R5643 On The
On December 31, 1963 W.H. Bennett Sr., a worker at the Studebaker factory in South Bend, Indiana, stuffed a note beneath the trunk liner of Avanti R5643 that read: “This 1964 model Avanti was the last one built in South Bend, Indiana Serial #5643, Body #3902, Line 717, W.H. Bennett Sr. 4739. Happy New Year.” George E. Westin found the letter a year later in the trunk of the car at Jerry’s Auto Sales of Warren, Ohio. Mr. Westin sold the car to Joe Erdelac, who owned an American Motors dealership in Cleveland. In 1979 Erdelac donated it to the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Crawford Auto Aviation Collection. Early in 2014 the Historic Vehicle Association placed R5643 on the National Mall for their "Cars at the Capital" event where it was photographed with the U.S. Capitol in the background. R5643 was equipped with a supercharged R3 engine, manual steering, front and rear seatbelts, rectangular headlamp enclosures, clear lenses on the parking lamps, full wheel covers, and Avanti White paint with a black interior. Click the note at lower right for a larger view. Photos courtesy of the Historic Vehicle Association.
1964 Studebaker Avanti R5643 displayed on the National Mall with the U.S. Capitol in the background.
The last Studebaker Avanti was equipped with a supercharged R3 engine.