Luxury Performance in the 1930's Stutz had earned a reputation as 'the car that made good in a day,' by entering the 1911 Indy 500 and finishing a respectable 11th place, despite its founders, Harry C. Stutz, only having but a few months to develop and built the car. Based on this impressive performance, passenger car production commenced and Stutz went on to build automobiles with a reputation for speed and durability, such as the famed jazz-era Bearcat sports car.
In the mid 1920's Stutz engineering's focused on a series of larger, high performance cars, featuring many safety advances. By the time the great depression finally ended Stutz's 24 year run, the company had set several speed records and produced 35,000 cars.
The car shown is a 1930 long wheelbase LeBaron cabriolet. True to Stutz's performance heritage, it is powered by a SV-16 322 cubic-inch single overhead cam 8-cylinder engine. Note the stunning factory optioned lizard interior, dual side mounts, and beautiful LeBaron coachwork, all of which pushed the 1930 price tag to over $5,400. The car is refinished in its original color, and is believed to be the only remaining long-wheelbase LeBaron.
The Stutz, built in Indianapolis, earned its reputation on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Throughout its existence, the company was known for sporty - and fast - automobiles. In November 1929 Stutz built the first ten of what was to be a run of 25 supercharged chassis. The depression caused the company to cancel the order for additional superchargers, so as a result no more were ever built. OF the 10, only three have survived.
This convertible coupe, with custom coachwork by Derham, is rare since it carries a factory-installed supercharger. Only 10 of these were built in November 1929 (most, if not all, were titled in 1930) and few remain today. The Stutz in-line eight featured overhead valves and overhead camshaft. Cars were available on 134.5- and 145-inch wheelbase chassis; this example is built on the latter.
This convertible coupe is an English bodied coupe and a racecar. The current owner first bought this car on his 16th birthday in 1947. He drove it to California from his parents' home in Cleveland, Ohio, up and down the west coast and back to Cleveland (about 6,000 miles) in the summer of the same year. It was a daily driver throughout his high school career. A home restoration was performed on the car in 1954. It continued to be used regularly until 1964, when it was sold. In 2004, the car was re-acquired and given a restoration to exact factory specifications. The work was completed in September 2011. The color scheme is exactly as it was when Derham completed the body in 1930.
Sold for $77,000 at 2013 RM Sothebys. Frenchman Charles Weymann championed the use of fabric bodies. The metal panels were replaced with padded fabric, usually Zapon imitation leather, over cotton-padded wood which created a unique matte finish that was somewhat soft to the touch. The patent bodywork was both durable, quiet, and lightweight.
American automaker Stutz realized the value that European styling flair would add to its products on both sides of the Atlantic. In the late 1920s, the Weymann American Body Company (also of Indianapolis) began to produce the 'Chateau Series' of closed fabric bodies for Stutz chassis. Each model carried distinct names inspired by the Riviera locales.
This Model MB example wears a Versailles body by Weymann. It is a four-door fabric sports sedan and one of six cars that are believed to have been built with this body. Only three are known to still exist. The car is original and unrestored, with the exception of interior fabric that was replaced long ago. The body still wears what is believed to be its original Zapon, as well as the original paint on the fenders.
The current owner acquired the car in Pennsylvania in 2005. It made an appearance at the 2007 Milwaukee Masterpiece, where it was awarded Second in Class.
Power is from a 322 cubic-inch single overhead-camshaft eight-cylinder engine offering 113 horsepower. It has a three-speed manual transmission and vacuum-assisted four-wheel hydraulic brakes. By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2013
In 1876, Harry C. Stutz was born. He grew up on the family farm where he often helped repair their farm equipment. This led to a fascination with engines and in 1897 he built his first car; soon after he began designing and creating engines. The Stutz Company, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, introduced its first production vehicle in 1911. The vehicle, after only five months of design and build, was immediately entered in the inaugural Indianapolis 500 mile race where it captured an 11th place finish. Not bad for its first vehicle and first race. Throughout the company's life span, it would endure good and bad times. The Stutz Company was in production during World War I and the Great Depression, both responsible for negatively affecting Industry. Stutz will be forever remembered for their Bearcat model, a vehicle produced until 1925. This pure-bred race car had an aggressive and masculine stance; the interior was void of luxury and amenities. With its high revving straight 8-cylinder overhead camshaft engine and lightweight construction, the vehicle was poised to compete in national and international competition.
