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63 Avanti restoration

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  • 63 Avanti restoration

    So I just joined this forum but am glad to find some place that has people that can answer my questions. So my Dad has a 1963 Studebaker Avanti that hasn't run in about 15 years in our garage. I live in the San Fernando Valley and have 2 questions.
    1) does anyone know of a good shop nearby that knows what they're doing that could help me restore it?
    2) Anybody have any idea how much a restoration on a car like this would cost? Being that my mechanical skill are extremely limited I'll have to pay someone one to do pretty much everything.

    Thanks for the help

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum and if you don't have deep pockets lined with green you had better start learning how to do it your self. You will get much satisfaction and the car might be running and not to drive you to the poor house. The only two guys that were into Avantis around the valley area are either dead or gone. The dead one is Virgil Rice the other, Bob Patton of Le Concourse has moved back to Ohio or thereabouts.


    • #3
      I actually started the same project over the past summer, and has been full of learning. I had no prior knowledge of cars before this. If you have the time, I personally recommend doing as much as you can on your own, as I said before it is a good learning experience. Keep at it and don't lose hope, it will be a long journey.

      63 R2 Avanti
      Northport, NY


      • #4
        Titan, I am refreshing my 63 Avanti that had not been run in 15 years and not out of the garage in 30. The engine did not run, no brakes at all, and no battery, etc, etc. It looked so sad in the garage, so I just had to take it to rescue it from a slow downhill slide. You can read my adventures at

        I would come up with a plan to go over each of the major systems, and figure out how to tackle each one in series or in a specific sequence. There is nothing worse that having ten balls in the air and not making progress on any of them. I would start with the brakes, you can always go, you cannot always stop. Better to be safe.

        Good luck and keep us posted. John

        1963 Avanti R2
        1963 Avanti R2
        Marshall, VA


        • #5
          Check out th Los Angeles Chapter of S.D.C. They are primarily located in the San Fernando Valley and can help you the most on locating mechanical resources in your area. Join S.D.C. if not already a member and get the finest monthly magazine with all things Studebaker.


          • #6
            Well, if it hasn't been run in 15 years and is stored in the garage, it may not be in too bad of shape, depending on the condition prior to the hibernation.

            First, you may wish to take some photos and post them of say, the engine compartment, interior, exterior and the hog trough area.

            Can you see any rust on the frame anywhere? On the wheels?

            To start with, the brake system would have to be gone through completely with new linings, pads, brake hoses, and new fluid at minimum. Probably, it will need the wheel cylinders, calipers and master cylinder rebuilt or replaced. And all of the wheel bearings will need to be cleaned, inspected, and repacked, if serviceable. And new wheel seals. And the power brake unit will need to be checked - which leads to vacuum hoses ...

            And I'm sure it needs tires.

            If you can do all of that work yourself, plan on around $1K or more just to get the car to stop properly. ( You may be able to get functionality cheaper, but I wouldn't trust it on the road without replacing everything that is not fully serviceable). A brake failure is not something that you need to experience in a lifetime.

            My plan would be to see if it will run. If not, why not. And the answer to that question will lead to alot more questions. If it has a sound engine that will start and run properly, then you must do the breaks before you drive the car.

            Make it run, make it stop, make it run properly, then make it look nice. (and I left out lots of minor points, like the cooling system, belts, hoses, radiator flush/recore, water pump replacement ...

            You can easily put $20,000 - $30,000 into an Avanti without paying someone else to perform the work.

            Ah, but then you can easily sell it for $12K-$15K

            63 Avanti R2, 4-Speed, 3.73 TT
            Martinez, CA


            • #7
              Hi, Titan,

              I bought an Avanti last winter and have taken it apart for a frame-off restoration. I have never done anything like this before and have average mechanical skills. I promise you that two things will surprise you. First, how you can figure out most things with a shop manual and elbow grease, and second, how much it costs to have somebody else do basic labor.

              The guys on this forum are fantastic and can answer 99% of your questions.



              • #8
                Talk to Studebaker Parts and Service in Long Beach, Ca. Bill Oliver 1440 W. 14th St. Long Beach, Ca. 90813 562-435-3782 or 800-264-5275

                Bob Peterson / C & B Studebakers

                Castro Valley, CA
                Castro Valley,


                • #9
                  Welcome to the world of Avanti restoration. I finished a 5 1/2 year total restoration on my brothers 63 R2 this past summer. His car needed virtually everything rebuilt , replaced, or restored. He footed the bills, and I furnished the free labor. The finished car is gorgeous, runs great, and scored 388 points at the zone meet in August. The dollar figures my brother invested are well into the 20,000's, and I have no idea about the hours of my time. I have a long background in automotive repair, which helps a whole bunch, but I believe anyone can accomplish a LOT of the necessary work on their own with the shop manuals and a lot of patience. The job will always relate to the dollars invested, but it will depend on how "perfect" you want the car to be. Good luck, the effort is worth it in my opinion. B.V.


                  • #10
                    remember men put these cars together so with a little help from books and a few friends you can learn to work on your car. Paint may be the one thing that's farmed out but you can learn brakes and some basics (electrics etc) With a little practical work and advice from this forum you'll learn lots. good luck. If you can read you can do most anything.


                    • #11
                      I can't thank you enough for the help. Not a day goes by that I don't think about how much I want that car restored. We actually ran into one on a lot in St. George, UT when we were visiting me grandparents in december. It was gorgeous, great restoration job. I wish I had the time to put into working on this thing but I just don't think it'll happen, but hey you never know. Hopefully I can figure out financially how to make this thing work out.


                      • #12
                        I am new to Studebaker but I have done several cars and I have done most of the work myself. It is very easy to spend $20,000 to $30,000 and take 2-? years to complete the work. Good Luck