Studebaker Avanti


1963-1964 Studebaker Avanti was designed by a team led by Raymond Loewy. It was, as you can see, revolutionary for its time, with razor-edged front fenders swept back into a curved rear. Almost European in its petite quirkiness.

Loewy threw out the conventional grille for the Avanti, putting instead an air scoop under a thin front bumper, complete with an asymmetrical hump in the hood.

Studebaker decided to make this a real lightweight plastic fantastic, too, and made it out of fibreglass. When you consider this car came with Stud’s best V8 with high lift cam and four barrel carbs – which produced in the region of 250 Cavali: this would have been one rapid freak of a mid sixties automobile.

There was, apparently a supercharged version which must have been hell on wheels, too.

Wonder why it never sold too well. It might have been a little ugly to a culture obsessed with chrome, fins and the demonising of Cuba. But we reckon it looks pretty good through the gauze of half a century.