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Reliability and maximum speed


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Some of you may know me here. I am photographer for Auto Retro the main classic car magazine in France and I am the owner of a 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2.
My editor-in-chief and I, we had the idea to publish a report on the Avanti soon and that is somewhat the purpose of this message.

My Avanti has been fully restored in mechanics (chassis, running gear, engine, cylinder heads, gearbox, exhausts...), it is equipped with the supercharger (restored with new mechanism), the 3-speed automatic transmission and the axle ratio 3:73.
Today, the car is in perfect condition, the running-in time has been done, the engine does not heat up, the cylinder heads have been tightened and I have already traveled around 10,000 km (6200 ml) since the engine is new.

Here in France, we lack a lot of user feedback because there are few Avanti in circulation and almost no R2 runs with its supercharger.
If you own (or have owned) a similar model, would you please be kind to answer some of these questions ?

According to the different versions, an Avanti R2 is capable of high performances, do you sometimes try to reach them ?
What maximum speed do you reach ?
How long do you wait for warm-up ?
Is the 289ci block weakened with the supercharger ?
Have you ever had troubles after using at high speed (overheating... cylinder head gasket ...) ?

Although a competitor to the Corvette and capable of performance comparable to that of a Ferrari 250 GT, some people, here in France, think (especially specialists in the Corvette ;-) that the Avanti is more fragile and that it is better to drive it quietly.

Given its axle ratio, mine should be able to exceed 200 km/h (124 mph).
My goal is not to drive fast all the time and I don't hope or dare to reach its maximum speed one day but I like to know what are the limits without no risk for the engine.
I found this video that shows a seemingly original model peaking at 120 mph (193 km/h) :

Of course, needless to remind me that the speed on French motorways is limited to 130 km/h... I'm talking about performance in my dreams... or on tracks ;-) !

Thanks for your attention and answers and sorry for my bad english (thanks Google !).

Take care !


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