Who would have though that such a cutting edge, avant-garde design could come from an American car manufacturer? In the era of immense cars and massive engine, the 1963 Studebaker Avanti appeared. It was truly like nothing else in the world, and certainly not Detroit (although the Avantis were built in South Bend, Indiana). The Avanti was the last car designed by legendary designer Raymond Loewy, and is a perfect example of his streamlined, unconventional style. Needless to say, the Avanti gained an immediate following, which unfortunately wasn’t enough to keep Studebaker from going bankrupt and closing in 1966.
The Avanti wasn’t shy when it came to power, either. Several engines were available; the most powerful one, the R3, was a supercharged 5-liter V8 engine, producing 335 horsepower. This was enough to take the stylish coupe to a top speed of 130 miles per hour; it accelerated to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, no mean feat for such a heavy car.
Fortunately for all Avanti enthusiasts, a pair of visionary Studebaker dealers saw the writing on the wall, and purchased the factory. The Avanti thus continued to be produced, at a rate of about 100 cars a year, until 1984. The 1963 Studebaker Avanti was a real design breakthrough, and it would be decades before another audacious car like that came out of the US auto industry.