1963 Studebaker Avanti R1

Pick of the Week: 1963 Studebaker Avanti R1

 The styling for the 1963 Studebaker Avanti was striking but controversial

One of the most unusual standout designs during the early 1960s was that of the Studebaker Avanti, a “personal luxury” coupe that debuted in April 1962. Created by a team assembled by famed industrial designer Raymond Loewy, the fiberglass-bodied Avanti was true to its name as an avant garde original.

As usual, Studebaker was ahead of the styling curve and the Avanti became something of a “love it or loathe it” piece of automotive quirkiness. The timing was not great, as the Avanti appeared on the scene at the same time as another fiberglass original, the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray, which stole much of the popular thunder.

Today’s Pick of the Week is an apparently restored 1963 Studebaker Avanti R1 being sold by a private owner in San Diego. Although appreciated as collector cars, Avantis have never commanded big-dollar sales, and this one is offered at what seems like a bargain price of $25,000 or best offer.

The Avanti’s interior looks immaculate

The seller’s description is brief and lacking in details, but the car is described as Avanti Red in color with a black vinyl interior, air conditioning, electric windows and other convenience features.

The photos show what appears to be an original Studebaker 289 V8 engine, coupled with an automatic transmission and Twin Traction limited-slip rear. The photos of the interior are very impressive.

This was the original year of the Avanti, when they really looked their best. I particularly like the piece of mid-century chrome flair on the hood, which became a signature styling cue.

Although a handsome Studebaker Avanti would make a good Pick of the Week any time, it’s also a nod to this week’s ClassicCars.com poll results, which found that most people would choose Studebaker as the defunct automaker they would most like to see come back to life.

Posted in: Features

About the Author:

Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


FindInvest is a digital marketplace destined to regroup different investment categories in one single place. We offer listings for real estate, classic cars, projects/businesses and collectibles.

FindInvest enables investors and collectors from around the world to find their next investment opportunities.

Our offers come from selected professional dealers and selected private dealers. Every single announcement is reviewed and confirmed by our team before it is published on our website.

We wish you fun researching for your next investment and thank you for your trust.


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Welcome to FootSteps

FootSteps was updated 7/2/2014 with various bug fixes and enhancements, including changes to help users comply with the new Canada Anti-Spam Law:

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Investing in Classic Cars

Investing in Classic Cars

Sleek fender lines, chrome grills, plush vintage interiors… No wonder the international designer Ralph Lauren once described classic cars as “moving works of art.”

Classic cars are items that inspire the imagination like nothing else. The ultimate symbol of luxury, they continue to fascinate collectors with their aesthetic beauty, engineering brilliance and historic importance.

And the investment market surrounding these magnificent vehicles is equally inspiring. Underpinned by an efficient combination of passionate collectors and the world’s wealthy elite, it offers an array of choice and prices to suit almost any taste in an investment area that historically moves independently to any other.

The world’s most valuable classic car, the Bugatti 57SC


And values are on the up. In recent years, the global recession and ongoing stock market volatility has encouraged an increasing number of investors to place their money with classic cars, which in turn has caused values to rocket.

According to the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, failing to invest in the classic car market is one of super-investor Warren Buffett’s biggest regret. In 1980, the world’s third richest man was offered the entire Harrah Collection of over 1,400 classic cars for less than $1m. In 1984, the collection sold for over $69m, with Buffett left feeling a sharp pang over the rare missed opportunity.


Reasons to invest

The market is in good shape: Prices for the leading classic cars fell by 0.06% in the five months to May 2014, with the market normalising following record-breaking results. This is great news for those concerned with an unsustainable price bubble, with values still remaining high.

Pleasure of ownership: A classic car provides one of the few investments where you can fully enjoy your purchase without significantly decreasing its value. Many classic car collectors choose to race at track days and find infinite enjoyment in learning the history of their vehicle, as well as how to lovingly repair and restore it.

Diversity: With the current volatility of the stock market, there has never been a more crucial time to add some much-needed diversity to your portfolio. The top classic cars are far more likely to hold their worth than stocks and shares in the current climate and provide a solid asset that you can touch, rather than a promise which could collapse at any point.

