The Stutz Company, founded by Harry C. Stutz, got their start in 1911 when the built cars to compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 500 mile race. The Stutz cars did not win the race, but they performed well and garnered publicity for the new car builder. After the race, the Ideal Motor Company had been founded and production of one of the country's high performance vehicles had begun. By 1913, the company had been renamed the Stutz Motor Car Company and was producing four and six-cylinder models including the Bearcat.
Harry C. Stutz left the company in 1919 after disagreements with the company's stock holders. He formed his own company, the H.C.S. The Stutz Company was taken over by the Bethlehem Steel Magnate Charles M. Schwab and Frederick Moscovics was hired to transform the Stutz sports car into a proper luxury car.
This 1925 Stutz Model 695 has a Roadster body built by coachbuilder Weyman. Power is from a six-cylinder engine delivery 80 horsepower. This was the last year for the six cylinder model. This Weyman Roadster is one of only two known to exist. It completed a tour of Northern Europe in 1997.
Sold for $43,700 at 2013 Bonhams
Despite the fact the automotive industry was still a fledgling notion, some, like Harry Stutz recognized the benefits of track tested technology in street-going production cars. It would be this understanding that would lead Stutz to have one of his cars take part in the inaugural 1911 Indianapolis 500 and would lead to the famous Stutz slogan, 'The Car That Made Good in A Day.'
Actually, Stutz's company started out as the Ideal Motor Car Company and would become considered as luxurious in its automotive artistry as Aston Martin and Bentley. However, a couple of years after the successful run in the 1911 Indianapolis 500, in which Gil Andersen would finish the race 11th overall at the wheel of a Wisconsin-powered Stutz, the company would become restructured and would become known as the Stutz Motor Car Company.
The racing tradition would continue the following year when Stutz automobiles would finish 1st and 2nd in the 203 mile Illinois Trophy Race held at Elgin. One year later, 1913, Gil Andersen would take 1st place in the Elgin National Trophy Race. The margin of victory in the race would be a mere seven minutes. In all, Stutz cars enter ten races over the course of the 1913 season and would come away with 8 victories. This would lead to a tremendous amount of popularity for the company and orders exceed the company's ability to fulfill them.
The Stutz Bearcat would continue Stutz's reputation for performance. Although a passenger road car, Cannonball Baker would use a Bearcat to set a coast-to-coast record. He would go coast to coast in a mere 11 days and 7 hours.
The continued success would lead to the company being listed on the New York Stock Exchange and selling shares of stock at an unbelievable price of $100 per share. The company would continue to grow and, by 1920, would set a record for producing 4,000 cars in a single year. That same year, Stutz would leave the company to focus on other endeavors.
Despite Stutz's departure from his own company, racing performance would never become alien to the Indianapolis-based motor company. In fact, Stutz automobiles would go on to earn a runner-up finish in the 1928 Le Mans Grand Prix and would later set a record on the sands of Daytona Beach, Florida hitting 107 mph with a Stutz Blackhawk Speedster.
But although the Stutz legacy is filled with achievements on the race track, the company was also very adept in building truly luxurious and affluent designs that would become highly coveted. In fact, in many ways, Stutz would put the roar in the 'roaring twenties' and would continue a company of the prosperous and upper-class for decades to come.
The 2013 Bonhams auction in Scottsdale, Arizona sees an intriguing and an especially compelling Series 695H Speedway Six Torpedo Tail Speedster become available for purchase.
Originally starting out life as a road car, this particular Stutz would be discovered out in a field having been used as some kind of agricultural irrigation pump. In a photograph taken from the '40s or '50s, it shows the car still retaining its front cowl but having the motor of another car placed in the back to help act as a pump. Then, some time during the 1950s, the car would be removed and stored in a barn.
The car would remain in the barn undisturbed for decades. It wouldn't be until 2006 that it would be rediscovered. The current owner would then purchase the car and would have an important decision to make.
Obviously the car had been a road-going passenger car in its past. However, the owner would make the decision to take the car in another direction, a direction much more fitting of the Stutz heritage for motor racing.
The owner would eventually, and amazingly, come across a genuine torpedo tail, though of unknown origin, and would have it carefully fitted atop the original frame and the drivetrain. Over the course of the next few years the car would continue to be completed in its Speedster form.
Boasting of the Lockheed four-wheel hydraulic brake system, the car would be finished and would be road registered. Totally street-legal and sporting an amazing sound from its 289ci, OHV, 80hp inline six-cylinder engine, the Speedway Six Torpedo Tail Speedster harkens back to the early days of the Indianapolis 500 and when Stutz was prominent competitor in the motor racing scene.
Heading to auction, the 1925 Stutz Series 695H Speedway Six Torpedo Tail Speedster would be estimated to draw between $45,000 and $55,000.Sources:
'Lot 396: 1925 Stutz Series 695H Speedway Six Torpedo Tail Speedster', (http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20582/lot/396/). Bonhams 1793. http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20582/lot/396/. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
'Stutz History', (http://www.stutzmotor.com/history.htm#3). Stutz. http://www.stutzmotor.com/history.htm#3. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
'1925 Stutz Model 695 News, Pictures and Infortmation', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z17247/Stutz-Model-695.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z17247/Stutz-Model-695.aspx. Retrieved 9 January 2013.By Jeremy McMullen
Sold for $46,200 at 2011 Gooding & Company
The 1925 Stutz Model 695 was powered by a 289 cubic-inch overhead cam six-cylinder engine that was fitted with a Rayfield carburetor and produced 80 horsepower. They had a three-speed manual gearbox and featured four-wheel hydraulic brakes. It is believed that only 748 examples of the Speedway Six 695 series were produced.
The coachwork for the Speedway Six chassis were commissioned to outside manufactures. This example wears five-passenger Sportbrohm body built by Robbins Body Corp. The car was given French fur upholstery and included dome and quarter lights in the rear interior. On the outside, distinguishable features include cowl lights, a cowl ventilator and running-bard scuff plates.
In the 1980s, the car was given a restoration by its then-owner Edward Gil. Gil kept the car for a decade before selling it to Frank Hurley. Hurley kept the car for five years. In the mid-1990s, the car was sold to a resident of the Seattle area.
In 2011, this vehicle was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale, Az. where it was estimated to sell for $50,000 - $65,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $46,200 including buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2011