1978 Avanti Avanti II
1978 Studebaker Avanti II 2-Door Coupe
- Collector Grade Show Car
- 350ci V8 Engine
- Factory Silver Moondust Metallic Paint
- Rogue Crimson Vinyl/Red Rossi Velvet Interior
- Air Conditioning
- Power Steering and Cruise Control
- Power Windows and Door Locks
- All Original Purchase Documents
(Please note: If you happen to be viewing this 1978 Steudebaker Avanti II 2-Door Coupe on a website other than our Garage Kept Motors site, it's possible that you've only seen some of our many photographs of this vehicle due to website limitations. To be sure you access all the more than 175 photographs, please go to our main website: GarageKeptMotors.)
“… the Avanti is a stunning piece of design, unusual and attractive at the same time.” –Ronnie Schreiber, “The Truth About Cars,” 6/4/2011
While this legendary American brand has disappeared from the automotive landscape, Studebaker's more than 100-year history featured a number of innovative high points. Of interest to enthusiasts are particular Studebaker models: the 1953 Commander, winner of the grueling La Carerra Panamericana Mexican road race; the 1950s Hawk series, which Hagerty cites as America's first “big engine-small body” muscle car; and even the Lark, the pioneer small car of the late 1950s, well ahead of the Big Three entries in that emerging segment. But perhaps the single most notable Studebaker of all was the model designed by the legendary Robert Lowery (whose other credits include the iconic Coca-Cola bottle), namely the classic Studebaker Avanti.
The 1978 Avanti II offered here is a wonderful example of the historic, and now highly collectible model. As we have pointed out before, the two most important criteria to be evaluated before choosing any particular classic automobile are first, its original build-sheet specifications (and their match to the car on sale), and second, its condition. This Avanti II scores absolutely the highest marks on both.
The original dated build sheet—along with a host of similarly original and model-specific period literature—accompanies the car (as shown in the ninth photograph in the car's gallery at GarageKeptMotors.com.) Documenting the late-1978 delivery in Pompano Beach, Florida, this nearly priceless document specifies every option from air conditioning to electric locks and windows; the carpet, upholstery and paint colors; engine and transmission details; down to the door-key number identifier. It even includes the note to the dealer to add the “owner's mag wheels to the new car,” a service accomplished prior to delivery (and these mag wheels are still mounted). Further proof the first owner knew exactly what he wanted: a right-side exterior mirror, Blaupunkt AM/FM stereo radio, under-dash and rear speakers, tinted side windows, and more. Clearly, this was a high-spec Avanti II.
At just over 62,000 miles in all, or roughly a mere 1,500 miles per year, this Avanti II has been loved since day-one. Its concours-ready, collector-grade condition shows throughout. The factory “Silver Moondust” (a timeless silver-gray shade) metallic paint retains its original luster. Chrome exterior trim (including the square headlight bezels surrounding the round lenses, characteristic of the Avanti “II” models), dual exhaust pipes, and emblems are complete and highly polished. Similarly, the owner-supplied 5-spoke mag wheels (referenced earlier) with simulated knock-off hubs show beautifully. All glass and lenses are in virtually perfect condition. Under the front-hinged hood, the 350 cubic-inch V8 engine (supplied to Studebaker by Chevrolet) is complete and original, yet not overly detailed. (For a sample of its throaty exhaust note, be sure to check out the walk-around video available at the GarageKeptMotors website.) In the same way, the car's undercarriage is clean and tidy with no sign of damage and zero rust. And because the Avanti bodies were fiberglass (manufactured by one of the suppliers of the Corvette bodies of the period), there is no body rust, either.
Inside, the car is a visual delight with red, the color of passion, as the dominant statement: dash, visors, headboard, and integrated roll bar in “rogue crimson” vinyl paint; “horizon aplomb crimson” shag carpeting; door panels in “rogue crimson” vinyl with “rossi red” velvet inserts; and seats (front buckets and rear bench) upholstered in “rogue crimson” vinyl trim with “rossi red” velvet partial inserts, all documented on the build sheet. No doubt this is a one-of-one example. It's not hard to imagine the original owner wowing his passengers with the excitement of this glorious red interior. The brushed-aluminum instrument surround, and the restrained use of chrome and brushed-aluminum on the shifter and console provide a nice complement. Stewart Warner instruments operate as they should and are visible through clear lenses. The bespoke aircraft-cockpit-inspired switchgear shows beautifully
A collector-grade automobile of this caliber clearly merits an in-person inspection, which we are happy to schedule at our Grand Rapids, Michigan showroom by appointment. Meanwhile, the more than 175 high-definition photographs of this Avanti II featured on the GarageKeptMotors website offer a get-acquainted view from virtually every angle. This special automobile awaits its place of honor in the collection of its next owner. We certainly hope it also gets driven, even if it's only to the occasional cars-and-coffee event where this beautiful Avanti II is sure to draw the crowds, and the compliments. Be sure to check out all the photos and video on our main website: Garage Kept Motors. Call if interested or e-mail with any questions. Thank you for looking.