Between March 1961 and April 1962, the Loewy crew at Palm Springs creates a quarter sized clay model, which is approved by the Studebaker Corporation and sent to the Studebaker Engineering Department.

A full sized clay is modeled from the Loewy creation by by Bob Doehler and the Styling Team at the Studebaker Design headquarters. From the full size model, a prototype vehicle

is constructed and given the experimental design chassis number "EX-2942". (R-5652?)   ...  Note of Interest
Creating this first prototype vehicle was a hands on process, using the clay as a model, forming body panels over it, removing them and assembling the prototype car like a jig saw puzzle on the chassis of a 1962 Lark station wagon.

    (quote: Sep 2009, Richard Bennett / Owner of EX-2942, The Due Cento )
    The Due Cento began life in 1961 as the original factory prototype Avanti, built from hand laid fiberglass cloth by the Engineering Department. The body panels molded from the Design Studio's clay model at Studebaker in South Bend. The final product was assigned Experimental serial number (EX2942).

    It originally did not have a functioning dash, taillights and perhaps some other items. It is believed that the car did not originally have an engine or transmission, but later had an R2 installed when it was put into service for testing. It is shown in the Avanti Dealer Brochure brake test with Andy at the wheel.
    There are many unique features on the car as it was a prototype. In addition to the hand-laid cloth that can be seen underneath, it did not have upholstery on the dash. Where the glove box was to go, was just etched out and the dash had the mirror mounted on it. It had dummy aluminum tail lights with red anodizing where the lens would be on the production models. Red lens were placed in the backup light location and this location was wired for tail and stop lights. The door windows had "flippers" mounted on the body that snapped down over the window like the 57' Golden Hawk. There are many other items, too many to mention, but these are the most notable.

    Later in 1962, EX2942 was shipped to Paxton Products, where the Granatelli's took a standard 289 CID engine and bored it .060 oversize and created a 299 cubic inch (*2) " developmental R3" engine (Specs here) and set 29 land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats as documented in the factory film "Bonneville Record Breaker" and also with a banner which was distributed to dealers to be displayed in their showrooms. EX2942 went a best speed of 168.24 mph.. As told in the Bonneville Record Breaker (Below), the other two Avanti's which were to become the #8 and #9 cars were present, one used as a test car and the other as a backup.

    (*2 Editor's note) 299 cubic inches was a class limit at Bonneville. These engines were designated "A" engines by the Granatelli group. Later 304.5 CID engines were noted as "B" engines.

    Story on
    Bonneville Record Runs

    The R5 engined, Due Cento

    (quote: Sep 2009, Richard Bennett )
    In 1963, EX2942 was modified into the "R5 Due Cento" and returned to Bonneville with the hopes of exceeding 200 mph. It was given a red paint job and some aerodynamic panels.

    Photos - Courtesy of John Shanahan

    R5 Press release

    Indy Novi Press release
    The engine was a modified R3, with dual superchargers, one feeding each bank and a Bendix "Novi" fuel injection unit, which I was told was borrowed from the Novi Indy Car.
    There were also some internal modifications including a special cam ground for the Granatelli's by Weber.

      Ed. Note: (quote Andy Granatelli - Nov 1970) The engine compression was 8:75 ::1. The superchargers were modified with an outside vent between the labyrinth rings. Then, a 2 quart dry sump oiling system with a cooler was fabricated for each supercharger, The coolers were mounted in the area where the parking lights normally went. The car had a Halibrand Quick Change rear axle and a parachute pack for deceleration. The front suspension was customized with a special racing configuration, including different upper and lower control arms and larger wheel bearings. The front end geometry was nothing like a street car.

    (Cont... R. Bennett)
    There is some confusion as to how the induction system was plumbed. Hopefully this will help to set it straight. Air entered into the fuel injection unit throught the hood scoop.
    The fuel injection unit ..(1) .. (2).. sprayed the air/fuel mixture
    into the superchargers ( dual supply plenum) and then (the mixture fed) into the custom made intake manifold.
    Bill Dredge was present at the Granatelli shop when the testing was done on the dyno and said that the engine, in his words, produced a whopping 638 HP. Quite an accomplishment for 1963!

    Driven by Joe and Andy Granatelli, the Due Cento reached speeds well over 200 mph according to the tach, but was not getting traction due to the wet salt and the best official run was 196.58 mph. Shortly after the October 1963 runs, Studebaker announced it was ending it's automobile business which ended the Granatell's opportunity to return to Bonneville to break the 200 mph. barrier it was more that capable of.

    1963 Studebaker Publicity Films, EX-2942
    with a prototype R3 engine


    Stay Tuned - There's a lot more to come.......

    Maybe even a fresh engine !!( Jan 2011)

    More Comments -
    SDC Forum - Aug 20-22
    January 7, 2011

      R5 engine parts find

    Parts list;
    Dual Supercharger mounts / Gilmer idlers / Bendix Fuel Injection unit(s) / Dual Supercharger manifold/ Sheet metal Cylinder head manifold / Gilmer Crank pulley and belt system

    17 February 2011
    Work by Greg Cone, Warrenton, VA

    Original Photo (C 1963)
    Granatelli Shop, Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
    Additional images -

    More Photos here

    Feb 23, 2011

The Beginning

The Due Cento
at Bonneville.....

Footage of the Due Cento
Dan Duma - March 2013

Photo - Courtesy of John Shanahan

Photo - Courtesy of John Shanahan

Photo - Courtesy of John Shanahan

Photo - Courtesy of Hemmings Motor News

Car Life Dec 1963

Hemmings Motor News Dec 2009

EX-2942 - near Paxton Engineering, 1965  (Photos - Bob Caser)


Granatelli AT Bonneville

Turning Wheels, June 2002