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West Coast Classics USA
1205 Bow Avenue Torrance CA 90501

Tel:  001-310-399-3990
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1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 Supercharged 4 spd manual SOLD

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  • £55,000 As stated
  • 1963
Message the seller
Price £55,000 As stated
Ad Type For Sale
Category Classic Cars
Make Studebaker
  Avanti R2 Supercharged
Model 4 spd manual Coupe
Year 1963
Mileage 83,349 miles
Country USA
Region International
Telephone 001-310-399-3990
Status Trade
Date 16-May-2020
Ref C1169419
West Coast Classics are proud to present an absolutely exceptional example of this mostly all original and stock 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 Supercharged 289/289HP 4BBL V8 2 door Coupe with 9:1 compression ratio in its original 'Avanti Gold' factory color paint and boasting it's extraordinarily rare and desirable factory 4 speed manual transmission and original matching #'s engine and factory options including power steering, power front disc brakes, AM Pushbutton radio, electric clock, heater and defroster and original 289 V8 Supercharged R2 Super Jet Thrust engine! Reportedly one of less than 500 in total factory 4 spd Supercharged R2's ever built between the 1963-64 production years! The R2 would set several land speed records for factory stock vehicles, eventually breaking 29 speed records between 1963-64, to become the "World's fastest production car." These records remained on the books for many years. Top speed was almost 169 miles per hour.

This particular example was purchased from only it's second owner, a retired airline pilot who lived in Newport Beach, California in 2005 (who had previously purchased the car from it's original owner in 2001), in all original condition including the paint and interior and with 82,951 original miles on it's original matching #'s engine and with no history of any accidents or damage, by only its third owner who also lived in southern California and who since has restored the car mechanically as required over the years with no expense spared and only using original restored or NOS parts and including an engine rebuild and one professional repaint in it's original 'Avanti Gold' color.

The most often overlooked true performance car of the 1960s is the original 1963-64 Studebaker Avanti. This is an odd phenomenon, seeing as the Avanti was more expensive than a Corvette when new, built in limited numbers and was one of the fastest and most innovative cars of the time. Andy Granatelli helped break 29 speed records at Bonneville with factory Paxton-supercharged Avantis, which he proved could run 170 MPH in "stock" form, and 200 MPH when more heavily modified.

Rodger Ward, winner of the 1962 Indianapolis 500, received a Studebaker Avanti as part of his prize package "thus becoming the first private owner of an Avanti." A Studebaker Lark convertible was the Indianapolis pace car that year and the Avanti was named the honorary pace car.

This particular example came factory equipped and remains to this day as follows:

Original matching $'s 289/289HP R2 engine rebored to 302 c.i.
Original Paxton centrifugal supercharger
Original Borg Warner T10 4-speed manual transmission
Original 3.73:1 Twin-Traction rear end
Power steering
Power disc brakes
AM radio
Excellent original body with perfect 'hog troughs'
One repaint in its correct Avanti Gold color
Fawn interior
Fitted with four custom made replica Bonneville Salt Flat High Speed spinner wheels with 'Firestone Firehawk Indy 500' tires as were on the original Indy 500 Avanti R2 Pace car for the 1962 race. The Gold color and wheels are correct for this period when the Avanti R2 broke and held the speed record for stock cars on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1962-63 and also for the 1962 Indy Honorary Pace Car.
The original steel wheels and hubcaps are included

1 of 1,883 total supercharged R2 models produced in 1963 and 1964
1 of fewer than 500 total factory 4-Speed R2 Avantis
The 1963 Avanti was the first American production car to have factory disc brakes
The Avanti was promoted as America's Most Advanced Car and was more expensive than a Corvette when new
Supercharged Avantis set 29 speed records at Bonneville when new

This R2 is all that was promised from South Bend in 1963 and more, beyond it having all of the right bits, its life in bone-dry climates proved very forgiving so those famous "hog troughs" which today look as good as the day they were installed in South Bend. The car has been completely gone through from end to end over the years to make it mechanically sound, rebuilding the original matching #'s engine and reboring it to 302 c.i. as a result of an .060 overbore (13 c.i.) @ 83,012 miles (mileage currently reads 83,349), replaced exhaust manifolds with NOS, install new stainless steel exhaust system with Dynomax mufflers, installed new fuel and water pumps, oil pressure hoses with fittings, clean & overhaul carb, R&R supercharger & install new pulley belts & new bearings, idler arm adjustor, steering box & system replaced, bell housing stripped & cleaned, braking and fuel systems, service rear differential, new clutch coupler, pivot arm & linkage, rod out & repair radiator, new vibrations dampers, new valve cover gaskets, all new window, door & trunk seals, new battery and more to make it perform to this level of perfection.

