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1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 / Information Needed


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Long story.. My best friend in the world passed away a couple of years ago and left me his 1963 Avanti R2.. He got the car in 1971 as a High School Graduation Present.. Pretty elaborate gift..!

Anyway, The car was in a restoration shop at the time.. I let the shop keep working on it, but was not seeing any progress.. Even though I was still getting billed.. After way too much money,

and no progress I pulled the care out.. Right now it is very close to be ready for paint.. This was a frame off restoration, so the frame is done, body is back on the frame, drive train is almost

done.. Motor and transmission has been rebuilt, but never fired up yet.. Still needs all the external components installed.. i.e. radiator, carb, supercharger, water pump, exhaust manifold, etc..

So what I need is a manual to help me put everything back together, since I never took the car a part in the first place..

Anyone know of something like this..?

Thanks in advance..

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AvantiBrakes_zps717303db.jpg

AvantiRearEnd_zps794a106d.jpg

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I know of no master manual other than the normal shop manual for the Avanti, which will be of great help to you. I would get the car home and then decide what component to tackle. Take little bites and do not try to eat the entire elephant. Chris and I have unmolested Avanti R2s so we can then certainly take pictures of our components to give you a much better idea as how everything goes together. And most importantly, Greg, Chris and I have touched most individual components and can give you some first hand advice on how to proceed. You can either contact us off line, but it will be fun for others to follow along with the restoration on this forum.

By the way, that is one good looking Avanti so far.

Is the engine and transmission in the car? Is it auto or 4 speed?

Is the wiring harness in?

Welcome to the fourm.

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I know of no master manual other than the normal shop manual for the Avanti, which will be of great help to you. I would get the car home and then decide what component to tackle. Take little bites and do not try to eat the entire elephant. Chris and I have unmolested Avanti R2s so we can then certainly take pictures of our components to give you a much better idea as how everything goes together. And most importantly, Greg, Chris and I have touched most individual components and can give you some first hand advice on how to proceed. You can either contact us off line, but it will be fun for others to follow along with the restoration on this forum.

By the way, that is one good looking Avanti so far.

Is the engine and transmission in the car? Is it auto or 4 speed?

Is the wiring harness in?

Welcome to the fourm.

The engine and transmission are in the car.. That is about it.. Wiring harness has not even started yet.. Interior is bare.. Not even the steering column is in yet..

It is an Automatic.. I really appreciate the help you have offered.. I will be asking a lot of questions.. I wish I had taken it apart, that would have really helped..

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It will be fun for you. You'll be the local expert.

Probably the first thing I would do is put in the wiring harness in the engine bay and interior, and get it hung correctly; and then move onto the components, one by one. My preference would be to start in the engine bay and start completing the engine. The last thing I would put in would be the radiator and its shroud.

Do you have a new wiring harness? Or are you going to try to use the old one? The old ones are brittle, and have known to cause fires. My harness had a fire under the dash at some point in it's life. The previous owner had tried to repair it, but was not fully successful. I had to cut into the harness and replace lots of heat and fire damaged wires to get it back into a safe mode, and that took me almost two weeks to accomplish.

Are you missing any components that you are aware of? Everything left rebuilt or refurbished? Or do you have to do some rebuilding of the component parts?

Oh, and we also know the various parts vendors. So make sure you ask before you buy and we can give you the right information and our recommended vendors to consider.

You are going to have such fun.

Are you going to keep it in primer until you get it running?

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It will be fun for you. You'll be the local expert.

Probably the first thing I would do is put in the wiring harness in the engine bay and interior, and get it hung correctly; and then move onto the components, one by one. My preference would be to start in the engine bay and start completing the engine. The last thing I would put in would be the radiator and its shroud.

Do you have a new wiring harness? Or are you going to try to use the old one? The old ones are brittle, and have known to cause fires. My harness had a fire under the dash at some point in it's life. The previous owner had tried to repair it, but was not fully successful. I had to cut into the harness and replace lots of heat and fire damaged wires to get it back into a safe mode, and that took me almost two weeks to accomplish.

