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1963 vs 1964

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I just recently became interested in acquiring a 1963 or 1964 Avanti and have noticed comments about transition features from 1963 to 1964. What should I be looking for to distinguish between the 2 years, ie. early 1963 vs late 1963 and 1964?

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The big question is ...do you prefer round or square headlamps??

If you prefer the squares then you will be getting the benefits of MOST of Studebaker's updates on these later models , that is after serial number #4892.

It's your choice!! Supercharged or NOT. If you're looking for an air-conditioned car you can't have a supercharged engine !

Once you make the choice .....REMEMBER THIS .There's nothing more expensive than a CHEAP Avanti ......

GOOD HUNTING .....HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR to y'all "still moving forward"

Avanti Fred

Edited by avantifred

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I do prefer the round headlights on the 1963's but I was wondering what other changes were made for 1964. It seems there were some minor interior trim upgrades and exterior badging. Any more specifics????

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As Avantifred said, it really depends on what floats your boat. Decide what you want as far as round eye vs. square eye, supercharged vs. non-supercharged, automatic vs. manual transmissions and look for one like that. There's nearly always Avantis for sale somewhere, so be patient and find the one that best suits your desires...and get the one in the best condition you can. Rebuilding an Avanti is not for the faint of heart and shallow of wallet. If you want a project car...fine. I love to see more Avantis rebuilt to be someone's pride and be seen on the streets, but it's not an easy nor inexpensive proposition.

As far as transitional models, there really are very few. There's likely more Avantis that sat unsold on dealer lots that were titled as '64s than genuine round eye transitional cars. Many owners of these cars either believe they have a real transitional car or may be representing it as one due to lack of facts. True transitional cars are 1963's in most respects but have the woodgrain accents in the interior, possibly the "Pirate's Buckle" emblems on the interior door panels and maybe a few other detail items. Many earlier cars have had the woodgrain accent panels added after the fact, so you really need the car serial number to determine its true provenance. Transitional cars were generally those in the assembly process when production was shut down during the summer of '63 for two reasons...the normal conversion process for the annual model change plus to give the unsold backlog of cars time to be sold off at dealers around the country. When production restarted in August '63 some of those new changes were incorporated into cars on the floor then at R4892 the square headlight cars began assembly.

Best of luck in finding the car that makes you happy. You have a lot of friends here.

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All this mystery I can never seem to figure out about my 64 Avanti R2, R4986. Every tell tail item I can find on my car is 63. I have photos of it new with round headlights. Is it a left over 63 made a 64 or transitional.

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Anything is possible but there were a small number of post-R4892 cars built with round headlights. Studebaker kept that as a special order option...allegedly until the supply of round-eye body panels ran out. It's also possible the car was damaged and repaired with '63 parts. It's possible, though less likely, that the serial number plate was swapped by someone for some reason.

Your car could have been reframed or rebodied at some point as well. After so many years it's difficult to know what was done in the past. If you have a copy of the production order to go by, it will tell you how the car was originally built and what the body number is. If the body number on your car doesn't match the build sheet, that's reasonable confirmation either the body or frame was swapped out at some point...or the serial number plate was switched.

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I have original production order and copy of vehicle inspection sheets, original photos and its matching exactly. Interesting stuff.

What date did it come off the line? That should certainly help narrow down the possiblities, even if only by excluding a few.

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I have original production order and copy of vehicle inspection sheets, original photos and its matching exactly. Interesting stuff.

If it has round headlights from the factory, then the production order should be marked "Round Headlights". That would be your proof it's one of the few genuine factory round-eye '64 cars.

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7-24-63

Hmm, order date or actual build date? I.E. my rect. bezel '64 #5391 was ordered on 9/18/63 but didn't start on the line until 9/30/64. Just throwing out that info in case it's helpful in any way.

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My production order date written 7/24/63, final assembly 8/19/63, and is stamped 8/21/63. I also have copies of the five page Factory Avanti Vehicle Check Off Inspection Report that has all the same body and line numbers as the production order and these are all dated 8/14/63 and also verifies my Avanti’s body was built in Ashtabula not South Bend. All the body, line and serial numbers match the cars as does the engine number to production order.

Edited by Silverplate

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All this mystery I can never seem to figure out about my 64 Avanti R2, R4986. Every tell tail item I can find on my car is 63. I have photos of it new with round headlights. Is it a left over 63 made a 64 or transitional.

My friend Len has a transition model Avanti. It has the complete solid black '64 style interior, with solid carpet and the 'pirates buckles' on the interior door panels, woodgrain dash and console, and 'tenite' woodgrain steering wheel......But from the outside, it's all '63 Avanti-----round headlights, '63 parking lamps, no '64 style small grille in cowl panel. It's Avanti # R-4943.

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My friend Len has a transition model Avanti. It has the complete solid black '64 style interior, with solid carpet and the 'pirates buckles' on the interior door panels, woodgrain dash and console, and 'tenite' woodgrain steering wheel......But from the outside, it's all '63 Avanti-----round headlights, '63 parking lamps, no '64 style small grille in cowl panel. It's Avanti # R-4943.

Thank you, sounds like my car. It should also be noted that R-4975, 4978, 4982, 4983, 4993, and 4996 are all 64's with round headlights.

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I was thinking about this, and I'll bet there are a few true '64 Avantis running around out there that were repaired after collisions with 'round headlight' nose panels.....Avantis such as this could easily be confused for a transition model........And there are definitely a few true '63 Avantis around that have had 'square headlight' nose panels grafted onto them, either after being in a collision, or because an owner liked the look of the square lights and made the change!

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I was thinking about this, and I'll bet there are a few true '64 Avantis running around out there that were repaired after collisions with 'round headlight' nose panels.....Avantis such as this could easily be confused for a transition model........And there are definitely a few true '63 Avantis around that have had 'square headlight' nose panels grafted onto them, either after being in a collision, or because an owner liked the look of the square lights and made the change!

I agree with you but remember there are documented 30 traditional models and 54 documented 64's that all left South Bend with round headlights.

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Guest dapy

For the person looking for a 1963 vs 1964 IMO there is no significant difference except for R1 and R2, or if you want factory A/C. Market prices reflect those distinctions.

I had R2 #R4888 with round headlights. It was titled as a 1964. The production ending 1963 cars were designated 1964 so dealers could sell them as (new) '64's.

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This thread did get off subject a bit , which is just fine because I'm learning a lot about Avanti's, and I now have a much better idea of some of the trim differences of the 2 years. My ultimate goal would be to find an R2, 4 speed, turquoise exterior and turquois interior, round headlights. If anybody has any leads feel free to let me know about it.

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This thread did get off subject a bit , which is just fine because I'm learning a lot about Avanti's, and I now have a much better idea of some of the trim differences of the 2 years. My ultimate goal would be to find an R2, 4 speed, turquoise exterior and turquois interior, round headlights. If anybody has any leads feel free to let me know about it.

That's pretty close to a description of my '63 Avanti.....but mine is an automatic....and as much as I like my car, I agree with you that a four speed would be a bit more fun! Good luck on your 'Avanti Hunt'!

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Guest dapy

Studegard,

The car you are looking for is "November" in the 2014 Avanti Calendar. It is a turquoise 1963 R2 with 4 speed owned by Joe Parsons in NC. If you do not have access to the AOAI Roster call me and I will give you contact information. Dave Pyle 713 464 6717

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Regnalbob posted that the Avanti line re-started on August 5, 1963. The build sheet on my R1, R4853, shows a "Final Assembly" date of August 6, 1963. I wonder if my car is one of the first "transitional" Avantis built?

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