American oddball: 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2

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“What am I looking at, exactly?” It is the phrase that most often comes to the mind of anyone who observes this car for the first time, one of the most innovative cars of the 1960s in general, and certainly the most innovative car of the American car industry of those years.

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We ourselves have often seen this car in photos, very rarely in flesh and blood, but we have never focused on its details and its history. Let’s start with the design of the fiberglass bodywork: it is the result of Raymond Loewy’s pencil, and therefore we do not need to add anything else: look at these lines and think that these is a 1963 car! The chassis is the same as for the Studebaker Lark. The engine instead, in the R2 version, is an V8 289 c.i. fed by a Paxton supercharger (at the time owned by the same Studebaker): the package produces 289 hp; this power per cubic inch was a remarkable achievement for an American car from the early 1960s. It is said that only 500 R2 with manual gearbox have been built.

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In addition to innovative external lines (you love or hate them) and a supercharged engine, the car has very beautiful interiors, characterized by the refinement of details and by the reference to the aeroautics tradition. The car presented here is a beautiful specimen in the color “Avanti Gold” and equipped with its engine, the wheels instead are of the “Halibrand” type. The interiors are good (pity they do not have a color in contrast with the bodywork), the floors are solid and the engine bay is very clean. Find it for sale at $59,500 here in Torrance, CA.

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