1964 Studebaker Avanti with 7K Miles Review and Test Drive by - Bill Auto Europa Naples

1964 Studebaker Avanti with 7K Miles Review and Test Drive by - Bill Auto Europa Naples

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00:00
good morning this is Bill from out of Europa Naples and today I've got a lovely crisp Florida summer morning we've got a front blowing in there's clouds in the sky there's a little bit of a breeze it's just super super nice and that's rare because usually it's hot and miserable on these mornings and it makes me miserable but today I'm happy and I'm happy for another reason I have this fantastic 1964 Studebaker Avanti you know every once in a while we get
00:30
some old cars in and frankly most of them scare the living hell out of me I have to drive them home they break down they quit they won't hot start they won't cold start and it's just an absolute treat when you get one that drives like a new car and this one does and there's good reason for it again this is a 1964 and it has just 7,000 miles on the clock this thing has been in a collection you know virtually since it was current the original owner was you know somebody who really didn't
01:02
drive it very much and you know then it went on to a collector after that he drove it almost never and kept it for decades and then a couple years ago a good friend of mine and a customer he bought it out of his collection from the from the poor widow and ended up with it and now we've got it and it is for sale you know Studebaker is a pretty historical car company it's one of the few companies that could sort of date its roots back to the pre-revolutionary war you know it wasn't founded down it
01:33
came out in like 1852 but the original Studebaker came over from Germany and all I don't know like 1740 and started making wagons and farm implements and such and then his descendants went on to make wagons and farm implements and such and they became pretty successful at it and that med - a Studebaker wagon company founded in the mid 19th century which supplied you know wagons to farmers and then got a military contract and grew pretty exponentially from there
02:04
their first car was in 1902 it was an electric you know they went on to build gas cars they went on to vote for gangsters and they became known as a maker of cars that were reliable luxurious extraordinarily well-built and just fantastic all around but by 1960 the company had fallen on hard times it was kind of a middle company you know compared to the big three trying to keep up with Ford and Chevy wasn't that simple so you know they were really down
02:35
on their luck deal with Packard had just fallen through a merger that went south so a guy named Egbert a Sherwood Egbert that's the name you can take to the bank he was the head of Studebaker at the time and he uh he hired a guy named Raymond Lowry to create a car that would save Studebaker that would you know propel them forward and bring them up to current and you know make people really lust after them so he did just that he doodled a car on a flight from Chicago
03:06
to Indiana or wherever the hell he was going and I know Studebakers in Indiana South Bend and then hired raymond lowry to put a team together to put it together and they did put it together in record time absolutely record time like five months from design to approval to the beginning of production and they planned to sell 20,000 of them the first year they were gonna compete with the riviera the Thunderbird and of course the Corvette but that did not fall through because even though the production team are sorry the design
03:38
team really went outside their heads and made one of the most incredible cars of all time the production team just couldn't get it done so that first year only 1,200 were made a bunch of people backed out of their orders and overall they just didn't sell that many of these cars and for many many years these things have been an unbelievable value in the collector-car market I think I'm zooming again here anyway you know they go for surprisingly little money for as rare and as important as
04:10
they are for instance this is just one of 809 1964 models 809 I mean that's you know again about how many Camrys they stamp out in a couple of days you know there were a few more 63s although none more 64 by the way they were built in 62 and 63 and marketed as 63 and 64 models anyway back to this car so you know even though it was a really really fantastic forward-thinking car full of incredible
04:40
modern design features and you know really improved safety features over most of the other cars on the road it just didn't work as studebaker collapsed and you know they sort of divided themselves up into different pieces you know and the note fewer than five different companies took over you know the Avanti rights and started building these things over the year all the way through the 80s even into the 90s I believe so you know there have been some sort of avanti's being built for decades and decades but there's only so many
05:11
