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Icon of design: A brief look back at the Studebaker Avanti

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During a recent excursion back east, we had the opportunity to be in the presence of one of the most iconic automobile designs of the 20th century: the Studebaker Avanti. Worshiped by some and derided by others, Raymond Loewy's masterpiece was two-and-half steps beyond anything produced in the '60s. The coupe's name itself means "forward" or "advance" in Italian, and whether you're smitten by the Avanti's aerodynamic styling or its innovative approach to safety, there's a little something for any purebred pistonhead.

This particular 1964 supercharged R2 example currently resides outside Pittsburgh, PA, under the watchful gaze of its owner, John Kudravy, who is a family friend, architect, design snob and devout worshiper at the altar of power and poise. He's owned the Avanti for going on two decades and after showing it at several events across the U.S., it's likely to be the best-kept Avanti in North America.

For a brief rundown on the Avanti, you can check out Wikipedia's entry here, along with a bio of Raymond Loewy here. And be sure to check out our 40-image-strong gallery below.

A special thanks to John for his time, expertise and patience, along with his early contribution to our obsession with all-things automotive.

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