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Avanti: restore or not to restore

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  • Avanti: restore or not to restore

    Have a few questions regarding the 1963 Avanti. I know everyone has their own opinions so I'm looking for both input and answers....

    In my search for a 63 avanti over the last few years my findings have been slim..

    Is it worth the wait to continue my search for a driveable/show able avanti or should I dive into a project avanti which so many people say is a disaster waiting to happen?

    What is the availability on 63 avanti parts? I found some on eBay and miscellaneous sites, but is there enough sources out there to restore an avanti?

    Are there special tools needed when pulling the body from the frame on a car that has frame/torque box issues?

    What does it cost to have the dash redone and why do so many people dread a cracked dash or having it replaced?

    I know I can handle the mechanical end of the car, and I have a friend that runs a business and has the ability to do frame work but it would still leave me with interior, body/paint work to be sourced out.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one that has these questions but just trying to gather more info on my end and clarify some points before I choose one way or the other.

  • #2
    The consensus of opinion seems to be, that sure it is ALL very doable, the Parts and Pieces can be found but it's all about the outrageous, never to be recouped COST! $$$$$$$$$$$$$

    I believe that IF, you can find one done right, and to YOUR taste, it is MUCH cheaper.
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner


    • #3
      Buy the best one that you can afford (unless you are just looking for a long term, expensive project).
      Gary L.
      Wappinger, NY

      SDC member since 1968
      Studebaker enthusiast much longer


      • #4
        Buy a rough condition Avanti and try to fix it up? Don't you do it!!! It's much better to buy a $35-40k '63-64 R2 in excellent condition and be done with it. If you buy a $10k Avanti, you'll spend $25-30K and lots of grief to make it into a nice car. Look for a nice low mileage '64 R2 with a 4-speed (rare) and pay thru the snout for it. You'll be glad you did.
        \'63 Avanti
        \'66 Commander


        • #5
          I believe Edwin (edpjr) has been there, done that, so should have some experience with a quickly dwindling Wallet!

          HOWEVER, having said that... There is definitely a Lot to be said for doing the most you can yourself if you can.
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner


          • #6
            Depends on what you will be happy with. Do you just love the design? Or must it be the whole package, that is exactly as it was in 1963. Like any old car, the costs to make it "better than new" are high. Although I love mine, I have no desire to create a museum piece. I think every one seems to think it's more expensive to do an Avanti than a 57 Golden Hawk--not so--neither is doing a 63 split window corvette. It is easier to find the Vette parts, and when done you'll have a much higher value car. The relationship in cost, verses finished value isn't there on any restoration, and maybe less so on an Avanti. The real problem is the minimal suppliers left for Avanti only parts. Reproduction Avanti only parts are scarce and there really is too small a market to make them and not loose money. Putting new hog troughs on is as doable as putting them on a C/K or Lark, but at least the floors will be there. 63 round headlite parts are the hardest to find, the rest of the body parts pretty easy- new NOS, repro, used. Some of the interior chrome is hard to find, but as the saying goes, how much are you willing to spend for your desire, and how long do you want to wait. Right now you can find some for 10,15,20,25,30,40, even $50K drive it home and resell it for 1/2 what you paid! Your money, your choice.
            Last edited by karterfred88; 03-08-2016, 10:11 PM.


            • #7
              It has to be a labor of'll never get all your money back...been there, dune that! (But it's fun!)
              Lou Van Anne
              62 Champ
              64 R2 GT Hawk
              79 Avanti II


              • #8
                No such thing as a cheap Avanti. Spend the money and get a nice one. By the way, the dash you can have rebuild at Just Dashes. Prepare to spend around $1250...
                Tom - Bradenton, FL

                1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
                1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD


                • #9
                  Sounds like the best thing to do is this: take all the un - restored Avantis and PART THEM OUT ! if no One is supposed to spend to much Money on an Avanti,then how is One gonna find one already restored "so They don't have to be the One spending the Money,Who ever They is". I wonder how many here really do this for the love of Studebaker,or push a Pen,manipulate a Calculator for Investment purposes. I'm content being in this for the Fun Factor,and when the time comes to sell "if it comes to that" I've already come to terms that My Entertainment came with a Price.