originals and this is one of those so you know you can see the design of the car is absolutely amazing look at those razor-edge fenders also the way that the parking names are integrated into the front of them that's just something that wasn't done then there's a grimace front end you can see that air intake is underneath the bumper you know again very unusual for the time you've got a forward hinged hood with a symmetrical scoop on the left-hand side the square lights by the way are one of
05:42
the ways to determine the 64's it's not the only way because there were some round headlamps 64's but you know most 64's had those square headlights and the earlier ones were all round now the thing is made out of fiberglass because the way it was designed it was to be a coke bottle sort of wasp waisted shape you see it bulges out at the front goes in at the middle comes bulging out at the end again that would have been very difficult to make out of steel so Studebaker went with fiberglass and they hired the company that was making the
06:14
fiberglass for the original Corvettes you know that didn't go well they really botched it up the order went south and haywire so Studebaker had to move the fiberglass making in-house which was another reason for the delay which was another reason they just didn't make that many avanti's anybody what a design what an incredible looking design here's a neat one for you the wheel well arches designed to look like the sputnik's reentry pattern so oh very cool little subtle detail there you can see the
06:45
incredible shape of the windows it's again a four seat GT car you're the Sputnik god I just love Sputnik I think that has to be the coolest thing incredible big back window very reminiscent of the Jensen interceptor bobtail real man excuse me bobtail rear end with wraparound taillights again also sort of integrated into the body that flush stuff is just something they didn't do for years and years after that this is one of the first cars with big backup
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reverse lights you can see big doom exhaust down there what almost looks like a modern diffuser underneath you know they did almost no wind tunnel testing on this car and when I say almost what I mean is zero so you know they had no way to know if it was slippery or not and slippery it was in fact it had an incredible you know drag coefficient for the time and coupled to its high-performance engine the thing was fast as hell it's at like 29 records at the Bonneville Salt Flats there were
07:49
three different levels of engines the r1 the r2 the r3 the r3 had a couple of superchargers on it put over 500 horsepower out and that thing just ate up the the salt from that's an incredible way anyway just look at this thing I mean this thing is just so cool this drip rail was added on the 64 models that's another way to distinguish a little recessed a door there for the for the gas cap recessed door handles
08:21
again just not done on other cars at the time and very very cool all around so anyway let's start in the trunk now to release the trunk there's an inner release down here sort of Porsche style no key at the back at all which i think is kind of cool I'm gonna look in here so there it is nice-size trunk you can see again I've got my bag of stuff this is an interesting feature this recess spare tire well again giving you all your
08:54
trunk room with the tire underneath you know a lot of times in these cars you had you know big tires mounted at the side sort of almost like an afterthought this thing wasn't it was put it in such a way as to as to not go down properly I'm sure that's fine anyway you know small opening the big trunk you're gonna fit a lot of stuff in there and everyone's gonna be real happy now you see that little door on the package shelf that was another neat feature that was access to the trunk through the
09:25
passenger compartment yeah just something you don't really see you know that would have been really convenient in Goodfellas when Ray Liotta and De Niro and Pesci are driving down the road and that made guy they thought they killed was making noise in the trunk you know Miata could have just turned around opened up that little thing there and capped him without having to get out of the car they could have just kept moving anyway let's have a look under the hood alright so again forward hinged
09:56
hood which is pretty damn cool I love those fender mirrors and here it is that is a factory chrome kit that's the way these cars came this is a 289 cubic inch Studebaker motor called the jet thrust you know everything was pretty much space-age at this point in time you know sort of space program and whatnot inspired so anyway very very original under here the chrome is all stunning I love the middle STP oil filter ads
10:27
they're on the era valve cover breathers the orange fan all very very cool just a lovely under hood here and again this thing was a pretty you know pretty much a hot rod it at ten and a quarter to one compression Carter four-barrel carburetor a little bit of a hot cam put out about 240 horse which was great for 1964 and was a very tried-and-true Studebaker motor it wasn't you know like a fresh design this is a company in financial trouble
10:57
