Lost Interest: 1978 Avanti II – Sold!

May 2020 | Classifinds, Free For All Friday

Update: This one got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330

Avid GwR readers may recall earlier this month we featured what was likely one of the last true Studebaker Avantis built before the company shuttered its production.  The 1978 Avanti II example listed on Craigslist in Woodbridge, New Jersey for $12,900 or best offer is an example of the continuation cars built using the original tooling.  The latest hard copy of the NADA Guides, Classic, Collectible, Exotic, and Muscle Car Directory confirms this private seller has his Avanti II priced within the “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail value range of $10,750, $18,100, and $29,200, respectively.

Already on life support and needing a new model quickly, Studebaker management commissioned a design by Raymond Loewy’s team of Tom Kellogg, Bob Andrews, and John Ebstein on a 40-day crash program out in a rented house out in the desert. The result was the Avanti featuring a radical fiberglass body mounted on a modified Studebaker Lark 109-inch convertible chassis and powered by a modified 289 Hawk engine.  So advanced was the car’s shape and design that Studebaker elected to make the Avanti’s body out of fiberglass.

When introduced at to the public at the New York Auto show on April 26, 1962, it was an instant hit.  Finally having a potential sales success on their hands, production problems, and delays primarily due to the complexity of the fiberglass body led to canceled orders and lost sales. It was the final straw that broke Stubebaker’s back and with it came the closure of the company’s South Bend, Indiana manufacturing plant on December 20, 1963.

Two local South Bend Studebaker dealers bought the tooling and rights to build the car and by 1965 they launched the Avanti II and continued to produce the car similar to the one featured here through the early eighties.  The complete Avanti story we catch ourselves frequently watching is in this half-hour King Rose Great Cars video:

This white over tan example appears to be a nice driver quality example with only 58K original miles.  While the exterior of the fiberglass body appears to present well, as with any Avanti you’ll want to examine the “Hog Troughs” carefully from the underside of the car to ensure this example is structurally sound.  While the seller honestly states he’s having trouble finding an A/C compressor for this car, we’re willing to bet one of the aftermarket companies specializing in HVAC can likely provide you with assistance to keep your “new” Avanti II cool this summer.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“This 1978 Studebaker Avanti II is a unique classic car. Mechanically, its 100%. It has a 350 5.7 engine with a Turbo TH 400, automatic transmission, power windows and locks and true spoke wheels. Brakes are new, transmission and engine are in great working order. Has a/c but needs a compressor (had no luck in finding one). Fuel tank has been removed and cleaned. Does need some minor interior work and exterior paint work. This vehicle is an excellent daily drive. I have lost interest in restoring the vehicle and would like to move onto another project. Be sure to check out all the beautiful pictures I have posted on this classic car. You can contact me at show contact info
weekdays or show contact info
or weeknights and weekends. Asking $12,900 OBO.

Do you have an Avanti II story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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