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Some '64 Questions


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I'm new to this forum, but not new to Studebakers.  After many years of looking, we have finally become an Avanti family.  My sister recently purchased what appears to be a 64 supercharged Avanti.  The reason I say "appears," is that something is terribly wrong with this car.  She bought it from a dealer in southern Illinois after he did some work to it to get it sale worthy.  Don't know what he did to it though.  I inspected it for her in December when I was back there for Christmas since I live in Colorado.  Several things were very odd upon my inspection.  First was it has a full factory supercharger set up on it but the car also has factory air conditioning.  Everything is there and connected for the A/C except the compressor.  We are very aware that A/C was not available in supercharged cars.  Another issue is that the hood does not open fully, in fact it barely opens enough to check the oil, checking the engine number is going to be a real challenge.  It appears to have the correct support  but it's attached to the wrong place on the fender skirt.  I have an idea where it should be mounted but there is no evidence that it was ever attached in the correct location.  I'm not sure when, or if Avanti's had a dual master cylinder, but this car has one that appears to be a non Studebaker part cobbled in very sloppily.  Of special note is the power booster was removed and it is bolted directly to the fire wall.  Another odd thing is it has square headlight bezels but no provision for the clear cover.  They have the original bill of sale from the selling dealer in Ferguson, MO and about 5 years of maint. records for the car.  I suggested they get a production order to try to figure out what's going on.  She got the production order yesterday and sent me a copy, now the mystery is even worse.  The Serial no. is R-4620 and it was manufactured with a supercharger.  It is listed as an RQ3370 Avanti.  The production order was written on 5/17/63.  According to what I was reading last night on this forum, Serial no. R-4620 appears to be a late 1963, yet from what I was reading last night, an RQ3370 would appear to be a 64.  I don't have the engine number in the car, I'll have to check this when I go back there in April.  I asked her to check the body number, but she's not sure where that is located, so I may have to verify that also when I go back there.  From what I gather from reading on the forum last night the VIN plate is attached to the frame rather than the body.  I believe that I did find it when I inspected it in December.  I looked it over quite well and the air conditioning definitely looks to be a factory installation, all the hoses, evaporator, switches and controls as well as the condenser, receiver and hose routing all appear to be factory, but strangely there is a "Supercharged" badge on the left front fender that appears to be original.  If someone added the A/C after the fact, they really did a perfect job. At first I thought that someone may have replaced the body on the frame with a 64 body, but that doesn't account for the "Supercharged" badge.  I guess it could have been added but it sure looks original.  It has been registered as a 64.  I'm at a loss to figure out what's going on here, and with the production order the mystery is even worse.  My sister was considering having me remove the supercharger and restoring the air conditioning as we originally figured that it was originally and air conditioned car that someone converted to a supercharged car.  Now we're not so sure.  I'm open to any suggestions anyone on here my have.  I know that this has been a long dissertation but this is really getting complicated and I haven't even mentioned some other discrepancies that I found.  Many thanks for any ideas that anyone more knowledgeable may have on what may be going on here.  I'm trying to get the body number, but it may have to wait.   Thanks for reading all of this, I'll be looking forward to any comments those much more experienced on Avanti's than I am.

Roger List

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R-4630 is the serial number...RQ3370 is the body number.  Having a/c added after the fact is not unheard of.  It is a fairly late '63.  The square headlight bezels were also probably added later...possibly from collision damage.  If there was body damage it may not have been done correctly or at least the hood support wasn't installed properly or possibly the wrong hood support altogether.  You might have to unbolt the support so the hood can be completely opened.  Someone has swapped out the master cylinder and removed the booster for whatever reason...maybe because those parts were available rather than obtaining correct parts.  

You should also check the serial number to make sure it matches the title.  It's a plate attached to the right upper frame rail just ahead of the blower fan under the hood.  It could covered in grease and has to be wiped clean to see it.  If that number doesn't match the title you have a problem...either the plate has been swapped out or the frame has been replaced.  

The engine number is very important.  It will tell you if the car has a genuine Avanti engine and whether it's a supercharged or non-blown type...or even a Studebaker engine that's not for an Avanti.

We really need good photos of the areas you're concerned about.  Post them and people here can give some ideas of what you're dealing with.  

 

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One clue for a supercharged car is the speedometer. If it is a 140 spedo it's NOT a supercharged car. Supercharged cars had a 160 mph spedo

spedos can be changed BUT it's one clue!!