As a result, this R2s matching-numbers supercharged 289/290 HP R2 engine runs like a bear, and that rare T-10 4-speed competently sends all that boosted power to its Twin-Traction rear end with 3.73:1 gears. Combined with power steering and the aforementioned power disc brakes, it is really a fantastic car to enjoy with the added bonus of that Paxton blower soundtrack.

The 1963-64 Studebaker Avanti was amongst the most daring of 1960's American cars, a modern masterpiece which still seems contemporary today! Built with modern safety features such as a built in roll bar, padded interior and door latches that became structural body members when closed! A supercharged 289 V8 made the car the fastest cars built in its day with a top speed of over 168mph - a staggeringly fast speed for a production street car! Some 29 Bonneville speed records were set by a supercharged Avanti. This was also the first major fiberglass body four passenger car and also the first such car to use caliper style disc brakes and anti-sway bars front and rear. With only 3,834 Avanti models built in 1963 and even less, 809 in 1964, of which only 1,883 in total were the Supercharged R2 models, most of which were ordered with the automatic transmission with reportedly less than 500 of which were R2 Supercharged models factory ordered with the 4 speed manual transmission!

This car was to prove an instant collectible and has since reached certified 'Milestone Status'. Distinctive features abound such as a grille-less front end, asymmetrically placed hood bulge, shaped windows with large glass areas, a short rounded tail end, aircraft-like cockpit instrumentation and controls, slim section bucket seats and a padded roll bar.

To Studebaker's delight and not surprisingly, the public loved the car as it was both upscale and well equipped, although it sported a base price of $4,445 compared to the Corvette Sting Ray's $4,252. In the end, the main problem for the original Avanti, was the fact that the public knew that its parent company, Studebaker, was fast going out of business and therefore were reluctant to purchase their cars. Upon seeing it close its South Bend plant on December 20th 1963 and with the last 1964 Avanti having barely come off the production line, its fate was sealed. Studebaker moved production of its other models to Canada in 1965 and only Chevy engines were offered in 1965-66. The renown 'Studebaker Motor Company' which had been incorporated in 1968 and founded in 1852 as a wagon producer, sadly folded in March 1966.

In later years, being too good to let die, the Avanti model continued with Chevy Corvette V8's after two South Bend Studebaker dealers, Nate Altman and Leo Norman bought all the rights to the model, formed the 'Avanti Motor Company' and continued to hand-build the cars in an old Studebaker plant with the cars being known as 'Avanti II's. After Altman's death in the mid 1970's the Altman estate sold the operation to another entrepreneur in 1982, who continued the passion of building the car and so it was for years to come, until finally the recession of 1991 doomed the car to history.

This particular model is the most desirable R2 Supercharged 289 V8 with 289HP with this particular example very rare in many ways, especially with the now extraordinarily desirable and collectible and rarely ordered factory 'Borg Warner T10' 4 speed manual transmission; it has power steering (a $77 factory option!), power brakes, an electric clock, windshield wipers, AM Pushbutton radio, wheel covers, side mirrors and a heater and defroster.

This is a rare mostly all stock example, in its original 'Avanti Gold' color, owned for many years by only southern California owners and which had been sitting covered in climate controlled garages for many years. Its life in bone-dry climates proved very forgiving so those famous "hog troughs" which look as good as the day they were installed in South Bend. The original supercharged R2 engine itself is extremely strong and powerful and the 4 speed manual transmission shifts smoothly through all the gears, a simply lovely car to drive with virtually any conceivable preventive maintenance issue having already been attended to with service records available for turn-key peace of mind driving for many years to come.

This is a rare opportunity to own a very rare and internationally desirable 1963 legendary Studebaker Avanti R2 with it's original Paxton Supercharged engine matched to the highly desirable 4 speed manual transmission in the perfect classic Avanti color combination and condition for the most serious of collections!
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