Open Roads, Fall | Lot 2054
1964 Studebaker Avanti
$50,000 - $55,000 USD
| St. Louis, Missouri
11 - 20 November 2020
- One of just 809 1964 Avanti models built
- A very early square-headlamp example
- Avanti Turquoise over a black interior
- Options include floor-shift automatic transmission, Twin-Traction differential, power steering, and pushbutton radio
- Offered after a long period of ownership by a succession of dedicated Studebaker enthusiasts
Completed on 23 August 1963, this lovely Avanti R1 coupe is one of the first few production models equipped with the revised square headlight treatment introduced for the 1964 model year. Studebaker made several running changes between the 1963 and the final-run 1964 models, with the square headlight openings being one of the most noticeable differences. This car's mid-August production date coincides with the front-end styling changeover, and it is believed to be one of the first five or so Avantis with this revised design.
According to build records, this car left the South Bend, Indiana plant destined for Broadway Motors in Chicago, finished in Avanti Turquoise over black upholstery, as it is offered here. Rather fittingly for an Avanti, the first owner was reported to be a pilot for American Airlines. He later sold the car to a colleague, who then passed it to its first long-term owner. The fourth owner, an active member of the Studebaker Driver's Club, acquired the car in 1999; the bulk of the restoration work was performed during his tenure. Health problems forced its sale in 2013 to the most recent owner, also a dedicated Studebaker enthusiast. While in his care, the Avanti was extensively detailed and dialed-in to enjoy on the road or in club concours events.
Restored to the same specification as it left the factory, options present on R-5016 include a floor-shift automatic transmission, Twin-Traction (limited slip) differential, silent mufflers, power steering, pushbutton radio, electric washers, and sun band tinted windscreen. This Avanti now displays lovely paintwork, good fit of the fiberglass body, and factory-correct details. The Avanti's unique razor-edge chrome bumpers are in excellent condition, and the distinctive factory wheel covers are in place on factory steel wheels shod with proper narrow-whitewall BF Goodrich radials.
The same quality and attention to detail carry on in the aircraft-inspired four-seat cabin, looking sharp and sophisticated in all-black vinyl. The clear, easy to read instruments are positioned in a wraparound binnacle ahead of the driver, while the center console houses jetliner-style switchgear, HVAC controls, and the original AM radio.
Beneath the forward-hinged hood sits Studebaker's proven and powerful 289 cubic-inch V-8. With 240 horsepower on tap, it provides ample thrust to propel the Avanti along with ease. Detailing is excellent, with features including gleaming chrome-plated valve covers and air cleaner, along with period-correct labels, decals, and fittings. It displays a light patina that reflects its use and enjoyment while in the care of its previous owners.
Rare and attractive, this 1964 Avanti is an outstanding example of Studebaker's groundbreaking swansong GT car. Thanks to its fine quality restoration and many years of care in the hands of aficionados, it remains in superb condition and is certain to provide its new custodian many years of enjoyment on the road and in club events.