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Thanks for the reply.  According to an Avanti Trivia post by mfg in December, RQ3370 is a production code used on production orders for serial numbers 3917 thru 4891.  I rechecked the production order and the body number is supposed to be RQ-3620.  I'm not sure where my sister got the serial number.  I'm assuming it was either on the bill of sale or the title.  I can guarantee you she did not get it from the VIN plate.  I'm also trying to get the original owners name, hopefully someone on here may know who it is.  If I'm not mistaken it does have a 160 mph speedo.  Unfortunately I'm not in a position right now to verify the body number the engine number or the serial number on the VIN plate.  I'm going to check these out in April when I'm back in Illinois.  Does anyone know when or if they put a dual master cylinder on Avanti's?  I've been checking some of my resources but I can't find anything conclusive.  Thanks again for the replies, I'll keep updating this post as I get more information.

Roger List 

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44 minutes ago, avantifred said:

One clue for a supercharged car is the speedometer. If it is a 140 spedo it's NOT a supercharged car. Supercharged cars had a 160 mph spedo

spedos can be changed BUT it's one clue!!

True for later Avanti's like this one but early ones had the 140mph speedo.

If your sister/you have the production order then it should have the engine number on there and should give you the build details of the original car. Obviously it could have been changed since then but the production order should tell you if it was an R1 or R2 , a/c or not etc from factory.

In relation to the hood opening the redesign of the later inner fender for the battery location meant the stay needed to be moved to the opposite side of the hood and therefore the other fender. Maybe Gunslinger is correct ( collision damage) and you have a 63 hood but 64 inner fenders and instead of moving the stay location they placed it anywhere therefore reducing the opening height.

Alternatively the stay could just be faulty.

With regard to the production order if the engine number starts with RS then it was an R2 , if just R then R1 and there should be notations I would have thought stating  certain accessories like Supercharger or A/C.

I don't believe Studebaker Avanti's had a  dual master cylinder but at some stage the Avanti 2 did.

pb

 

Edited by 1963r2
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Thanks for the reply.  Yes, the production order shows the engine to be an R2, Engine number RS-2506, however I can't verify that actually is the engine that's in there right now.  That will have to wait until I get back there in April.  You brought up an interesting item about the hood though.  Can the fenders and inner apron be replaced independent of the body?  I was assuming that the whole structure was molded in one piece.  The reason I'm bringing this up is that it does not have the typical long, thin battery that was on the early Avanti's that's so hard to find.  The battery box and the battery in it looks more like a group 24.  I don't think that it is a group 24 but it is much wider and shorter than the normal Avanti battery.  The hood support is on the drivers side.  According to photos in the service manual the hood support is supposed to be fairly forward on the apron, maybe only a few inches behind the hinge.  I checked the apron at that location and there are no holes there and never were.  The hood support is actually bolted to the apron using the starter solenoid bolts.  It's also possible that it has the wrong support, but if it is, it is identical to the correct support.  From 1963R2's post it sounds like if the car has the later battery the hood support should be on the passengers side.  Many questions, few answers.  Hopefully someday this will all make sense.  Stay tuned.

Roger List

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Yes the inner fender can be replaced. They are all independent pieces bonded together.

I have a 63 which I decided to replace the cracked/damaged inner fender with a 64 version for ease of battery replacement but as I found out the stay then needs to swap sides as there is nowhere but thin air to attach it too.

It sounds like they have just attached it anywhere they could on the new inner fender which has now not given you the full range of movement.

Good news is it is a factory R2 and if all you have to do is find a location for a/c compressor then you will have the best of both worlds.

pb

Edited by 1963r2
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Thanks, that's the most encouraging news I've had about this.  Can the support be moved without changing the hood?  I wasn't sure if there is an adequate mounting location on the passenger side for the support.  I'll have to do some research on the A/C.  Thanks again.

Roger List

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Yes the stay can be moved but you need to insert and rivet the attaching plates in the appropriate locations to the inside of the hood and on the fender.

The fender plate is an easy install but the hood plate is tricky and would require a slight repair and paint touch up in those areas to look nice again.

I'm sure you could get the appropriate measurements and locations by looking at a 64 Avanti in person.

The plates themselves could be easily made.

If you don't use the plates then the fibreglass is sure to get damaged and broken.

pb

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Thanks again.  I'll probably try that.  I'm going to be going to the South Bend swap meet in May so I'm sure someone will have a car there for me to look at.

