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Selling on Friday

1963 Studebaker Avanti

  • The engine and Paxton supercharger are currently inoperable
  • A resident of two large automotive museums
  • First-year, iconic styling
  • Aqua Metallic color and trim selection

VIN: 63RQ1885

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In the early 1960s, Studebaker's President Sherwood Egbert was desperate for something that would draw attention to one of America's last true independent automakers. His idea was to create a fiberglass-bodied sports coupe to compete with Corvette. Studebaker did have a performance model with the Gran Turismos, and they were a force to be reckoned with on the street or the strip, but still, outdated styling limited this early muscle car's appeal. To come up with this new car, Egbert sent Raymond Loewy's design team to Palm Springs, California where they held up in a house to concentrate on this new car. A month and a half later, a masterpiece on wheels had been created, the Avanti. It was one of the first cars to use the "Coke bottle" curve that other muscle cars would employ in the late 1960s. On the ground, its design presented a smooth wedge-like silhouette. Under the hood was Studebaker's well-proven 289-cubic-inch V-8. In its base "R1" configuration, with a single four-barrel carburetor, it was rated at a respectable 240 horsepower.

Studebaker might have been a little independent company from South Bend, but they understood performance. And with the R2 set-up, which added a Paxton supercharger to the mix, the advertised horsepower was increased to 289, but some pundits of the day said that was a bit on the conservative side. Avanti quickly proved itself when the President of Paxton Products, Andy Granatelli, took a specially prepared Avanti to the Bonneville Salt Flats where he proceeded to break 29 USAC land-speed records which were dutifully recorded, and several are still standing to this day. He extolled the handling and control features of the Avanti and backed up his praise when he took three passengers including members of the press with him on a test run, exceeding 170 mph. Even with the beautiful design, powerful engine, excellent engineering, and record-setting performance, Studebaker's automotive concerns could not be saved.

Hailing from a Florida-based automobile museum is this Aqua Metallic 1963 Studebaker Avanti, which was acquired from a significant automobile collection located on the East Coast where it sat stagnant for multiple years. It is equipped with its 6,000 RPM tachometer and original 140-MPH speedometer as well as its accessory Craig Powerplay FM stereo player, heater-defroster, and power-operated windows. It retains its original 289 V-8 engine, as well as its factory-installed Paxton supercharger, which are currently inoperable and in need of mechanical restoration. Worth noting, the engine bay and supercharger show surface rust. The interior is finished with cream leather upholstery which shows wear. With interest only growing in these Avanti coupes, and fewer than 4,500 ever produced, this car presents a rare opportunity to breathe life back into a sought-after supercharged example.

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