Supercharged Project: 1964 Studebaker Avanti R2

When it comes to buying or restoring an Avanti, most enthusiasts will tell you that finding a genuine R2 is the only way to fly. These were the models that truly gave the Avanti the performance it deserves, a powerplant that could cash the checks the gorgeous body always wanted to write. This example here on craigslist is said to need complete restoration but also presumably has its numbers-matching engine with the Paxton centrifugal supercharger still attached.

Details and photos are scarce, but the Avanti looks like a tired project that hasn’t been significantly altered from new. Now, it would help if some under-hood photos were included, as the engine is main draw here, but we’ll have to make do with a lone photo of the interior to validate what the exterior shots show as a tired-but-worthy project. The interior appears to just need a cosmetic refresh, not a total gut renovation.

It’s harder to say whether the body is in need of a similar light-touch refurb or more extensive work. Regardless, the fiberglass construction should put to rest any concerns about major corrosion. What’s more important is that the engine remain the numbers-matching unit, as the supercharged models were the ones that woke everyone up as to the true potential of an Avanti – and due to the company’s financial troubles, less than 2,000 were made in R2 specification.

Of course, the real jewel in the Avanti crown is the uber-rare four-speed manual equipped R2s, of which fewer than 500 were made. Regardless, finding a genuine R2 is always a worthwhile discovery, and I can’t see how you’d lose money on this example, even after restoration, with an asking price of $8,500. Four seats with a supercharged V8 up front is hard to find from any country, but practically unheard of in the land of the Corvette in the 1960s. Thanks to reader Jonah M. for the find.

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Comments

  1. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I assume you aren’t implying this one is a 4 speed, it’s not. If the engine and tranny are in good shape, it could be a ‘decent’ buy for that person that wants an Avanti. Hope it’s fixed up and put back on the road.

    Like 4
  2. Randy Simon Member

    I can EASILY see how you’d lose $ trying to restore and then flip this car, even if the car was free!

    Like 3
  3. Ron

    Just because it’s fiberglass doesn’t mean rust is not an issue. The torque boxes (hog troughs are very prone to rusting out and a paint to replace. Likewise, teh frame, especially at the front of teh rear spring mounts are known to rust out, and new frames are hard to find.

    Like 1
  4. bob

    I’m impressed the interior looks as good as it does. An R2 is a rare opportunity but the seller, Larry, has shot himself in the foot by refusing emails and I can’t find a phone number nor address. On the listing it appears he has a second Red Avanti he’s offering, $6500 with a hole in the rags and glue on the passenger side.
    https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/cto/d/puyallup-1963-studebaker-avanti-r1/7008322257.html

  5. Andy

    I have spoken to this seller (Bob) and he seems like a pretty straightforward guy and has many more photos of the underside, body, interior and engine. It is a decent car but obviously needs the full monty. He told me that he was flexible on price. Too far away for me.

    Like 1

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