Survivor: ’63 Avanti R1
On March 18, 1933, Studebaker entered receivership. The company had been struggling with its debts, exacerbated by the problems of the Great Depression, but would manage to make a resurgence. It would, however, be dogged by financial problems until its final demise in 1966. Sherwood Egbert arrived as Studebaker’s new president in 1961. Egbert’s halo car was the Avanti. While Brook Stevens was updating bread & butter models, Egbert recruited industrial designer Raymond Loewy who had considerable auto design experience. Egbert knew what the new car should look like. Loewy took Egbert’s vision and sequestered his highly talented team in a rented desert ranch house near Palm Springs. Loewy gave his men instructions that established the Avanti’s design theme, such as “Coke-shape a must” and “wedgy silhouette.” Egbert wasn’t a “car guy,” but knew a winner when he saw one. He was delighted with the car, and Studebaker’s board approved its construction just five weeks after Loewy’s team began work on it. No major American automaker had ever done a car so quickly. The Avanti was rushed into production making the decision to go fiberglass the only option.
While it did speed the Avanti into production, it also caused misery for the dealers as delay after delay resulted in cancelled orders. Today’s find is a 2-owner car purchased by the seller in 2008. It is nicely equipped with a solid lifter 289 cubic inch V8, 4-speed Borg-Warner manual transmission, factory air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, 3.73 limited slip rear axle. Everything appears to be very original however we must confess that we are not the authority on these beautiful cars. It just looks right to us and definitely Mint worthy. The asking price is $14,000 and that’s Hagerty condition 3 territory. Click here for the listing.