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The production R3 was a high-performance version of the supercharged R2 engine; the R4 was a high-performance version of the unsupercharged R1 engine. Nine 1964 Avantis with R3 engines were built. Although the R4 engine was optional in 1964, none were produced before the Avanti was discontinued in December 1963. The Granatelli brothers took the first R3, which was an early prototype completed in April 1962, to the Nevada desert where a timed top speed of 171.10 was recorded. For a time, Studebaker could boast of having produced what President Sherwood Egbert proclaimed as "the world's fastest production car." In September 1963, the Granatellis took an R3 to Bonneville where the car did a two-way flying mile at an average of 170.75 mph. Vince Granatelli claims the engines tested on the dyno at 400 gross horsepower, but even a more realistic 300 horses would make this the fastest production Studebaker.
For the R3 Andy Granatelli expanded the standard Studebaker 289 V-8 to 304.5 cubic inches. A Paxton supercharger provided the increased pressure in the fuel-air mixture to achieve greater engine efficiency. R3 and R4 Avantis used a larger rearend housing with heavy duty flanged axles rather than the standard Avanti tapered axle. The rearends were Dana Spicer Model 44's. Specially cast heads with much larger valves were fitted and Iskenderian dual valve springs were optional. A hotter cam was added and heavy-duty bearings installed. Major moving parts were balanced and magna-fluxed. The top edges of the cylinder head bores were chamfered to match the cylinder head combustion chambers, and special flattop forged aluminum pistons filled the holes. Custom exhaust headers were used on all R3's as was a Prestolite transistor ignition system. Chassis and bodies built for R3-powered cars were also modified. Chassis had heavy-duty spring and strengthened control arm bushings. Bodies were shimmed to clear the carburetor pressure box fed by the supercharger.
Muscle Car Of The Week Video Episode #138: 1964 Studebaker Avanti Paxton Supercharged R2

Studebaker R3 Specifications
Engine Overhead valve V-8, 304.5-cu .in., 400 hp @ 6000 rpm
Base price Base price: $ 5,980 (includes R3 performance package)
Base weight 3195 lbs
Body Reinforced fiberglass with steel roll bar
Frame Ladder type with X-member and four crossbars
Wheelbase 109 inches
Length 192.4 inches
Track (f/r) 57.4/56.6
Suspension Independent coil springs, tubular
Suspension (rear) Semi-elliptic springs, tubular shocks and anti-sway bar
Brakes Hydraulic disc
Brakes (rear) Hydraulic finned drum, power-assisted
Compression Ratio 9.75:1
Transmission 3-speed Warner power-shift automatic
Studebaker Avanti R-Series Comparison Table
series cu. in. carb super charger comp ratio distributor cam springs heads pistons exhaust manifolds ignition tach
R1 289 single
4 brl
non-super charged 10.25:1 dual point 260
valve springs

R2 289 single
4 brl
super charged 9.0:1 dual point 260
valve springs

R3 304.5 single
4 brl
super charged 9.5:1 dual point/ mechanical advance 276 or 288
single or dual valve springs special forged tuned port transigniter (transistor ignition) 8000 rpm scale
R4 304.5 dual
4 brl
non-super charged 12:1 dual point/ mechanical advance 276 or 288
single or dual valve springs special forged tuned port transigniter (transistor ignition)
R5 Paxton

dual-super charged

Studebaker Avanti 1964 Production R3 Profile
Serial Number Original Locations Paint Color Transmission
R5089 Downers Grove, Illinois turquoise 4-speed
R5237 Seattle, Washington black 4-speed
R5394 Kingston, Pennsylvania white 4-speed
R5532 Vauxhall, New Jersey turquoise 4-speed
R5546 Fort Wayne, Indiana gold 4-speed
R5593 Yuma, Arizona gray automatic
R5625 Toledo, Ohio black automatic
R5642 Moline, Illinois white automatic
R5643* Jackson, Mississippi white automatic
*Last Studebaker Avanti
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