Bob's Studebaker Resource Website

Studebaker R3 Avanti R-5089

Pics 2007

(Dec 2007)
My car (R5089) was bought new in Downers Grove Illinois. It was the first one ordered and the third delivered. Egbert and Loewy used to run around in it and they made improvements. This is the first "thick back "seat car. The second owner was John Shanahan and the third was Mark Dahl who sold it to me and my son.

R-5089 still has its original engine.

Powershift with a 4:55 axle

It is out of the car and the short block has been rebuilt by AUTO MACHINE in St.Charles IL., by the same company that did Ron Hall's engines.
This car has only 43.000 miles and had a Buick engine installed at one time. Jim Pepper had the original block and graciously sold it to me.

Robert Kapteyn
(SDC Forum)

Ad from Turning Wheels January 1985

My interest is I was 3rd owner of Avanti R5089 in 1973. When I bought it the 2nd owner had pulled the R3 and installed a GM 454 V8 that was actually 460 CID from a C Gas dragster

Eventually after we got it running the car could not be driven on the street for many reasons, overheating, steering faults because of engine size and simply too much torque because the GM idled at 1800 RPM!

I sold the GM engine and bought back the R3 (R3-SH320) from another party who had bought it from the hotrod shop, it had many problems from sitting in Chicago weather outside for 6 years and elected I to use the crank and pistons in another RS block and had it rebuilty in (the) South Bend (Factory Speed Shop..another story) and installed it in R5089 again. I never got to drive the car, I sold it to the late Marc Dahl, he sold it to Bob Kapteyn who owns it now (It has not been driveable since 1973!) . Bob has recently re-restored R3-SH320 and plans to put R5089 (The first factory R3 Avanti) back together someday.
/John Shanahan/

From SDC Forum ( June 2013) R-5089
(1973, with GM 460 engine)


In 1970 I bought the first R3 powered Avanti #5089 which at that time had a Chevrolet 460 CID V8 engine. I had previously bought the original R3 engine (R3SH320) a few years prior. Part way into the job of reinstalling the R3 in 5089 it became necessary to sell the car to a friend Mark Dahl. The story was featured in AOAI NL#26 in 1975. Attached are some photos of 5089 with the GM engine and then the reinstallation of the R3.

///John SHanahan///

May 22, 1971


The previous post about the 5089 Chevrolet engine had an error in engine size, the engine was a 427 CID V8 .060 oversize (Not 460 CID, that was a Ford engine size). I sold the engine for $350 to a Chevy drag racer enthusiast who at the good price agreed to remove it from the Avanti at his shop. This was all before selling the Avanti to Mark Dahl in Sept, 1974.
The photo here (above) is of the Avanti being returned to me with no engine, note how high the fender is above the front wheel.

Another item to correct is I was not the first owner of Avanti 5089, The previous owner I bought it from was a Frank Kopis who sold the car because it had an electrical fault from the Chevy engine installation he couldn't repair. I bought it from Kopis in May, 1971 and the attached photo shows the car with drivers door off and seats removed as bought.
///John Shanahan///