Are you missing any components that you are aware of? Everything left rebuilt or refurbished? Or do you have to do some rebuilding of the component parts?

Oh, and we also know the various parts vendors. So make sure you ask before you buy and we can give you the right information and our recommended vendors to consider.

You are going to have such fun.

Are you going to keep it in primer until you get it running?

That is what I wanted to do, keep it in primer.. Nothing has been replaced, refurbished, or rebuilt yet.. Wiring harness is original. I am still going thru boxes of parts..

I am pretty overwhelmed at this point.. On top of that, I was injured at work and, 6 years later, still recuperating.. So it is hard for me to get around..

And I do have a new dashboard or dash pad.. Not sure what it is.. It needs the gauges cut out..

Edited by Custom53 (see edit history)
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Custom53, like Unimogjohn says, "you are going to have such fun". These cars are just so satisfying in almost every way. I miss ours so much, and remember the first time I drove it and the first time after completely re-doing it like it was yesterday. Don't feel overwhelmed, just feel a bit challenged, after all, is doesn't HAVE to be done immediately and exactly perfect I imagine. It really looks and sounds like you have a great gift, and just peoples comments and reactions to the Avantis alone make them one of the most fun things we ever owned. Other Stude people are very helpful, and be SURE to read through John and Chris's (Seventh son) posts ! Congrats on a great inheritance, hope you enjoy the "adventure" of the build ! Oh, and join the SDC if you can, great vendors, great people, great info, and a really great magazine. http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/index.asp

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Custom53, like Unimogjohn says, "you are going to have such fun". These cars are just so satisfying in almost every way. I miss ours so much, and remember the first time I drove it and the first time after completely re-doing it like it was yesterday. Don't feel overwhelmed, just feel a bit challenged, after all, is doesn't HAVE to be done immediately and exactly perfect I imagine. It really looks and sounds like you have a great gift, and just peoples comments and reactions to the Avantis alone make them one of the most fun things we ever owned. Other Stude people are very helpful, and be SURE to read through John and Chris's (Seventh son) posts ! Congrats on a great inheritance, hope you enjoy the "adventure" of the build ! Oh, and join the SDC if you can, great vendors, great people, great info, and a really great magazine. http://www.studebakerdriversclub.com/index.asp

Being in the dead of winter doesn't help either.. I hope I get over being "overwhelmed" and "Frustrated".. The biggest frustration is that I didn't take it apart.. But it is what it is. I have even debated selling it as it is.. But I would take a huge hit, and I have an embarrassing amount of money in it right now.. I will have to calm down and take it slow.. Thanks to everyone for the support...!

If it wasn't for the history of myself and my best friend and the Avanti, I would not have went this far all ready.. It is more of a tribute for him than me..

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And, due to an accident I had 6 years ago, I am disabled and on a fixed income right now.. This adds to the frustration..

Edited by Custom53 (see edit history)
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As long as you have someplace dry and semi-warm to work on it then you have half the battle won. I'm not sure how much mobility you have - if you are able to get in and around the car then you can do a little at a time. Pick one thing a day, even if it's a tiny thing, and get it done. Then you might feel like moving to another small thing, and you might end up with 5 or 6 little things accomplished for the day. Or you might call it a day after 1 thing. The difficult part is figuring out where to start - just pick something and start on it, as long as you are moving forward (Avanti!). And if frustration sets in, walk away and do something else for awhile. The car will call you back soon enough.

One thing about Avantis (and Ferraris, Chevrolets, Fiats, etc.), there are a host of folks who are experienced with them and are very helpful if you ask. If you find a part in the pile of parts and you aren't sure where it goes, post a pic and ask the question. You will find the answer here, I guarantee it. If you have any question, ask it here. We'll be checking out what you're doing and we can help, or we know who can help.

Congrats on having a really nice friend who left you such a unique and special car - it will be a real tribute to him to have the car once again on the road (and lots of fun too). Welcome to the forum, and best of luck!

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I was enamored with the Avanti and started a refurbishing that took years. Aside from paint, chrome and actually stitching the interior I did everything myself and spent thousands that I didn't get back when I sold it.