Chinese market set to explode: With very few investors buying classic cars in China solely due to restrictions on importing used vehicles, a relaxation in the laws will undoubtedly result in a huge boom in their classic car market – something that dedicated enthusiasts, hungry investors and eager sellers are currently working on.

Historical performance

The world record price for a classic car at auction has soared from $10.8m in 2008 (for a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Cal Spyder) to an impressive $29.6m in 2013 (for a Mercedes W196) – that’s a 22.34% per annum increase.

The HAGI Index of classic car values has risen 49.3% since it began tracking the market in January 2009, showing a 12.13% pa increase.

In 2011, the top 50 collectible classic cars rose by 13.89%, while gold – considered a reliable alternative investment – showed a growth of just 9.93%.

The 1929 Birkin Bentley became the world’s most valuable British car in June 2012, selling 78.6% above estimate for £5m ($7.8m). It beat the previous record for a British-made car of £3.5m ($5.5m), achieved by a 1904 Rolls-Royce in 2007, by 42.85%.

Results from the Historic Auto Group Indexes show that top quality Porsche models are up 2.32% for the year-to-date (May 2014), while Mercedes has seen an increase in value of 2.58% in the same period.

RV Shipments Climb

RV Shipments Climb in May

RV wholesale shipments to retailers tracked by RVIA continued to climb through May with year-to-date shipments totaling 159,256 units, a 10.6% gain over the first five months of last year.

On a monthly basis, shipments totaled 35,511 units in May, up 5.1% over April 2014 totals and 9.1% over May 2013 totals.  This represented the best May total for RV shipments in eight years and the best single monthly total for the RV market since March 2007.

Motorhome shipments continue to grow at a rapid pace rising 23.3% to 19,703 units through May.  Meanwhile, towable RVs remain the largest vehicle category with 139,553 units shipped so far in 2014, an increase of 9% over last year.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, May’s shipment totals represent an annualized rate of more than 354,000 units.

For more information on RV market statistics and research, visit the “Market Data and Trends” section of http://www.rvia.org. 

Classic Car Market New Hot Investment FORGET GOLD!

For rich people seeking new places to put their money, maybe one more fun than mutual funds and less risky than tech startups, one asset class is beating out all the rest: Classic cars.

Real estate firm Knight Frank put out its Luxury Index on Friday, which tracks a basket of collectible items that serves as a good proxy for how good wealthy people are feeling about their situations in life. Known as the KFLII, it kept rising fairly steadily through the recession, and is now beating the global stock markets.

Not all collectibles are doing equally well, though. Antique furniture has been out of style for a while now, for example and fine art–usually a more volatile category–sank 6 percent this year. But prices for classic cars, as tracked by the Historic Auto Group, have more than doubled over the past five years, and grown by 28 percent in the last 12 months.

What’s driving the bubble, if we might call it that? According to Knight Frank, cars are all the rage among Asian plutocrats. And unlike art, wine, and watches, there’s more of a confined supply. The various indices only track certain models, and none of them are being made anymore (even so, it’s hard to pin down the overall value of the market, since there’s not a central collection point for that kind of information, like there is in the major stock markets). Hagerty breaks them down by type of car: The “blue chips” cover models made in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. There are only so many of them, and even more people want to own one — complete with fraying upholstery — there’s no way for the market to increase supply.

For comparables, Knight Frank plots the Luxury Index against something that’s also known as a luxury commodity: Gold. The price of gold, though, has plummeted in recent months. That’s probably a good sign for the global economy, since people don’t feel the need to put their money in bars of something that’s always seen as valuable even if currencies collapse.

Luxury items aren’t really a substitute for gold, says Knight Frank analyst Andrew Shirley. That would be a better way to characterize equities, like stocks: When confidence in the economy is high, people put their money in riskier bets that have the potential to make large returns. Collectibles are where they put their money when they’ve made enough money in the stock market that they feel like diversifying — or just having some bling to set them apart from the other millionaires.


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