1963 Avanti - R-1046
1963 STUDEBAKER AVANTI R-2
The beautiful AVANTI started life along with it's siblings at the Studebaker plant in south Bend in 1963. In 1996, I acquired it from Lancaster entrepreneur Jim Bunting who was the driving force behind the AVX, a modernized version of the AVANTI. Jim purchased the car from an individual in NJ. I do not have the history of the AVANTI prior to Jim's acquiring it. Jim had the car roll backed to Lancaster, PA where the restoration work was preformed. Not one to skimp in terms of a first rate restoration, Jim placed the car in the very capable hands of Abe Witmer of Witmer's Automotive in Ephrata, PA for a complete mechanical restoration. NO expense was spared as Abe either renewed or replaced all components of the car's systems essentially bring it back to showroom condition. A condensed listing of the major mechanical restoration follows. Jim Sinclair, another Lancaster County Studebaker expert was responsible for the exterior and interior restoration. From my perspective, this car is the cat's pajamas! It's absolutely beautiful. Known as a cremesicle because of the orange interior and crème exterior this car does what you'd expect an AVANTI to do. It starts right up, rumbles loudly thanks to the glass pack mufflers and drives beautifully. It doesn't meander down the road but tracks and brakes straight. The transmission shifts smoothly and the supercharger engages as it should Nothing is sweeter that the whine of the supercharged under acceleration which is snappy and exhilarating. The stock bias belted tires do as intended but they are not high performance radials which explains why so few of these beauties are left. A sixteen year old in the early sixties would have some trouble harnessing and controlling the horsepower the Studebaker engine produced. The glass, chrome and bright work are perfect. The gauges work as intended. On occasion the tach will fall off after a few minutes. The am radio with front and rear speaker works as an am radio should work. MECHANICAL RESTORATION
I was told the frame and hog troughs were in fine condition. The car uses high test gas! The heads were not modified to accept regular gas. This car was restored to 1963 standards . . . no special heads, no fancy sound system, no mag wheels, no radial tires. High test gasoline only! Imagine the car as it left the factory and that's what this car is! A new INTERSTATE battery and water pump were installed two years ago. A partial list of mechanical work: .20 Over pistons Main bearings Rod bearings Oil pump Front brakes SS front wheel cylinders New radiator Cooling fan clutch 2 Transmission bearings Transmission shift forks SS exhaust pipes and clamps Rear spring bushings Upper A arm bushings Lower A arm bushings King pin lower bushings Front and rear shocks Rebuild carburetor rebuild supercharger EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR RESTORATION This phase of the restoration was placed in the capable hands of Jim Sinclair, another AVANTI expert from Narvon (Lancaster County), Pa. Jim did the body work, and interior. The carpet is orange and black. It was recreated to the original colors by Armstrong World Industries who were at one point in time in the carpet business. This feat was accomplished by Jim Bunting. Original custom cut carpet mats are in a box. I used remnants. The trunk is also re-carpeted. The paint and body is in excellent condition. All panels appear to be correctly aligned. The trim and emblems are in excellent condition as is the chrome and bright work. A partial list of exterior and interior repairs/restoration: New hood latches Re-chrome bumpers Reupholster interior – seats, doors, trim New headliner New trunk liner New weather seals New scripts New antenna New wheel covers Door strikers Hood pins Steering column Headlight covers Outer rings WHAT”S WRONG . . .
The jack including base, tire iron and hold down mechanism are missing. The paint on the center console is lifting in a few spots (see photo). It's a small job but one which I will not tackle.
WHY AM I SELLING IT?
I am selling it reluctantly. I lusted after an AVANTI since my high school and college days. I have enjoyed the car 100% since I purchased it. The car is a beautiful piece of art to be admired standing still or going down the road. It's time to allow another Studebaker aficionado or museum an opportunity to enjoy this superb automobile. SHOW HISTORY
The Avanti has been shown locally on occasion. Each showing resulted in a trophy for either Best in Show, Best in Class or Peoples' Choice. I have not had it to Hershey or the recent Studebaker meets in PA. It did capture an award at the Lancaster County Art Association's Artistry in Motion show a few years ago. A BIT MORE HISTORY . . .
As Jim Bunting was creating the AVX he tapped the skills of AVANTI designer Tom Kellogg. I met Tom (see photo) at a photo shoot where the '63 Avanti was featured with the AVX prototype. Tom was standing between the cars. Tom did sign the firewall of the AVANTI but sadly did not use a waterproof marker. Tom's signature is long gone but his autograph is in a classic car book that I possess is beneath an AVANTI. Please see the build and inspection sheets along with the photos. As a point of information, the photos were taken within the last year or two. Some including the undercarriage were taken more recently. ABOUT THE RESERVE
This car isn't a run of the mill AVANTI. It has been professionally restored, driven sparingly during my ownership and exceptionally well maintained. LOF and safety checks were performed religiously. It isn't a trailer queen or king but could become one. The truth is I don't drive it enough. The reserve reflects the quality of the car. An internet search will show the price Avanti #63R-1004 brought at an Arizona auction. I'm confident this Avanti #63R-1049 would give #1004 a run for the money! Serious bidders are welcome to visit the car and bring their mechanic. The car is listed locally and in other formats. I reserve the right to end the auction at any time for any reason. There is no warranty with this car. It is being sold as is. If the reserve is realized a $1000.00 deposit by bank check or wire transfer to my bank account will be expected within 24 hours of the auction's end. The balance in a bank check or wire transfer will be required six days later and before possession of the car is taken. International buyers are welcome to bid but storage and shipping is TOTALLY up to you. I will assist as much as I can. North American buyers are responsible for shipping but I will try my best to assist you.