In the late 50's Studebaker had been doing everything they could to stay in the Big Four Sales Club. GM, Ford, Chrysler and Studebaker were the American power house world wide, the automotive Giants. By the late 50's Studebaker was looking for a miracle. They hoped that would come in Raymond Lowery's next revolutionary design. His last design the, 1954 President Speedster was evolutionary and way ahead of its time, with its low profile and and low drag shape. So in 1960 Studebaker turned once again to the genius of Raymond Lowery to set the world on fire. In one short year the Avanti went from concept to prototype and then production for 1962.
The Studebaker V8 was initially was introduced in 1951 as a 232 cubic inch displacement with 120 horse power, It eventually displaced 304 cid and in the R3 Supercharged configuration it eventually exceeded 330 hp as installed in the Hawk GT and the Avanti. The R3 was fr all intents and purpose a factory race car. very few R3's made it to public hands, this seems to be one of them. The Andy Granatelli Land speed record Avanti was a modified R3 and with a special Supercharger was referred as the R5. That car was clocked at Bonneville just short of its 200 mile per hour goal due to poor traction not lack of power But 197 MPH in a "production" car was rather impressive in the early 60's.