                  Yours Truely,: THE STUDEBAKER INVESTMENT CLUB
                  Joseph R. Zeiger


                  • #10
                    Well said Joe!
                    As for the expense CHEAP Avanti, here is the one I bought last year for $7500, with 77.000 miles on it. 64 R2, auto.
                    All I am going to do is lift the body from the frame, recondition the running gear and put the body back on, it has a decent interior in it, the paint is fair. Should all be back on the road for under 25K all up. They say that an Avanti is expensive to restore, well try a Packard Hawk or a Golden. It all comes down to what you are happy with.

                    Brian Greenall
                    Melbourne, OZ


                    • #11
                      I agree with karterfred and packardhawk. Avantis really do not cost much more to restore that any other car. If you are restoring, try to get one with all the parts present as that will cut down the time and expense chasing the hard to find pieces. FWIW, I have restored several Avantis and the most expensive one I have is a R1 4 spd that I have invested about $28,000 - including the $13,000 purchase. I have purchased several more rough Avantis for around $2,000 with less than $20,000 invested in the restoration effort. Keep in mind that I do all my own work, so labor is not included in the investment costs.

                      I am currently trying to restore a 56 GH and a 55 Speedster. Try coming out ahead on those!!!

                      If you want an Avanti, stay with the Stude versions. The Avanti IIs and later are worth about half as much; for no good reason as in many respects they are a much better car.
                      78 Avanti RQB 2792
                      64 Avanti R1 R5408
                      63 Avanti R1 R4551
                      63 Avanti R1 R2281
                      62 GT Hawk V15949
                      56 GH 6032504
                      56 GH 6032588
                      55 Speedster 7160047
                      55 Speedster 7165279


                      • #12
                        I, for one, believe that any Avanti that can be saved should be saved. I also know that makes no economic sense...the cost/benefit ratio is simply not there. I also recognize we need donor cars to keep other Avantis on the road.

                        We see and rebuild Avantis for the love of the car, not because we expect a financial reward down the road. It's sad...the Avanti has everything going for pedigree, performance, timelessness, exclusivity...everything but value in the market.
                        Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.


                        • #13
                          What you have seen in answer to your question is, for the most part, on target. I did a frame off restoration of a much abused 63 R2 4 speed but it had an interesting history and I am a Studebaker fan. It was a bad investment in dollars but a good investment in satisfaction at having something that represents a truly great car restored the way I want. Parts are hard to find and expensive and since completing my car, I understand that SI no longer has the replacement dash (it alone was $500, years ago) nor some of the side window seals. Economy of scale is a problem with Avanti reproduction parts. I would say buy one that is within your budget that does not require "restoration", but have an expert assure you that the frame, sub floor, supercharger, unique parts, and electrical grounding are things that you would not have to deal with. Ken, normally in Deltaville, Va

                          add glass to the things you "would not have to deal with", rubber gaskets are available but not sure about front and back glass to match original PPG.
                          Last edited by ken-renda; 03-09-2016, 09:38 AM.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by packardHawk58 View Post
                            Well said Joe!
                            As for the expense CHEAP Avanti, here is the one I bought last year for $7500, with 77.000 miles on it. 64 R2, auto.
                            All I am going to do is lift the body from the frame, recondition the running gear and put the body back on, it has a decent interior in it, the paint is fair. Should all be back on the road for under 25K all up. They say that an Avanti is expensive to restore, well try a Packard Hawk or a Golden. It all comes down to what you are happy with.

                            Nice find!! I spent twice as much for 1/2 as nice.


                            • #15
                              Avanti are only expensive in the CASO context. Yes, some Avanti interior parts are somewhat expensive, but at least they're still available. Compared to many truly rare cars, the Avanti is just another '51-66 Stude, so most mechanical parts are thick on the ground and dirt-cheap. Since the Avanti is mechanically the same as most any Stude, it's agricultural in its simplicity and ease of disassembly and reassembly. Compare the cost of a rebuilt R1 engine with that of a '63 Jaguar XKE/Ferrari/Maserati/Lamborghini. If one wants a really nice Avanti, it can be restored to perfection for less than the entry price for any '63 Corvette or Jaguar XKE. Of course, it will still be less than the cost of that '63 Corvette or Jaguar XKE when it comes time to sell.

                              Bottom line - I'd never count up the cost of any hobby. If it's interesting and fun and one can afford it, don't look at the ROI. I've got a friend who's a retired and a golfer. Annually, he spends more than the cost of a restored Avanti on golfing trips to Hawaii, Scotland, Augusta, Pebble Beach and so on. What's he going to get back on the hobby cost when he goes to sell those?

                              jack vines