creating an entire other engine size that was not commonly associated with Studebaker. Have a look at this detailed but rather confusing list on the SDC site:

  18. Charlie F Member

    If I had not just bought a car to play with, I would bid on this. Mechanical parts are availble and it looks like the hard to find trim pieces are there. If the steel is not rusted, the rest can be fixed. As for awkward, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 50 years later it is still a good looking car, and it will travel on the highways and keep up with modern cars – I am not sure I would want to drive it at 85 mph all day, but it would be quite happy at 75 with reserves to pass at 90 when needed.

    • kmanfirst

      Wasn’t this a Raymond Lowe design?

  19. Rik

    Are the square headlight bezels correct for a Studebaker?

    • paul

      yes they only ran the round for the first year if I remember correctly.

      • Joey K.

        Studebaker 1963 Avantis had the round headlights – 1964 and all subsequent Avanti production (with the exception of the AVX) have had the square headlights. -JTK

  20. chebby

    The cheesy woodgrain paper and generic-looking gauges have always bothered me in Avantis, For a luxury car from the 60’s it has the dash of a Peterbilt dump truck from the 1980’s.

    • scot

      luxury car- shoestring luxury car. a broad line in early ’60s.

    • Joey K.

      FWIW – Studebaker had the red gauge lights long before other manufacturers did. Combined with the light and fan switches located over the head of the driver and passenger seats – you were supposed to feel like you were in the cockpit of an aircraft. -Joey

      • Kman

        I had a 48 Plymouth with speedo lights that changed colour as your speed increased. The base colour was green but It worked it’s way up through several other colours ending in red, (as I recall). It was some time before we noticed the change of colour but once we did we had to find out how many there were. It clocked out at 100 mph but who knows what the actual was. Anyone else remember this?

  21. erikj

    Family story, Back in the mid 60s my dad was a salesman for a lot in seattle. At lunch he would sometimes take one of the lot cars home. Well one of those lunch breaks he took a avanti home – on the way the roads where a little wet as he liked to do,check out the power. On the freeway at about 60 he put the peddel to the floor and promply spun the car around 3or4 times.No damage to the car but scared the hell out of dad.He got no lunch that day,turned around and went back to his work. He found out later it had somuch power because it had a supercharger. He loves that storie but cant remember the year or model

    • Joey K.

      Either 1963 or 1964 Studebaker Avantis could be ordered with the R2 supercharged engine. I can attest from personal experience, that Paxton supercharger can make you hold onto something when it kicks in! -Joey

      • Hakan Sandberg

        As I have a similar Avanti: do you know who is the present owner or the serial # of the Avanti on Barn Finds?

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