Motor City

30 July 2016

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Lot 107

1963 Studebaker Avanti

  • Chassis no. 63R1908

Sold for $16,500


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.

  • 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


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.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more