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1963 Studebaker Avanti
PowerShift AT, Air Conditioning, Power windows, Power Steering, Power Disk Brakes and Twin Traction. Serial number 63R4022-California Black plate car.
As some of you may know, I find nice Studebakers around the country, fix them up and find new homes for them on Ebay. I found this one sitting ignored for a year or more by its previous owner in California. I had my friend Sal trailer it home and in a few days it was running and driving as if it had been parked just that morning.
Be sure and follow the more pictures link at page bottom.
This is a good, honest, driver Avanti, nothing perfect, nothing really bad. The frame and hog troughs are as rock solid as you would expect on a car that spent its life in California. The nicest thing about this car is the air conditioning since a Avanti without air conditioning is a miserable ride once the temperature gets into the mid 80's and higher. The combination of very little air flow into the cockpit and the heat coming off the center console is simply too much in anything approaching hot weather without air.
The silver paint and interior are not Studebaker factory correct, but I think it's a nice improvement as are the later Avanti front buckets and added fog lamps. The paint looks better in the pictures than in real life and could use a good buffing to restore the shine. The interior shows some wear, but without any glaring flaws and the chrome is less then show perfect. The drivers vent window opens normally, but will not hold a open position, the passenger side is stiff, but works. Both vents are a easy enough fix, but with AC, they are seldom used anyway.
While not a trailer queen, is it not priced like one, it's in very nice overall condition, not perfect, just a very nice honest, clean Avanti. The engine compartment cleaned up nicely and the engine runs as nice as it looks.
I've often said: "There is nothing more expensive than a cheap Avanti", by which I meant choosing to buying a Avanti that needs everything, is false economy. By the time you repair rusty hog troughs or a frame, do the interior and the driveline, you'll have spent way more then our modest reserve just on repairs. Still, don't confuse the condition of this Avanti with the two exceptional Avantis I sold this month on ebay in the 30K range because it's not that kind of car. This car is perfect for someone that wants a presentable "driver" for half the money of a near perfect car. Sure, you could enjoy it while making it into a show car, but I'd just drive the wheels off it.
When Sal and I got the car, it had been sitting for a year or so and seldom driven in the previous few years. The more Sal drove it, the better it ran. He did some brake work, added some Freon to the AC and basically just checked it over. (The AC is blowing cold now, but we suspect a slow leak since it was down on Freon when we got the car.) The car is nice enough as it is, but it could use detailing, some regular driving and TLC. If it was mine to keep, I'd at least replate the front bumper ends, service the AC, fix the one power window, rebuild the carb, buff out the paint, maybe give her a tune up and the heck with the rest.
Here's Sal comments on the car:
"This Avanti is a very solid driver. It does have some small issues to make it more of a daily driver then a show piece, but it is complete as-is. The engine is sound and starts up without much trouble, but I think the carburetor needs a rebuild. When I got it, it had a flooding problem and I just cleaned up the needle and seats and solved that. I have tried to adjust the mixture screws, but have not had as much luck making it idle as smoothly as I would like to. Other than that, the engine does not seem to have any other troubles. The transmission shifts through all the gears normally, and handles the manual shifting nicely. I need to get under the car to check the rear u-joint. It feels like it has a little play when moving the lever from drive to reverse. It does not make any unusual noises, but I will change out the rear u-joint if necessary. The brakes are good, they stop the car straight and true.
All the gages work but the clock. The speedometer, tachometer, vacuum, fuel, ammeter, water temperature, oil pressure gages all work. The tach was a little lazy for a few days, but seems to be going well now. The dash pad is in good shape without tears or cracks. There is an AM/FM cassette player in the dash. I don't even remember what a cassette looks like. Maybe it would work best with an iPOD adapter. The upholstery is all very usable as it is, not perfect, but looks nice for a driver, no major tears anywhere. This car, by the way, has the Avanti II style high back bucket seats. They match the original style seats, but have the headrests built in. I, personally, like these better than the originals.
The tires are useable, but are starting to show some weather cracking. I would not put a lot of miles on them, before putting new ones on. They will serve well for the time being while the car is getting ready for regular daily use. The air conditioning works OK. I put a charge on the system and it blows cold for about a week or two. My friend tells me that the system just needs a good service to solve any leaks. All the glass is great without cracks. The only window defect is the drivers rear quarter glass. It has a couple of etched marks in it, almost as though someone scratched it with a diamond, but they are not that noticeable. The drivers side power window works, but the passenger side does not. I am trying to get that one done before the auction ends. I believe the car could use a set of shocks. I am going to do a front end alignment this week. It has a slight pull to the left, but not too bad. The paint is not as nice as the pictures show, but it is all one color, just a bit dull. If I were to keep the car, I would just shoot it with a clear coat and let it ride for a couple of years. It has a spare tire and jack in the trunk. "
I try and list all I know about a car I offer for sale, warts and all, big or small, rather then vague description that leads to a big surprise on delivery.
The reserve is under even the NADA low book value of $10,450(NADA here) for a 1963 Avanti with Air Conditioning and is based on our investment in the car, not its retail value.
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