This 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2’s restoration was completed in June of 2019 by Dave Tomasic. It was purchased from a Mon Valley Region member in July of 2011 and immediately began restoration upon delivery in September 2011. Dave can take the credit for a major portion of the restoration, but like in any large project, some outside expertise is always needed. The R2’s unique engine and T-10 transmission were farmed out for complete overhauls and brought as close to original spec as possible. The engine had been bored to 304 CID from the original 289 CID and reversing that was untenable. With a bucket load of new innards and some extensive machining the 304 version was brought back to life. Dave also solicited some help with the interior, front suspension, front and rear glass installation, and priming of the body. After that the work is all Dave’s. A new braking kit fitted over sized discs at all four corners giving the R2 stopping power akin to a track car. Body work, including the red color, the cockpit revitalization, advanced wiring, electronics, and assembly took over 4 years to finalize. Not quite perfect, Dave is patiently working on rooting out stubborn gremlins that have settled in during the 30 years of the R2’s inactivity. Even so, the gremlins left over are not enough to stop this R2 from reconnecting those familiar with the mark with its style, performance, and sound – all distinctly Studebaker.
You can read about the restoration process of this R2 in Dave’s book, Avanti 63220 Reborn, the Zen of Restoration.