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Studebaker Factory R-3 Availability


murph the surf
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What precipitated management at Studebaker to get the R-3 available to buyers that they had offered as a factory option on the Avanti,but were,in reality,reluctant to sell?

Edited by murph the surf
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The horsepower race by competitors.  They couldn't compete on cubic inches so they went to superchargers, first with the R2 and then the R3 to gain a little more (mostly advertising).  

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Gary,my apologies,I did reword the question as I feel I did not make my question specific enough-and you are indeed correct that the R-3 definitely gave them the much needed horsepower prestige to have a good standing in the horsepower race.But there was a specific event that was the catalyst for Studebaker finally getting those R-3's to market.Care to give it another stab???

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The Bonneville runs gave them advertising "juice',and certainly made the Avanti known for it's high speed capability,but Studebaker was actually reluctant to actually offer them to the public,and didn't do so until something happened.

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Ok, how about when the major US manufacturer decided to ignore the AMA racing ban and immediately introduced much higher horsepower engines, Studebaker (Egbert) decided they needed a higher horsepower "racing" engine too?

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1 hour ago, r1lark said:

Ok, how about when the major US manufacturer decided to ignore the AMA racing ban and immediately introduced much higher horsepower engines, Studebaker (Egbert) decided they needed a higher horsepower "racing" engine too?

The higher horsepower R-3 was certainly needed for good "press" for the Avanti,but there was an event that occured that made Studebaker go ahead with offering the R-3's to the public.

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30 minutes ago, Avanti83 said:

Possibly that it's hard to call it a "stock or production" car if it's not available to the public.

You're real close,Avanti83-now,what actually happened that made Studebaker offer them to the public with the R-3 option?   

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11 minutes ago, studegary said:

Was it tied in with the purchase of Paxton/McCullogh?

No,not tied in with that purchase,Gary.

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11 minutes ago, r1lark said:

The Bonneville records would be in jeopardy if the engine was not available to the public? I think this is pretty much what Avanti83 was saying. 

I would think that was quite possible,r1,but that's not what got Studebaker motivated to make the R-3 option available directly from Studebaker.

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1 hour ago, mfg said:

Was it that Andy Granatelli, head of the Paxton Products Division, was made a V.P. of Studebaker Corp?

Excellent thought,but that wasn't the catalyst for the offering..

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Avanti83 was on the right track,but the specific answer as to why Studebaker went ahead with offering the R-3's to the buying public is that in the late Spring of 1963, the Federal Trade Commission began questioning Studebaker's Television ads.The Federal Trade Commission was "concerned with the hazards and dangers of high speeds,and want to know if the speeds can be obtained on the models actually sold to the public,or are they exaggerated?".They asked "if an Avanti that goes 170 mph is available to the public?".Studebaker Corporate Attorney Stanley Feuer felt the government was looking over Studebaker's shoulder,and advised the factory R-3 option "should become available so that we have a car to offer the public if they want to buy it".

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2 hours ago, murph the surf said:

Avanti83 was on the right track,but the specific answer as to why Studebaker went ahead with offering the R-3's to the buying public is that in the late Spring of 1963, the Federal Trade Commission began questioning Studebaker's Television ads.The Federal Trade Commission was "concerned with the hazards and dangers of high speeds,and want to know if the speeds can be obtained on the models actually sold to the public,or are they exaggerated?".They asked "if an Avanti that goes 170 mph is available to the public?".Studebaker Corporate Attorney Stanley Feuer felt the government was looking over Studebaker's shoulder,and advised the factory R-3 option "should become available so that we have a car to offer the public if they want to buy it".

Thanks.  That is interesting.  It ties in with Sales Letter No. 161 dated 6/10/63 making the R3 "...available on or about August 1, 1963."  

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