American manufacturer Stutz returned to international racing in 1928 at the 24 Hours of LeMans, following an absence of over a decade. A stock Stutz had been entered by a French syndicate and it finished 2nd overall with an average speed of 106.53 mph. This would be the finest finish by an American car at LeMans until Ford's GT40 triumph beginning in 1966.
The Stutz Model engine, named the Challenger, was an overhead-cam eight. When the cylinder wars began to escalate, Stutz found itself without the necessary financial resources to build a bigger engine. Instead, they developed a centrifugal blower and mounted it at the front of the engine, between the front frame irons. A control on the dashboard engaged the blower, forcing additional oxygen through the carburetor by a long pipe. When the supercharger was engaged, it was estimated that the Stutz engine developed 185 brake horsepower.
Stutz vehicles returned to the LeMans race for 1929. Three examples were entered this time, with one being sent to Europe through U.K. distributor Warwick Wright Ltd. of New Bond Street, London. Another was sponsored by the Paris dealership, and another by Charles Weyman. During the race, one of the cars retired in 4th place, while another finished 5th overall. Bentley had captured the first four places.
Racing was certainly part of the company's pedigree, and they were known as the 'car that made good in a day.' The day was May 30th of 1911, when a Harry Clayton Stutz designed car competed in the inaugural Indianapolis 500. Ray Harroun won the race in a Marmon, and the Stutz finished in eleventh-place - an impressive accomplishment for a car that was completed just days before the race. This testament to the ingenuity, quality, and durability launched production of the Stutz Model A. Their legacy would include the memorable Bearcat speedster model, and a racing team called the 'White Squadron' powered by a specially-designed overhead cam four-valve engines from 1915 to 1917.
The history was not without its instability. When Harry Stutz left the company it came under the direction of Hungarian-born engineer Fredrick Moskovics. Moskovics completely redesigned the Stutz car and fitted them with a new six-cylidner overhead cam engine. They were given a double-drop chassis frame, worm gear rear axle, four-wheel hydraulic brakes and safety glass. The brakes, termed 'hydrostatic' (Timken hydrostatic) used water with an anti-freeze additive; a rather ingenious design for its era. This was a one-year only product. Later, Lockheed hydraulics with oversized finned drums were placed on all four wheels.
The Model M, introduced for 1929, was the last Stutz Moskovics was responsible. They were given an enlarged engine of 322.1 cubic inches, the result of boring it an eighth of an inch. The transmission was first a three-speed Warner then by a new four-speed transmission from Detroit Gear and Machine which had a stump-pulling ratio on the first gear. The gearbox also had a 'Noback' device which provided a mechanical hill-holding function. Stutz would eventually go back to the three-speed Warner in 1931. The Stutz hydraulic brakes were fitted with a B-K vacuum booster, and the Bijur central lubrication system was also standard equipment. The open body styles were built by LeBaron, delivered in the white for finishing at Indianapolis.
LeBaron Carrossiers, Inc. In 1920, Raymond Dietrich and Thomas Hibbard formed LeBaron Carrossiers, Inc. in New York City. Both individuals were former Brewster designers and selected the LeBaron name due to its French connotations. The company's business model differed from the conventional coachbuilder of the time - they handled the designs and then would have them constructed by independent coachbuilders. Their earlies customer was the New York branch manager for Packard, who commissioned LeBaron to design a seven-passenger limousine; Fleetwood built the body. This order was soon followed by orders from Lincoln, helping to increase the company's notoriety, reputation and financial stability. The clientele list would go on to include Minerva, Fiat, Hispano-Suiza, Packard, Pierce-Arrow, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, and more.
Safety Stutz The 1928 eight-cylinder 'Safety Stutz' model won every American Stock Car race entered and was declared World's Champion. LeBaron had penned two custom Blackhawk Speedster bodies which had the required four seats. The example entered by the French Stutz agent at LeMans in 1928 had held the lead for much of the race, outpacing an entire team of works Bentleys. Had it not lost its high gear late in the race, it would have certainly finished first, rather than second.
The 1929 Stutz Model M rested on a 134.5-inch wheelbase platform and was powered by the 8-cylidner engine. A dizzying array of bodystyles were offered, including open and closed cars with seating capacities from 2- to 7-passengers. The further enhance the European-inspired Stutz chassis, a series of Continental-style bodies were commissioned for 1928 and continued into the early 1930s. Each body style was given the name of European locations such as Versailles, Biarritz, Chamonix, Fontainbleau, and Monte Carlo. by Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2019
Related Reading : Stutz Model 8 History
Harry C. Stutz was born in 1876. 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.... Continue Reading >>
Related Reading : Stutz Model 8 History
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..... Continue Reading >>
The Stutz Company was named after its founder, Harry Stutz, who had a strong engineering background, beginning with a spectacular initial success at Indianapolis in 1911. This victory earned the company a reputation as 'the car that made good in a da....[continue reading]
In 1929, Stutz dispatched three of its new Model M chassis to Paris, to the firm of Hibbard & Darrin. Hibbard-Darrin also produced one-off bodies for Duesenberg, Hispano-Suiza, Mercedes-Benz and Packard. Tom Hibbard and Howard 'Dutch' Darrin had root....[continue reading]
The ultimate formal Stutz, this town car pairs a racing-bred chassis with crisp and elegant coachwork. Lebaron Carrossiers was founded in New York by former Brewster employees Ray Dietrich and Tom Hibbard, soon joined by Ralph Roberts. Dietrich said ....[continue reading]
The company that bore Harry C. Stutz's surname was a low production, quality company that had a reputation for their performance and speed. They were victorious in the American racing scene, and were a dominant force with the 'White Squadron' racing ....[continue reading]
The Stutz Company was well known for their performance and speed. During the teens, their 'White Squadron' racing team were very successful in American racing. Despite the various market trends, the company never abandoned its sporting heritage. ....[continue reading]
The Stutz marque was a low production company that built a reputation for their speed and performance. Their 'White Squadron' racing team had a very successful reputation in the American racing scene during the teens and the Bearcat has always been c....[continue reading]
In 1929, the Stutz Model M replaced the previous Series AA and BB Eights. Engine displacement was increased to 322 cubic inches, and more sporty, semi-custom coachwork was built by LeBaron and offered as a factory option.....[continue reading]
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