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Wheels in the Grass


’63-64 Studebaker Avanti, Wilson, N.Y.

Considering that only 4,643 of these were built for the 1963-64 model years, it’s a real coup to find a 1963 Studebaker Avanti (distinctive by its round headlight bezels) sitting in someone’s driveway. Just head up the RobMo Parkway a bit, make a couple of turns, and there it is in Wilson, N.Y. One reason it has held up is the fiberglass body, which certainly helps in this part of the world. Avantis were powered by supercharged 289 cu-in engines of either 240- or 290 hp.  Problems with the fiberglass delayed production to the point that many potential buyers gave up waiting. A little more patience on the part of Studebaker, and they’d have introduced the Avanti when it was actually ready to go to market; as it turned out, it was just another nail in the coffin, as the last Studebakers, which were all Larks even though the Lark name had been dropped, were built in Hamilton, Ontario for the 1966 model year. A couple of Studebaker dealers revived the Avanti independently in 1965 as the Avanti II. Only 462 were produced from 1965 thru 1970, and they started at $7,500 (the Studes were in the $4,400 range), but could be optioned up to over $25,000.
— Jim Corbran, You Auto Know

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  • I sure hope someone sees your posting and goes out and ‘saves’ that Avanti. They are too rare to let go like this.
    I have a ’63 R2 (that means with a stock factory Paxton Superhcargher), a rare black on black model, and it gets a lot of attention and the occasional trophy at car shows and cruise nights here in Ventura Co., Calif, just north west of Los Angeles. Any more info on the Avanti? Was it abandoned?