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Aero-Fiberglass Body, Supercharged V8

Production Years



United States

Number Produced



Raymond Loewy, Tom Kellogg, Bob Andrews, and John Ebstein

Revealed at the 1962 New York Auto Show, the Studebaker Avanti (Italian for “Forward”), was an instant hit. Although the design generated buyer interest and a surge of orders,  the inability to produce and deliver the advanced engineering and fiberglass bodies efficiently and in volume contributed to the quick collapse of this long standing but financially fragile automotive innovator. The Avanti’s exciting design hid some conventional Studebaker engineering. The chassis was based on the Studebaker Lark, and the engine was a higher output version of Studebaker’s V8. The overall shape was developed in a matter of months by the famed Raymond Loewy design firm. The accelerated production schedule meant that there was not enough time to create production body tooling for the car, so the body was built of fiberglass. The Avanti offered several advanced features in addition to the fiberglass body: all-wheel disc brakes, integral roll-bar, and a factory installed supercharger. Although states required model year designations for registration purposes, Studebaker did not identify model years internally. This is due to the fact that changes to the car were incrementally made during production.

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