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Stutz - marque/manufacturer information

List of all Stutz cars

The Stutz Motor Company, later reborn as Stutz Motor Car of America, was a producer of luxury cars. Production began in 1911 and continued through 1935. The marque reappeared in 1968 and lasted through the 1980s. Throughout its history, Stutz was known as a producer of exclusive cars for the rich and famous.

Stutz Motor Company

The company was founded as the Ideal Motor Car Company in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1911. Ideal entered a car in the Indianapolis 500 that year and placed 11th, earning it the slogan, "the car that made good in a day". The next year, the founder, Harry C. Stutz, renamed the company Stutz Motor Company and began selling high-performance roadsters like the famous Stutz Bearcat. The Bearcat featured a brawny 4-cylinder T-head engine with four valves per cylinder, one of the earliest multi-valve engines.

Stutz was forced to raise money to fund his automobile production, eventually selling the company in 1919 after a falling out with the company's major stockholders, Allen Ryan, who then went bankrupt. In 1922, three Stutz investors, one of whom was Charles M. Schwab, gained control of the company. The new owners brought in Frederick Ewan Moskowics, formerly of Daimler Benz, Marmon, and Franklin, in 1923. Moskowics quickly refocused the company as a developer of safety cars, a recurring theme in the auto industry. In the case of Stutz, the car featured safety glass, a low center of gravity for better handling, and a hill-holding transmission called "Noback". One notable advance was the 1931 DOHC 32-valve in-line 8 (designed by Fred Duesenberg), called the "DV32" (DV for 'dual valve'). This was during the so-called "cylinders race" of the early 1930s, when makers of expensive cars were rushing to produce multi-cylinder engines. While Stutz did not have the resources to design and tool a new engine, the DV32 did allow them to their cars with a larger number than any of its competitors, who were advertising 12- and 16-cylinder engines in their own cars.

In 1927, a Stutz set a world record for speed, averaging 68 mph (109.5km/h) for 24 hours. The following year, a 4.9 litre (300ci) Stutz (entered and owned by French coachbuilder Charles Weymann) in the hands of by Robert Bloch and Edouard Brisson finished second at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (losing to the 4.5 litre {275ci} Bentley of Rubin and Barnato, despite losing top gear 90 minutes from the flag), the best result for an American car until 1966. That same year, development engineer and racing driver Frank Lockhart used a pair of supercharged 91ci (1.5 liter) DOHC engines in his Stutz Black Hawk Special streamliner LSR car,, while Stutz set another speed record at Daytona, reaching 106.53 mph (171.3 km/h) in the hands of Gil Anderson. In 1929, three Stutzes, with bodies designed by Gordon Buehrig, built by Weymann's U.S. subsidiary, and powered by a 155hp (115kW) 322ci (5.3 liter) supercharged straight 8 ran at Le Mans, piloted by Edouard Brisson, George Eyston (of land speed racing fame), and co-drivers Philippe de Rothschild and Guy Bouriat; de Rothschild and Bouriat placed fifth after the other two cars fell out with split fuel tanks.

Production ended in 1935 after 35,000 cars had been manufactured. The former Indianapolis factory is today known as the Stutz Business Center and is home to more than eighty artists, sculptors, photographers, designers, architects, and craftsmen.

Stutz Motor Car of America

Virgil Exner had more luck with the Stutz name. In August, 1968, New York banker James O'Donnell raised funds and incorporated Stutz Motor Car of America. A prototype of Exner's Stutz Blackhawk was produced by Ghia, and the car debuted in 1970. All these cars used General Motors running gear, featuring perimeter-type chassis frames, automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes with discs at the front. They were extremely lavishly furnished, with all possible luxury features such as electric windows, air conditioning, central locking, electric seats and leather upholstery. On the sedans there was typically a console for beverages in the rear seat. Engines were large V8s, originally of 6.6 or 7.5 litres but by 1984 the Victoria, Blackhawk and Bearcat were using a 160 horsepower 5,736cc unit and the Royale a 6,962cc Oldsmobile unit developing a modest 180 horsepower.

This incarnation of Stutz had some success, selling Blackhawks and derived models for more than a decade. However, owing to their extraordinary cost - a Royale limousine cost US$285,000 and a Blackhawk coupé over US$115,000 in 1984 - production was very limited and it is believed only 617 cars were built during the entire history of the company from 1970 onwards . Production of most models ended in 1987, though there was still some activity through 1995.

Stutz Models

  • Stutz Motor Company
    • 1911-1925 Bearcat
    • 1926-1935 8-Cylinder
  • Stutz Motor Car of America
    • 1970-1987 Blackhawk (coupe)
      • 1970-1979 - based on the Pontiac Grand Prix
      • 1980-1987 - based on the Pontiac Bonneville
    • 1979-1992 Bearcat (convertible)
      • 1977 - a converted Blackhawk
      • 1979 - based on the Pontiac Grand Prix
      • 1980-1986 - based on the Pontiac Bonneville or Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale
      • 1987-1992 - based on the Pontiac Firebird
    • 1970-1980 Duplex/IV-Porte/Victoria (sedan)
      • 197? Duplex
      • 1977-1980 IV-Porte - based on the Pontiac Bonneville or Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale
      • 1981- Victoria
    • Diplomatica/Royale (limousine)
      • Diplomatica - based on the Cadillac DeVille
      • Royale - super-long limo
    • 1984- Defender/Gazelle/Bear - Chevrolet Suburban-based armored SUV
      • Gazelle - military SUV with mounted machine gun
      • Bear - four-door convertible

List of all Stutz cars

Source: Wikipedia


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