No announcement yet.

Restoring a 1963 R2 Avanti

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #46
    I've owned my 64 Avanti since 1993. Before it, a 1963 GT Hawk R-2 four-speed, 1960 Lark 259 V-8 and a 1966 Cruiser. I drove it everyday to get the bugs worked out. It took six months, and it was a nice car from the Witmer brothers in PA!

    I don't agree with the link to the Slate article linked here, but it's an interesting prespective from someone that has never owned an old car -

    So a 1963 Avanti isn't the equal of a Honda Civic??? News flash - a 1963 RCA color television isn't as good as a modern TV, and a 1963 Boeing 707 isn't as safe as a 2009 Boeing 777...but driving an Avanti (or any Studebaker) is for someone with at least some mechanical ability; this guy apparently has none.

    You have quite a project. I don't want to discourage your idea of driving this car everyday, but be prepared for a steep learning curve! But I am a self-taught shade tree mechanic, and I have over 100,000 miles in Studebakers in 20 years, with only one breakdown...Russ Farris
    1963 GT Hawk R-2 4-speed
    1964 Avanti R-1 Auto


    • #47
      Ok.I am starting on the interior, today, So far I cleaned the vinyl with Simple Green. And also had to rip out the carpet, because it was deteriorating. I will Post some pictures in a little bit.


      • #48
        If the car is to be a driver, I would seriously consider a good heat shield/insulation barrier on the front floorboard/firewall/console area. Not bad in the winter, but it gets pretty warm in mine in the summer. Thinner is better, but more expensive if you want the high performance stuff. Trim it back where the carpet fits under trim panels if it's very thick. Much easier to install before the new carpet goes in.


        ____1966 Avanti II RQA 0088_______________1963 Avanti R2 63R3152____________Rabid Snail Racing
        Often in error, never in doubt

        ____1966 Avanti II RQA 0088_______________1963 Avanti R2 63R3152____________


        • #49
          So I had to replace the battery. With the old battery, only the lights and horn worked. Now with the new one the fan turn and the engine sounds like it is about to turn over.


          • #50
            {Day 3} Here are some more pictures...Nothing much.Tomorrow I plan on doing some electrical under the hood and throughout the car.


            • #51
              Looking a whole lot better Rick!! Keep us up-to-date with more pics......

              Winston-Salem, NC
              Visit The NEW Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:
              Winston-Salem, NC
              Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:


              • #52
                what size tire does this take?


                • #53
                  Looking GOOD!! Be sure to give the interior time to dry out.
                  Fiberglass has the tendency to hold moisture, which can cause
                  problems you don't want. Also, if the seats are still out it
                  would be a good time to check the hoses and wiring behind the
                  dash. The shop manual should provide you with 95% of what you
                  need to know, and the forum anything else. You might want to
                  think about the blanket for the floor, this would be a good
                  time to install it. Keep up the good work.


                  • #54
                    Your car probably left the factory with 6.70 X 15 tires,
                    which were tall and skinny, and I can't think of a single
                    reason to use that size tire. You will get lots of ideas
                    from other members but you might want to look at 16 inch
                    wheels. You can use a wider, lower profile tire which
                    would be a better choice for a driver. Be aware of the
                    fact that a new tire with an identical diameter will not
                    screw up your gear ratio, speedometer, or odometer.


                    • #55
                      Congratulations on your Avanti . What ever you decide to do with it, first and foremost, enjoy what you are doing and have fun with it. Otherwise why bother?
                      Regarding better fuel mileage...there are several ways to achieve this.

                      Reduce weight

                      Reduce friction

                      reduce speed

                      Bez Auto Alchemy

                      Bez Auto Alchemy

                      "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln


                      • #56
                        Lots of good advice. You have started out the same way I do - clean it up! You might even want to clean up the interior a second time, mold can be a tough opponent.

                        So I'm adding up all the clues:
                        1) Uncle's car, he still a member (hopefully of both the SDC and AOAI).
                        2) Last driven in 2005.
                        3) It is your summer project.
                        4) It will be your daily driver when done.
                        5) You are tool limited.
                        6) Concerns about fuel mileage.

                        Are you a young guy? - and your uncle said he'll pay for all the parts if you can fix it you can drive it?


                        Long time hot rodder
                        Packrat junk collector
                        '63 Avanti R2 4 speed


                        • #57
                          @bezhawk and whomever I want to do other things to it, like install a new radio and antenna system, fix the speakers. Put electric windows, a small hood scoop to let some air out. DO you have any useful information on these topics.?
                          @Thomas, you almost got it.I am paying for some of this too.


                          • #58
                            Oh yeah, I almost missed the other young guy clue: the "need" for a modern stereo my guess is this is the part your uncle is NOT paying for.

                            Actually I think its cool (I tried the word "*****in", but the word police don't like certain car guy adjectives that start with a "b") to have a young guy involved in bringing an Avanti back to road ready duty. One of the things that some of us wonder about is if the next generation will care for these cars the way we do - your summer project answers that question.

                            It makes it easier for the rest of us to help you knowing that we are dealing with a young buck full of ambition - because then we have a better idea of your perspective.

                            I would suggest that any modernization you do be the easily reversible variety - with time you may appreciate more of the vintage style and look.

                            The center console area under the dash has space for a compact sub woofer and other sound system electronics (air conditioned Avantis can forget about this). You will need to be creative - and you may find inspiration from vintage lowrider enthusiats. I have seen some "stock" looking dashboards on early '60's Chevy lowriders that had cleverly engineered in complete high end stereos. You are also in luck because of the Avanti trunk design and large rear package tray should allow for an impressive speaker box system. Just replace the rear package shelf with a fabric that lets your sound system come through. Avoid the temptation to stick speakers in the doors - this is a poor location for speakers on an Avanti.

                            For power windows you will probably want to avoid converting to to the factory power windows ( a tough system for even the die hard enthusiasts) - instead you might want to try using a universal Electric Life kit.

                            The Avanti body shape doesn't work well with hood scoops of any shape and size. If you were to have a cooling problem (my stock R2 can bomb through the California desert at 75 mph with no cooling issues), then you could fabricate simple hood stand-offs that allow the rear of the hood to latch while leaving the rear of the hood raised an inch or so. You would be BETTER served to locate and fix any cooling system issues through standard diagnostics and repairs.

                            Be patient, ask lots of questions, and we'll all enjoy it more with a continuing pictorial as you make progress.


                            Long time hot rodder
                            Packrat junk collector
                            '63 Avanti R2 4 speed


                            • #59
                              Is it possible to put in air bags?


                              • #60
                                Not legally.

                                quote:Originally posted by rickburgen

                                Is it possible to put in air bags?
                                HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)


                                Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

                                Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)