In 1919, Harry Stutz was forced by stock holders to leave his company. In 1922, Charles Schwab was given control of the company. In 1925, Schwab gave control of the company to Frederick Moskovics. Moskovic planed to revitalize the company by shifting the priorities from racing to producing luxurious automobiles. This did not mean that the company was to abandon its racing heritage, rather Moskovics wanted to expand its racing prowess by entering it in International competition. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is a grueling endurance battle that tests stamina, speed, and durability. In 1928 a Stutz Series BB Black Hawk Speedster, driven by Edouard Brisson and Robert Bloch, was entered in the French LeMans race. The vehicle did well, leading for most of the race. Half way through the 22nd hour, the gearbox broke on the Stutz and a Bentley 4.5-liter was able secure a first place finish. The Stutz was second, the best an American car had ever placed in this prestigious race.
In 1929, the Stutz Company decided to increase their chances of victory by entering more than one vehicle into the Le Mans race. The vehicles were designed and prepared especially for the race. Gordon Buehrig was tasked with designing the bodies for the 2-seater sportscars. A modified 5.5-liter straight 8-cylinder with a supercharger were placed in the front and powered the rear wheels. Three vehicles entered by Stutz Paris, Colonel Warwick Wright, and Charles Weymann were anxiously anticipating a repeat of the prior years success or possibly an overall victory. Sadly, only one vehicle would finish. Behind a fleet of Bentley's was the Stutz followed by a Chrysler 75. With a fifth place finish, the Stutz cars were no match for the powerful and agile Bentley Speed Six models.
In the early part of 1929, Moskovics resigned and Edgar Gorrell assumed the duties of president. Many manufacturers were developing multi-cylinder cars which attracted a larger market share of the already small luxury car market. The Stutz Company was not in a financial position to develop an engine of this caliber. Instead, Stutz embarked on developing an inline eight cylinder engine with single overhead cams. The result was the SV16, representing the side-valve 16 meaning that one exhaust and one intake valve per cylinder was allocated for the eight cylinders. By using the name SV16, it gave the vehicle an allure of equal capacity to other nameplates such as the Cadillac and Marmon V16. The SV-16 came equipped with a windshield safety glass and hydrostatic brakes. The chassis sat lower than most of the competition giving it an advantage through turns. During its production run, around 100 examples were produced.
Following on the heals of the SV16 was the DV-32. The engine featured updraft Schebler carburetors and four valves per cylinder equaling 32 valves and dual overhead camshafts. The power-plant was capable of producing 156 horsepower. The vehicle sat atop of a 145 inch wheelbase and outfitted with Stutz 8 hubcaps. At $6,400 these vehicles were extremely expensive at the time.
The Stutz 8 was produced from 1926 through 1935. The engine produced just over 90 horsepower. Within a few years, horsepower had been incrased to over 115.
In 1928, the Blackhawk series was introduced. These sports cars were affordable, competitive, and compact; outfitted with a powerful engines.
During the close of the 1920's, the Stutz company was riddled with lawsuits, including 'breach-of-contract' over engine building. James Scripps-Booth entered a lawsuit about the low-slung worm drive design Stutz had been using. The Stutz Company was beginning to fall on hard times.
The demise on the race track would slowly transcend to the market place. For all of 1930, there were less than 1500 cars produced. Sales declined even more in the following years and in 1934, after only six Stutz cars produced, the factory closed its doors. This is not to suggest the racing results were solely responsible for the company's woes. The Great Depression crippled and destroyed many auto manufacturers at this time. Competition in design and technology was ever present and the dependable, mass-produced, low-cost automobile manufacturers were in the best positions to come out on top. The Stutz Company had an impressive racing heritage and its automobiles are legendary. The Stutz name is respected by many including those overseas.
In 1968 a New York banker named James O'Donnell incorporated Stutz Motor Car of America. Ghia was commissioned to create a design for the Stutz Blackhawk, which was shown to the public in 1970. Sales continued for more than a decade selling very strongly until 1987. Production slowed from 1987 until 1995 when production ceased. By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2006
The Stutz Series M coupe was introduced in 1929 and featured an auxiliary trunk, a rumble seat, and dual side-mount spare tires and wire wheels. Right above the front bumper are driving lights that turn in synchronization with the steering.
Before the Series M was the introduction of the Stutz Vertical Eight in 1926, which is considered to be ‘the most European of the US auto designs of the era'. The Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe was dramatic, and featured a very low-slung, one-off coupe coachwork by Lancefield and is one of only 24 supercharged vehicles ever produced by Stutz. A total of 2,320 units Model M units were produced in 1929.
Featuring a rare supercharged engine, the Model M was spectacular in design and featured step plates, a sliding sunroof and cycle fenders that created a truly sporting appearance. Large Zeiss headlamps aided the vehicle in night driving. Originally the Lancefield body has been fabric-covered over wood; the Weymann body building method. The original advertisement was quoted as 'this striking motorcar holds the potential to become one of the premier entrants on the international concours d'elegance circuit.'By Jessica Donaldson
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