Roger List

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Yes, and look for the plates whist you are there.

It would be an easier job if ( looking at the photo ) the paint didn't look so good.

My car is in pieces so I could afford to make a bit of a mess where as your sisters car looks nice and you need to be a bit more delicate than I needed to be.

I guess any competent panel shop should be able to do the swap and touch up any paint at the same time.

 

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Most of your questions have been answered.  That S/N was near the end of 1963 production.  Any 1963 Avanti that was sold for the first time after 9/1/63 could be registered as a 1964, per Studebaker Service Letter G-1964-3.  No Studebaker Avantis came with a dual master cylinder, but it is a common aftermarket conversion.  

Your Avanti reminds me of one that I knew decades ago in Connecticut.  It was built as a late 1963 model with a supercharger.  The (not original) owner installed A/C parts and used to switch it back and forth.  It was sold to a guy in New York State that retired and took it with him to Tenn. (IIRC).  This was years ago.  It is possible that this is the same Avanti or another one with a similar background.     

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Thanks, Studegary, you may have  hit on something.  Just got off the phone with my sister and I have some more info.  We verified that the body number is in fact RQ3620.  Although the production order was written on 05/17/63, the car was sold by Ben Lindenbusch in St. Louis on 1/23/65.  Lord only knows why it took a year and a half before it got sold.  It was sold to William J. Burglechner from St. Louis.   We inspected the inner fenders and there is what appears to be a lower hood support bracket already bolted to the right inner fender.  Based on the information from studegary above it would have been registered as a 64.  The dealer my sister bought it from told them that he got it in MO.  Since Tennessee, Illinois and MO are pretty close it may be possible to be the same car.  You wouldn't know what color it was?  Like I stated on a previous post, if the A/C wasn't factory they did an outstanding job installing it.  My sister just sent me a copy of the original dealer form showing the year, model, owners name and selling dealers info.  It clearly states it being a 64 Avanti.  The plot thickens! Stay tuned.

Roger List

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There were 1963 Avantis sold new in 1973.  Some Avantis were not sold until later due to various reasons.  Some were used by dealers on dealer's plates and others were simply not sold.  I am sorry, but I do not generally remember colors, except usually for cars that I have owned.  The Avanti that I have in mind had all factory supercharger and air conditioning parts (just installed later).  

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You say that the production order was written on May 17, 1963.  By my records, that Avanti was built in June 1963, so that is consistent.  June was the end of regular 1963 production.  July was "1963 1/2"/transition models.  1964 models started production in August.  

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That's good info.  Still doesn't explain though how it ended up with square headlight bezels.  I was under the assumption that all the early 64's had round headlight bezels for a few months after production shifted to 64's.  Would it have been possible to replace the entire front clip?  This car has been repainted.  It originally was Avanti Red and now it is a slightly different shade of red.  Another quick question, did the 64's with square headlight bezels have clear covers.  I thought they did, but maybe not.  Thanks for all your info on this.  Are you going to the South Bend swap meet in May?  I'm planning on being there, maybe we could meet up and compare notes.

Roger List

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I believe that the first square headlight car was 4892.  A few were made with round headlights after this.  The first 1964 was 4835.  

Square headlight front panels were available for repair when round headlight panels were not available.  Any part of the front end may have been replaced.  A 1963-1964 Avanti body is made of many pieces that were joined.  Yes, they did have clear covers.  

I do not plan on being in SB in May.  Others that know more/different Avanti information than I will be there.  The annual Avanti convention is going to be in Ohio, as well as the Studebaker convention.  They will be at different times in different locations. 

The more that you write and the more that I think about it, the more that I think that you have the  car that I referred to. 

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Thanks again for the good info.  I'm also planning to go to Mansfield in September.  I'm going to be driving my 1942 M16 from southern Illinois.  I'm trying to talk my sister into taking the Avanti up there also.  You may have seen my truck at South Bend in 2017.  I'm the guy that has the amusement ride train that I haul around in the back of the truck.  I also had it at the International in St. Louis in 2015.  I've had a 62 GT Hawk since 1964 and I got the truck from my mom in 2009 after my dad died.  I do know a lot of Avanti folks but this is really my first dive into the Avanti world.  Hope to hear from you again and maybe meet up in Ohio.

Roger List

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