If everything is there and I mean everything you will still spend 5 figures for paint and having a new interior installed. And I mean installed, if you have to purchase a new interior kit add another $3-4,000. From the pictures I see your friend embarked on a restoration that is above factory standards and doing the rest of the car to those standards will be very expensive.

If you have the tools, a good working knowledge of mechanics and systems and are prepared to invest plenty of time and money keep the car and have at it. If you are a novice that is enamored with the thought of having an old car to "restore" but lack the skills I suggest selling it as is. There are lots of people out there with the skills that will take on the project for the challenge and not care about ROI. It is probably worth$10-12,000 to somebody the way it sits. Properly done it might bring you $18,000 in today's market. If it was a 4 speed it might crack the $20,000 mark fully restored. Add a couple of thousand if it was a late production '64. That's today...years from now when it is actually done who knows? it could be more or less depending on the economy. BTW, if you cheap out on the finished product it could be worth less than it is in its current state.

Fellow old car nuts forgive me for taking the "evil" side but I don't feel encouraging someone to take on a project because WE love them is fair. Only the auction companies make money on restorations.

ErnieR

Edited by ErnieR (see edit history)
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Ernie, I did some adding up of probable cost and quickly zoomed up to $20K minimum to finish the car. I agree with you that if you cannot do the work for whatever reason then it is time to sell to someone who can.

That aside, Custom53 also has contacted the forum on the Studebaker Drivers Club forum. He is getting a lot of advice on restoration shops in his area. It will be interesting to see what he is going to do and what will become of the Avanti.

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I was enamored with the Avanti and started a refurbishing that took years. Aside from paint, chrome and actually stitching the interior I did everything myself and spent thousands that I didn't get back when I sold it.

If everything is there and I mean everything you will still spend 5 figures for paint and having a new interior installed. And I mean installed, if you have to purchase a new interior kit add another $3-4,000. From the pictures I see your friend embarked on a restoration that is above factory standards and doing the rest of the car to those standards will be very expensive.

If you have the tools, a good working knowledge of mechanics and systems and are prepared to invest plenty of time and money keep the car and have at it. If you are a novice that is enamored with the thought of having an old car to "restore" but lack the skills I suggest selling it as is. There are lots of people out there with the skills that will take on the project for the challenge and not care about ROI. It is probably worth$10-12,000 to somebody the way it sits. Properly done it might bring you $18,000 in today's market. If it was a 4 speed it might crack the $20,000 mark fully restored. Add a couple of thousand if it was a late production '64. That's today...years from now when it is actually done who knows? it could be more or less depending on the economy. BTW, if you cheap out on the finished product it could be worth less than it is in its current state.

Fellow old car nuts forgive me for taking the "evil" side but I don't feel encouraging someone to take on a project because WE love them is fair. Only the auction companies make money on restorations.

ErnieR

I have always loved the Avanti from the first time I saw one in the early '60s.. But this one is special because of the History of it with my Best Friend.. I have done this type of work on cars, but not to this extent..

Here are a few I have owned..

My first car at about age 12 0r 13.. 1959 Simca.. Painted it Emerald Green Metal Flake.. Can't find any pictures though..

1959Simca_zpscf6123b6.jpg

Then my first "project" car.. 1962 Mercury Comet.. It was total junk.. Rebuilt and repainted everything.. I had just gotten my drivers license..

With my "Best Girl" at the time.. I painted it "Vitamin "C" Orange"...

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Comet.jpg

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02.jpg

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I contemplated on taking the Caddy and putting it on a Corvette Frame and Drive Train.. Never started it though..

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My Wedding Present..

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My 1973 240Z .. With my Wife hanging out the window in Texas.. I had a choice between this and a 1974 Pantera from the same guy.. Picked this one.. The Pantera was only $6k at the time..

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My last "project".. Been quite a few years ago though..

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My daily Driver now..

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As you can see I have always had a fondness for the short rear end and the long front end.. Hence the Avanti, the 240Z, the Cougar, The Caddy's, the Corvettes, etc..

Edited by Custom53 (see edit history)
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