Jump to content

More Rookie Questions


Recommended Posts

It looks like most R2s cost more than I want to pay, so now I am thinking more of getting a nice R1 driver 4 speed with A/C.   

But I would still like to have R2 performance.  

I was just looking at prior threads re: converting an R1 into a R2.  Someone warned that adding a Paxton supercharger wouldn't be worth it because of the added upkeep, maintenance, etc.

Question:  Could you upgrade the R1 engine to R2 level performance without the Paxton supercharger, but still keep it mild enough to be streetable?

Maybe fuel injection? Maybe roller cams?  Maybe a modern turbo that would be more reliable?

I am sure this is not original thinking.  Are there R1s out there where this approach has been taken?








Link to comment
Share on other sites

Short answer - no way.

All those ideas to add R2 horsepower to an R1 will cost more than buying an R2.  If there were an easier, less expensive way to more horsepower, Studebaker would have done it in 1957-58 or '63-64.  They decided the McCulloch/Paxton was the most cost-effective.

jack vines

Edited by PackardV8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jack -  

Thanks for the quick, no nonsense answer.  I appreciate that.  Lesson learned.

What would you recommend to upgrade an R1 engine?  If it needs to be a supercharger, is there a modern one that would do the job and be more reliable?

Thanks for your patience, steep learning curve here . . .




Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, VtMike said:

64studeavanti -  That sounds pretty darn good to me.  Did the modifications change the drivability/comfort when you are tooling around town?  Estimated cost of the upgrades?     

The cost is about the same as a normal rebuild. NOS Isky cams are no longer available, however,  I believe that Isky will regrind existing cams. Others are selling R2+ regrind cams that are very similar. The additional machine work such are cylinder boring, decking, balancing etc are not very expensive. IIRC, I spent around $1000 or so. I used Silvolite flat top  hypereutetic pistons. I did not do any extensive porting on the heads just cc'd them. There is likely some performance gains with some good head work. There are some good performance builders that frequent the forums. Hopefully they will chime in soon.


The drivability is good. A little doggy on the bottom end, but really comes alive over 3,000 rpm. Valve train is quite a bit noisier. I am sure that a well tuned R2 will perform stronger, but what I have is more than adequate and I have factory A/C!

If the block is good enough, it can take an overbore that brings the displacement to around 308. 

How fast you want to go correlates well with how much money you want to spend. 

As has been said, the S/C is the most effective way to increase performance. But, as you noted, there is quite a cost difference between factory R2 vs R1. Adding the S/C and other associated performance parts is not cheap either.

Factory R2 4spd will cost more and will hold/increase value as they are much more desirable.


Of course, you could also swap in SBC or LS. Not cheap either and frowned on by the purists.



Edited by 64studeavanti
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

When I was looking for an Avanti in 2011-12, I drove R1s and R2s and for my intended driving purposes - shows, cruises, road trips - the R1 WITH factory air was a nicer prospect for me. If the 4 barrel is kicked in Ava scoots just fine and sounds raucous and doesn't seem "that" much slower than an R2 within posted speeds. The AC is needed in an early R1 given the prodigious engine heat. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...