This one brings home the trophies and ribbons! Auto Alchemy restored Bill Clark’s 63 R-2 which he debuted at the 2019 Amelia Island Concours. The car has won: Post-War American – Best in Class 2019 – St. Michaels Concours – Easton MD Jr. show award at the 2019 AACA show – Parsippany, New Jersey Senior Award in a 2019 AACA show Best in Class at the 14th Annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance.
Is your surge tank leaking, corroded, in need of help? I repair these tanks, if they aren’t too far gone due to cracks in the metal tank body.
Disassembled tank. Only four parts in a surge tank – top and bottom covers, inner baffle and the holding bracket. The solder holding the top and bottom covers together can fail. It corrodes, then blows out from years of pressure as part of the radiator system, leaving gaps that leak coolant. On these 60 year old cars, rust can be a problem. The bracket becomes rusty, the rust expands and cracks the underside of the surge tank.
Received a question about this surge tank: “Why is the tank not painted black ala original?” Answer: Normally a surge tank is painted black, but this surge tank will be installed on an R3, which was a Paxton engine. Paxton painted the R3 surge tanks red and shipped these engines to Studebaker where they were installed on the assembly line at the Studebaker factory in South Bend, IN.
Update!! This R4 Avanti is for sale by owner. Contact us for more details….
When a restorer works on a car like this, it’s a large time and money investment. This car had significant damage. A full body off restoration was done with an interior revamp and some fun resto-mod tweeks. The upper engine and carb were rebuilt, a new blower was added, mechanical systems were upgraded, custom parts were engineered and machined, AC was custom fit under the hood, extensive body work was done and new paint was sprayed. It was a lengthy restoration process. With Bez Auto Alchemy restorations, you get in-depth professional restoration work and in this case, customization from a knowledgeable repair, fabrication expert.
There is very little work that is jobbed out by Auto Alchemy. Upholstery, original to the car radio repair and engine machining are the exceptions. Everything else is done by Brad, in-house, which keeps the quality control intact.
A new front nose panel was fit and fiberglassed in and the frame was undercoated with a zinc chromate treatment. This is the real deal – military spec chromate (not a recent version with the good protective chemicals removed).
—Kids don’t spray this at home! Take your frame to a pro for this spray work— You do not want sniff poisonous chromate fumes.
The frame was stripped using a sandblast method, cleaned and metal finished smooth, then sprayed with the zinc chromate, which is a superior galvanizing rust preventative. A sealer coat of factory black paint was sprayed over the zinc chromate.
Is it overkill or necessary to do this type of frame coating? No – it’s a choice: you crawl under your car and spray rust stop on the frame every year or add a preventive when you do the frame off. This is especially important, if you’re living/driving in wet environments.
The brakes were upgraded to modern Wilwood brakes to tame the power of this beast’s engine. Stainless steel brake lines with brass fittings were installed. The wheels on this Avanti are original magnesium Halibrands – not after market re-pops. Dialing in the correct settings.
Starfire White paint color from Lexus – a three-stage pearl paint was applied after weeks of fiberglass repair and body prep. From one light direction the paint shimmers silver, from another it glows pearl white. When you get up close you see the array of finely cut pearl that gives this car its shimmering presence. Sparkle, shimmer and glow. This car paint has it all going on.
The dash was fitted with a carbon fiber inlay, as well as a carbon fiber console insert. Bright LED bulbs light the instrument cluster, the headlights and tail lights.
The original radio was retro-fitted with five channel output, Bluetooth, a class A Kenwood amp, JBL component speakers on the kick panels, tweeters mounted in the front upper side panels and two hidden 6×9″ rear deck speakers. This stereo system rocks!!
Engine Work – the original conversion of the 289 engine to R4 was done a number of years ago. When the car was brought to Brad, he reworked several elements of the previous conversion. He rebuilt the dual carbs with a complete interior – exterior clean, it was re-jetted and the venturis were sleeved to improve throttle response – to ensure it is not over-carburated. AC and a Novi blower with serpentine belt drive were installed with custom made engine bracketry. The upgraded blower breathes additional life into the engine. The custom chrome tube airflow system was hand fabricated.
The brake master cylinder was upgraded to hydroboost which runs off the power steering. When you’re running a high output supercharger (up to 20 pounds of boost) such as this Novi, you will lose manifold vacuum. A regular Studebaker supercharger produces less than 5 pounds of boost. The addition of a hydroboost cylinder provides reliable braking for this powerful engine.
Tribute R4 / 1963 Avanti debuted at the annual MCACN Show in Chicago. This is not an orginal R4 produced by the “speed shop” Granitelli Brothers, this is a modern version of that original Avanti R4 retrofitting.
This R4 is a hot car! As muscled and powerful as any of the 60’s cars. Do you love the mad roar of a high output engine and the whistle of a blower? This car has both! It’s a stunner, ready for the track or the road. Street-smart, fun and fast!
If your gauges, clocks or radios are no longer working, we can repair them for you. Has your clock stopped working? Do you need your radio repaired or want it upgraded with modern internal components, including Bluetooth?
We can do this for you….send them to us. We’ll repair, refurbish and upgrade them.
We open the gauges, clean them, refurbish the face plates and needles, polish the glass and have the rings re-chromed, if necessary. They look like new when we’re done with them.