West Coast Classics are proud to present an exceptionally rare barn-fresh (garage really!) find of an almost all original, apart from one repaint in it's original 'Avanti Red' color, a 1964 Studebaker Avanti R1 2 door coupe (1 of only 809 R1's built in 1964, last year of production) with rare factory options including power steering, 'Twin Traction' limited slip differential, tinted glass, pushbutton radio with rear speakers, electric clock, heater & defroster, center console with its original Borg Warner three speed automatic transmission and a floor shifter and it's original 289 V8 engine!
The original 1963 and 1964 Avantis came in $4,445 R-1, $4,655 R-2 and $5,665 R-3 forms and despite competition from Buicks Riviera and Fords Thunderbird, were considered Americas only true high-performance four-passenger luxury GTs. They have been considered screaming deals in the collector-car hobby for decades and their relative affordability is sure to diminish going forward as more people learn of their charms
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 is a rare mostly all stock example of one of the original and last year of the 289 V8 R1 Avanti's, with it's completely original interior, yes completely original, and only one repaint in it's original 'Avanti Red' color! It was originally sold in 1964 to it's original southern California owner with it's original owner's manual, original CA registrations, original window sticker and it has only 68,700 original miles. The car has reportedly, and obviously, always been garaged in a climate controlled storage. The car had been sitting covered in a garage for many years, being used only very infrequently, and always having obviously always been superbly maintained mechanically.
We purchased the car in this all original stock condition with a recent 'Excellence in Authenticity' award from the 'Avanti Owners Association' International Meet in 2018 and which required only a repaint due to the original paint's age and diminished quality. The engine has been professionally balanced and has new gaskets, seals and rings and drives absolutely beautifully. It has a stainless steel dual exhaust system and the original hog troughs are original and intact. Obviously, being a fiberglass car, the body has no rust and the floor boards and trunk area are also completely original, solid and rust free as are the hog troughs.
This is a rare opportunity to own a very rare (1 of only 809 built, with very few good examples remaining) and internationally desirable 1964 legendary Studebaker Avanti R1 in all original stock condition apart from one professional repaint in it's original factory 'Avanti Red' color! Few finer examples available anywhere and a great addition for any American classic car collector to add to their collection or obviously any Avanti enthusiast!