West Coast Classics are proud to present an exceptionally rare barn-fresh (garage really!) find of an all original southern California car 1964 Studebaker Avanti R2 Supercharged with its seemingly original 'Avanti Gold' color paint and very rare and desirable 4 speed manual transmission and factory options including power steering, AM Pushbutton radio, electric clock, heater and defroster and original 289 V8 Supercharged R2 Super Jet Thrust engine!
The 1963-64 Studebaker Avanti was amongst the most daring of 1960's American cars, a modern masterpiece which still seems contemporary today! Built with modern safety features such as a built in roll bar, padded interior and door latches that became structural body members when closed! A supercharged 289 V8 made the car one of the fastest cars built in its day with a top speed of over 168mph - a staggeringly fast speed for a production street car! Some 29 Bonneville speed records were set by a supercharged Avanti. This was also the first major fiberglass body four passenger car and also the first such car to use caliper style disc brakes and anti-sway bars front and rear. With only 3,834 models built in 1963 and even less, 809 in 1964, this car was to prove an instant collectible and has since reached certified 'Milestone Status'. Distinctive features abound such as a grille-less front end, asymmetrically placed hood bulge, shaped windows with large glass areas, a short rounded tail end, aircraft-like cockpit instrumentation and controls, slim section bucket seats and a padded roll bar.
To Studebaker's delight and not surprisingly, the public loved the car as it was both upscale and well equipped, although it sported a base price of $4,445 compared to the Corvette Sting Ray's $4,252. In the end, the main problem for the original Avanti, was the fact that the public knew that its parent company, Studebaker, was fast going out of business and therefore were reluctant to purchase their cars. Upon seeing it close its South Bend plant on December 20th 1963 and with the last 1964 Avanti having barely come off the production line, its fate was sealed. Studebaker moved production of its other models to Canada in 1965 and only Chevy engines were offered in 1965-66. The renown 'Studebaker Motor Company' which had been incorporated in 1968 and founded in 1852 as a wagon producer, sadly folded in March 1966.
In later years, being too good to let die, the Avanti model continued with Chevy Corvette V8's after two South Bend Studebaker dealers, Nate Altman and Leo Norman bought all the rights to the model, formed the 'Avanti Motor Company' and continued to hand-build the cars in an old Studebaker plant with the cars being known as 'Avanti II's. After Altman's death in the mid 1970's the Altman estate sold the operation to another entrepreneur in 1982, who continued the passion of building the car and so it was for years to come, until finally the recession of 1991 doomed the car to history.
This particular model is the most desirable 1964 R2 and very rare in many ways; firstly it is one of only 281 R2's Supercharged models built in 1964 and it has the round bezel headlamps like the 1963 models, rare for a '64 and 1 of only about 60 built like this, it is a rarely ordered 4 speed manual, it has power steering (a $77 factory option!), power brakes, an electric clock, windshield wipers, AM Pushbutton radio, wheel covers (only 3 available and sold with the car), side mirrors and a heater and defroster.
This is a rare mostly all stock example, owned for many years by one southern California owner and which had been sitting covered in his garage for many years. We recently purchased the car not running but were able to soon and easily have the car in turn-key ready driving condition.
Unfortunately the car has some significant cracks in the fiberglass (see photos below) where heavy boxes from the owner's garage had been stored on the cars body over the years but obviously the body has no rust and the floor boards and trunk area are also remarkably completely original, solid and rust free. Please note that the car also has many paint chips and scratches from its many years in storage. The car seems to have it's completely original interior apart from the front seats which must have been reupholstered at some point and the interior is in remarkably good condition throughout. The original supercharged R2 engine itself is extremely strong and powerful and the 4 speed manual transmission shifts smoothly through all the gears, a simply lovely car to drive.
This is a rare opportunity to own a very rare and internationally desirable 1964 legendary Studebaker Avanti with the highly desirable 4 speed manual transmission being offered with a very low reserve price! A perfect candidate for the Avanti enthusiast to be able to enjoy and drive whilst restoring or simply any American classic car collector!