1. 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 Supercharged Coupe

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  31. 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 Supercharged Coupe

Lot Number
58
1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 Supercharged Coupe
Scottsdale Auction

Offered Without Reserve

ESTIMATE: $35,000 - $55,000
CHASSIS NO: 63R1012
• Shipped new to Studebaker’s Paxton Division
• Accompanied by copies of factory documents
• Single-family ownership and care since 1977
• Legendary R2 Paxton-supercharged V-8 engine
• Professionally restored during 2013 by McCabe Restorations
• Unqualified American performance and design legend

R2 289 cid V-8 engine, single four-barrel carburetor, Paxton centrifugal supercharger, 290 HP, three-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and radius rods, front disc and rear drum hydraulic brakes; wheelbase: 109”


By the close of the 1950s, the Studebaker-Packard Corporation was reeling from falling automobile sales but embarked on a bold campaign to reinvent itself when Sherwood Egbert assumed the company’s presidency in 1961. Immediately, he set to work with a two-pronged strategy, commissioning Brooks Stevens to update the existing models and enlisting Raymond Loewy Associates to design a sporty new Studebaker with show-car styling and high performance. Fittingly, the new Studebaker was dubbed “Avanti,” meaning “forward” in Italian. Given the tight timeframe for the project, Studebaker built the Avanti with a no-rust fiberglass body on a shortened Lark frame with handling tweaks. Since Egbert was an aviation enthusiast, the Avanti’s luxurious yet purposeful interior was designed similarly to that of an aircraft cockpit. The Avanti was built to perform with a complete line of high-performance engines ranging from the “R1” 240-horsepower 289 cubic-inch V-8. Famed racer and record holder Andy Granatelli developed several progressively more powerful versions for Studebaker, including the Paxton-supercharged “R2” with 290 rated horsepower. True to form, Granatelli proved the Avanti’s capabilities, setting dozens of speed records at Bonneville in late 1962, including a 158.14-mph flying mile blast with a stock but carefully tuned R2 Avanti.

While the Avanti generated intense demand as originally hoped upon release, relatively few were built before Avanti production ended and Studebaker’s ultimate demise came in 1966. Nonetheless, the Avanti was a bold gamble and remains one of the greatest American automobile designs conceived. According to Studebaker marque experts, only 3,834 Avantis were built for 1963. Precious few were built to the supercharged R2 specification of this fascinating example.

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana, this 1963 Avanti is accompanied by excellent documentation, including the Production Record Copy of the Passenger Car Production Order written on May 4, 1962. While first earmarked for export, this Avanti was completed one day ahead of schedule on June 14, 1962, according to a handwritten notation. Factory-finished in Avanti Gold, the car was further equipped with the R2 supercharged V-8 engine, floor-shifted automatic transmission, power steering, nylon-belted white sidewall tires, electric window lifts, and radio with antenna. According to the factory paperwork, the car was then diverted to Studebaker-Packard Corp. in Detroit on June 22, 1962. According to the factory IBM punch cards for the car, its first owner was, interestingly enough, Paxton Division, where Andy Granatelli served as company president.

The current family acquired the Avanti in April 1977 from California. Significant investments were made in the Avanti’s upkeep during their ownership, including nearly $22,000 in comprehensive mechanical work during 2002-2003. More recently, the consignor commissioned Skip McCabe at McCabe Auto Restoration in Mundelein, Illinois, to perform a bare-fiberglass strip and repaint of the body in its factory-specified Avanti Gold, plus interior restoration and other mechanical updates completed in 2013. Other desirable features and accompanying items include front seat belts, power steering, a Nardi ND Touring steering wheel, one original steel wheel, four original hubcaps, and a spare tire. Now showing approximately 68,500 miles of use, this rare and historic supercharged Avanti rolls on a period-appropriate set of American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels with a set of Pirelli P4000 radial tires for a great look and improved road holding. Service and restoration receipts, plus books/manuals, and the aforementioned document package from the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana accompany the Avanti’s sale at auction. The R2 is widely regarded as the most desirable model designation of the Studebaker Avanti and this well-cared for example stands at the ready for future enjoyment.

1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 Supercharged Coupe
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