1963 Studebaker Avanti R1
The Studebaker Avanti was produced by Studebaker Corporation in production years 1963 and 1964. The history of the car is fascinating; the Avanti’s design theme is the result of sketches Sherwood Egbert "doodled" on a jetplane flight west from Chicago 37 days after becoming president of Studebaker in February, 1961. The Avanti was designed on a 40 day crash program by Egbert and famed industrial designer Raymond Loewy and his design team. It used the existing Studebaker Lark convertible chassis with a modified Studebaker Hawk V8 engine. Everything else about the Avanti was model specific: complete fiberglass body, integrated roll cage and aircraft style switches.
It was hoped that the Avanti would save Studebaker. The company was in financial peril and needed a new automobile to draw the public into their showrooms. The Avanti did indeed get people into the showroom but early production problems and inability to ship enough cars to the dealers resulted in the Avanti program being shut down in 1964. By December of that year, Studebaker ceased production in the United States and two years later, shut their doors for good.
This Avanti is a product of the first model year which lasted a total of two years. In total, 4,647 Avantis were produced. This is a very original model with a naturally aspirated (R1) engine. The Avanti was Andy Granatelli’s favorite car and this one was signed by him shortly before his death in 2013; look at the glovebox and you will see his signature in pen. The Murphy Auto Museum is pleased to have two excellent examples, one from each production year, on loan to the museum.
Model: Avanti R1
Serial No: N/A
Engine Cyl: N/A
Engine Size: 289
Engine HP: 290