Bob's Studebaker Resource Website

1963 Studebaker Avanti R-5643
The last Studebaker Avanti built in South Bend

On December 9, 1963, the Studebaker Corporation announced the cessation of automobile production in the United States.

The last Studebaker assembled was an R3 Avanti, serial 64R5643 on 12/31/63.

R5643 is an original R3. The order was written on 10-7-63 and the final assembly date was between 12/26/63 and 12/31/63.
R5643 was built with manual steering and the quick steering ratio.

It is in the Crawford Museum in Cleveland, OH, and has less than 10K miles. It was donated by former Studebaker dealer Joe Erdelac (now deceased). In 1975 he tried to sell the car for $100K (!), which made Cleveland TV and newspapers. There was a handwritten note in the trunk of the car that said something like "This is the last Studebaker Avanti built, 12/31/63, Happy New Year" and was signed by an employee with his badge number as well.
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    Mar 2005

    "The Illustrated Studebaker Buyer's Guide" lists R5642 & R5643 as the "final production Avantis". These were two of the nine R3's made. They actually repeat that R5643 was the last car, three times!
    The guide also says that there were at least five engineering prototypes, Ex2942 and EX2944 to EX2947. Those last four were given serial #'s R5650 to R5653.

    So, as many as ten more cars may have been put together after production.

    Issue 11, Spring '99, of "Jet Thrust News", says R5643 was in the Crawford Museum, Cleveland, Ohio. It had 6500 miles, and was all original. It was Joe Erdelac's car, white with black interior and auto trans, originally delivered to a dealer (Erdelac) in Jackson, MS.
    Mike M.

    There's an eight page article in the Dec. '86 issue of "Special Interest Autos", ( available from SI?), about R5642. It says R5642 and R5643 had final assembly dates of Dec. 26, 1963. R5642 was shipped Jan. 14.
    (Apr 2006)
    Avanti #1001 and the "last" Avanti sold (#5 of the so called Engineering cars left over at the SB factory) were both located and purchased by Gary johnson (Northwest Avanti) for a local Dentist, who recently donated both cars the the Harold E. LeMay Auto Museum.

    Some more info on the dealership where the last Avanti was sold. Orignally McLaurin Sales & Company, I think changed to Jackson Studebaker in the end. Some R-3 engines were also shipped to Jackson, Miss. Back in late 60's I was talking to a local repair shop owner & he talked about some Stude R-3 engines.The head Stude mechanic at the dealership raced Studes at the local drag strip. He may have used them in his cars. The one time I went to the drags in the late fifties I saw him beat a Chevy with a 53 or 54 Stude & that was after the hood came loose & hit the windshield.
    John #5534