Lot 107

Motor City 2016

1963 Studebaker Avanti


$16,500 USD | Sold

United States | Plymouth, Michigan



Chassis No.
  • Offered from long-term ownership
  • A masterpiece of modern American design; “Studebaker’s Corvette”
  • Powerful 289 V-8 engine
  • An ideal local show and cruise-in car

240 bhp, 289 cu. in. OHV R1 V-8 engine, three-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with transverse-link suspension, and power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 109 in.

By 1963, Studebaker had not released a full new car design in 10 years. That year, however, it broke the mold with the introduction of a striking new sports coupe, the Avanti. The moribund automaker’s last gasp at innovation, it was the brainchild of Studebaker president Sherwood Egbert and was intended to be the company’s fiberglass competitor to the Corvette. Industrial designer Raymond Loewy’s team of stylists, working from a rental house in Palm Springs, California, turned out the design for the car in just six weeks. It sported smooth, modern lines, with a wedge-like appearance from the side and “Coke bottle” curves when viewed from above. A radiator air intake mounted under the front bumper gave the car an especially unique appearance, as it was the first American car since the 1936 Cord to not have a conventional radiator shell.

The Avanti represented a new class of American automobile, with sophisticated design, elegance, and power to spare. It did not, however, represent Studebaker’s sales salvation. After only two years of Avanti production, Studebaker left South Bend for the 1965 model year. The car was judged “too good to die” and was subsequently resurrected by a handful of businessmen, who together maintained it in production as the Avanti II until well into the 1990s.

The Avanti offered here was acquired by its late owner over 40 years ago and has been used and enjoyed in his ownership since, most frequently in local parades. Equipped with the 240-horsepower R1 engine and automatic transmission, it is a powerful and wonderful cruiser. The color scheme of Avanti White over an orange interior is a correct factory combination that is especially striking and iconic for this model, drawing much attention wherever the car goes.

Overall, this car would make an excellent driver for its fortunate new owner and would be a wonderful addition to any collection of iconic American performance automobiles.