so they had recycle motors but they picked the right one this thing's a bit of a rocketship go around to the other side and there you see something that's pretty damn cool and that is a air conditioning compressor this one does have that option also has power steering which is nice and that well here you go some of these things were supercharged so the r2 engine added a little Paxton supercharger off the side and the r3 engine added two of them but you know even though that's pretty cool but it
11:29
makes it faster and it makes that you know sort of more peppy it does do away with the ability to have air conditioning so if I have my choice I'm going with the AC this thing actually is pretty great AC that shows you down nicely so anyway you can see everything just lovely under there I don't know if I'll be able to get down where you can see the frame maybe anyway you can see that this is a Studebaker number 53-79 are 53-79 very late in the serial model
11:59
range and a true 64 model this little hinge here is right out of an 84 Corvette lovely way the hood closes those bumpers I mean what the hell looks like that absolutely nothing avanti of course being Italian for forward there really should be an exclamation point after then alright let's have a look inside so
12:31
the inside of this thing is all original unrestored the way it came from the factory those are not new seat covers or door panels or wood grain again this is a hundred percent original and the seven thousand mount car actually it does have a working interior light which I popped the bulb out earlier because it was kind of screwing out the photos so I'll put that back in but even the interior lights all work you can see the fit and finish is absolutely gorgeous and of course that's something that Studebaker was famous for is they've built very high quality cars
13:02
the backseats lovely this has the pleated another the regan leather option at sculpt really stands out really looks nice and it's just absolutely meant back there dead of the package shelf and that incredible pleated headliner absolutely cool now you see that sort of structure and looking thing going across there that is an actual genuine roll bar that studebaker put in these cars as sort of an advanced safety feature another safety feature on this thing is that it
13:35
had front disc brakes you know they claimed it was the first american car to have front disc brakes which really wasn't the Chrysler Imperial was but they weren't really modern disc brakes on the Imperial the way they are on this this is a true caliper undeath system power-assisted and it did really help the car stop a little bit quicker than some of its competitors you know Studebaker was also the distributor for mercedes-benz at the time and they did pick up some stuff from them for instance these structural
14:06
door latches I mean this looks like it's straight out of a Benz model you can see the hard steel pointer there going into this you know frame mounted you know receptacle and that becomes a very sturdy match Mercedes style and you know is just something that wasn't on other cars it also has a second gear start which is another Mercedes feature so unless you put the gearshift down into first and you know make it manually go
14:36
into first gear this thing is gonna launch from the lights and second gear makes it smoother you know quieter you're only gonna feel one shift and that's just kind of another you know little thing they rub from Mercedes this one also does that seatbelts lovely love the middlemost month buckets they look like they're out of a Cobra or something but they are pretty comfy and all the chrome all the fit and finish the switches the Studebaker emblem is just so damn cool really really attractive to look at and
15:06
a terrific color combination let's hop then see if I can get this seat back some move some think it does well if it doesn't just keep it where it is okay here you can see a beautifully laid out instrument cluster now I believe these are stuart werner gauges but don't hold me to it and there are a bunch of them you've got an anima knock over there you've got your water temp your your amperes your mouse per hour 140 on there there you see just the set that is not a hundred and seven that is
15:41
seven thousand miles on this thing there's a tank with the five thousand rpm redline your fuel gauge or all pressure and even a vacuum gauge there which I suppose was more important in the supercharged models this guy runs your wipers here this did have true variable speed wipers you got your turn signal indicators I mean the beautiful bakelite steering wheel and the way they've inlaid the horn buttons and so that was just very very cool almost a
16:12
beautiful bakelite in the top I mean again very modern style to have the vinyl here with the bakelite you know that's amount of cars do that now with the wood but Studebaker had it here here's the speaker for the radio it's got kind of an old guy compass I don't know if it came with that or not I doubt it either way that's you know 50 years old and looks great up there this is very very cool this full rear view mirror I love the way the glass just goes to the edge and you see this flow guy day and night ni te I guess that was
16:44
