The early 1960s saw an explosion in styling exercises by American car manufacturers. Not to be outdone, Studebaker introduced the Avanti 4-seat coupe with, um, “unique” styling in 1962. The fiberglass body continued in production by Studebaker and independents using the Avanti name for a couple more decades, but early cars like this 1963 example must have seemed like an alien spacecraft sighting in their day. Their simple and sporty interiors, grill-less front ends, and solid performance from their 289 cu. in. V8s were icing on the cake.
An example (albeit an excellent and very early car off the line with a factory supercharged R2 engine… unlike the standard V8 in this R1 example) recently topped $74,000 at a classic car auction. Was it an anomaly or the beginning of a rise in interest in these models?
This car is said to have had an older restoration with little wear since. The interior is partially disassembled, but appears complete. Unfortunately, no photos of the dashboard are provided which is a shame because it’s a real styling standout in this model with beautiful aircraft-inspired chrome switches and unusually restrained detailing for the period. Photos in this listing leave a fair amount to the imagination but there are some good pictures of the car during restoration and the engine compartment looks very clean and complete.
According to Hagerty’s Price Guide, the current bid price appears to be a bit below average (currently bidding at $15,100 with reserve not yet met) for an R1 for an example that appears to be just a few steps away from being a well above-average car.
These are driveable classics with decent power and an enthusiastic following. If you are looking for an interesting, historic, and unique vehicle… and you like the look… these early Studebaker Avantis are worth checking out.
Click the link to learn more details. The seller includes his contact information if you have questions. 1963 Studebaker Avanti