Studebaker Avanti R5089, owned by Randy Rapp is one of the “original Avanti Nine”. This car sat 40 years waiting for it’s original engine to be found, returned to the car, rebuilt and fired up, again.
Photo Credits – Lew Shucart – Randy Rapp
Studebaker factory worked with the Granatelli Brothers/Paxton Products (a division of Stude Corp) to produce R3 engines with superchargers. Only 9 Avanti R3 engines and one Lark R3 engine actually rolled off the production line at the Studebaker factory in South Bend IN.
This Avanti with it’s now matching numbers is part of an exclusive club. At one point in it’s life, through the course of 4 different owners, the engine was separated from the car. Randy was able to purchase and reunite the engine with the original body.
A well tuned, Paxton supercharged 289 V-8 engine brings 335+ hp to the table. Back in the day the Granatelli brothers at Bonneville Salt Flats, set 29 production-car speed records with these blown “stock” Avantis. We love how Studebakers continue to set and hold classic car land speed records.
Randy called on Brad to be the engine-side doctor for the first run and engine break-in. Brad has worked closely with Randy as restoration consultant, as well as refurbishing a number of mechanical parts for the car and rebuilding the Paxton blower.
Watch the video as Brad keeps his eyes and ears tuned to every nuance of sound, using the timing light and temp gauge to check operating levels. Do you hear that blower whistle? Yeah…..nieeece!
Avanti R5089 Startup from Lewis Schucart.
1963 Avanti R2
The final finish and paint work and engine tuning was completed by Brad Bez. Brad’s expertise was the driving force that led to completion of this project.