cheaper than putting in the GH but I mean what an interesting and cool little feature to be able to spin that around and you know dem your mirror now Egbert was a bit of an aviation fan so now we put in some aircraft style switches up here and not only do they look like aircraft style switches with the overhead compartment type thing they work like it so you know this is the parking lights that's the headlights instrument cluster this is sort of dim this is brighter and
17:15
then you've got your fan control stuff up there very very cool also these incredibly cool middle Sun visors where my detailer didn't bother to wipe them down I understand these padded visors are almost impossible to find used these are original mint and they should be for you Studebaker guys out there you'll know what you're looking at that is a testament to the incredible originality of this car all right down here you've got Studebakers in - you know I think it's an am/fm push button but I haven't
17:48
quite figured out to get the FM yet it does work fine I don't know I could start it up yet let's just keep going you know I ran through it got some noise at the speaker some it was listening to the news on the way in and works pretty good you can see below it those are the vents for the air conditioning you can see the evaporator it's just right behind the vent so you get this really ice cold air coming out of there that that works surprisingly well for a 60s model the controls there this incredible
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set of rocker switches down here I know what you'd call them some kind of switches that control all the vents and what I think I just turned the light on no it's off anyway that was replaced in 64 with the middle round knobs it was Delta wings on earlier models looks like this one was built for Charles Rock jr. so that's apparently the guy who who didn't drive it very much to begin with nice little you know chrome shifter mechanism could be shifted manually very
18:51
very cool he got an ashtray here he got in a little center console box with some spare parts and then the glovebox very very neat stuff you can see for drink holders so you can have a lot of beer drinking and driving was okay back then and then this guy a pull Mountain I've got to reattach that mirror which is kind of annoying but he noticed that until now anyway that's my life God's two-sided
19:22
tape anyway that little mirror that came out at sort of a makeup compartment would also be a hell of a place for a compact 9 millimeter but this is just something you didn't see on other cars very very cool to break that mirrors and close up anyway everything nice and there you see even the club box light works just everything works on this car and to drive it let's do exactly that I have something fired up isn't that big
19:53
289 come to life there's our radio more the Trump stuff anyway all the gauges work at nice everything coming on to my lovely you know nice smooth running engine let's get ourselves and drive go for a spent if I want to kick the air on just move that over and I'm gonna get some nice chillies coming out of there so one of the cool things about driving this car was just how good it drives and by that again I mean I drag them out of
20:30
these old cars home and I mean some of them they may look terrific but they either drive like trucks or they just you know feel like they're rickety and coming apart I feel like I know what it's like to drive a new Studebaker tracks down the road beautifully the steering is light and precise very very nice it's got a double wishbone up front so nice independent suspension there's this brake stopping at what say on a dime but they stopped it great no hesitation at all from the motor that
21:04
thing's just running like you know the day it was built here those secondaries open when I was a kid we used to flip the air cleaner on our parents old and Pama to be able to make it sound like a cop car going down the road you get into the secondaries on the four-barrel it's headed a little better [Music] all right so plenty of that out of our stood up a cur and I mean I don't know if it's sort of coming through in the video but just how
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good this car drives I mean two fingers on the wheel beautiful feel no vibration just track straight and smooth the guy is very fresh you know vintage looking white walls on it very proper and everything's just lovely so we're moving forward and our Studebaker into the future and actually off to work were you know I get to have a miserable day putting out fires but for the moment I'm happy in this thing and having a nice right end so there it is one of the most
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incredible cars ever built in my mind a bargain collectible I mean these things should be worth a lot more than they are this is a 64 Studebaker Avanti the 7000 real miles on this thing again one of 809 built this year and it's just one of the finest examples of a 1960s car if not the finest example of an unrestored car that I've seen it's it's really just that nice look if you have an interest give us a
22:43
call two three nine six four nine seventy 300 on the web at Mercedes expert calm always happy to talk to you about this car any other one of a

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