Tag Archives: Stutz Motor Car Company

1912 The Mission of the Sturdy Stutz

This article is about the advertisement titled “The Mission of the Sturdy Stutz” by the Ideal Motor Car Company the predecessor of the Stutz Motor Car Company.

1912 Stutz photo 2

“In the introduction of the Stutz Car a little less than a year ago, Harry C. Stutz determined to place on the market a car designed to embrace all the best features of his previous creations and constructed and equipped in each part with the best that money could buy, and to sell same at a legitimate manufacturing profit. He was able, through long experience in the buying of motor car parts and the personal attention he gives to this work, to purchase materials advantageously. After calculating our costs and our small overhead expense, we found we could produce the Stutz car, to be equal in mechanical perfection to any car built, no matter what the price, at a price of $2,000.00.”

“Our claim is that, as far as mechanical construction is concerned, it is not possible for anyone to build a better motor car than the Stutz. The wonderful satisfaction the car has given the many Stutz owners has fully substantiated this claim. If a 50 H.P., four-cylinder car is large enough there is absolutely no necessity of paying more than $2,000.00: you can buy nothing better that the Stutz.”

“Our wheelbase of 120 inches is ample for either a two, four or five passenger car. Our engine with large valves, develops full fifty horsepower. Our Stutz rear transmission system has long been recognized as a phenomenal success.”

“The graceful body designs appeal to the most discriminating buyer.”

“The strong sturdy design, so devoid of complications, is a revelation in motor car construction.”
“We can safely leave the decision to your own judgement after comparison with other cars. It is not simply a good car, but as good as it is possible for anyone to build.”

It is interesting to note Stutz’s advertising claims in this early era in automotive advertising. The first Stutz automobile was built in just five weeks in 1911, and competed in the Inaugural Indianapolis 500-mile Race. Gil Anderson drove this first Stutz to an eleventh-place finish. Stutz began advertising “The Car That Made Good in a Day.” Later that summer, the Ideal Motor Car Company was organized to manufacture the Stutz Model A, a duplicate of the Indy racer. A Stutz Model A torpedo roadster served as the pace car at the 1912 Indianapolis 500.

The famous Stutz Bearcat sports car appeared in 1912 for a run of 10 years. It followed the usual Stutz recipe of a low-slung chassis, a large engine, and other bare necessities—hood, fenders, a right-hand raked steering column, two bucket seats, a fuel tank behind the seats, and wooden spoke wheels. The Stutz Bearcat was a popular car in the $2,000 price range. Its ap¬peal was boosted by Stutz’s success at the race track. Bearcats finished fourth and sixth at the Indianapolis 500 in 1912. During the summer the company entered 30 different racing contests and won 25 of them.

Harry C. Stutz enjoyed many accomplishments in the early automotive industry. Later, he founded the H.C.S. Motor Car Company and the Stutz Fire Engine Company. His success started with the Stutz Motor Car Company.

For more information on Indiana cars & companies, follow this link.

Schedule an Indianapolis Auto Tour

If you are an auto enthusiast looking to do something that is truly unique in Indianapolis, then scheduling an Indianapolis Auto Tour fits the bill.

Stutz Motor Car Company
The Stutz Motor Car Company

Did you know that at one time Indianapolis had more automobile manufacturers than Detroit?

Fortunately, Indianapolis still has over 30 manufacturing buildings and homes from this era to document this heritage. Did you know Indianapolis’ auto heritage is much more than auto racing.

Dennis E. Horvath is a “genuine car nut,” who enthusiastically shares his obsession for autos and touring. With a 20-year background sharing auto history, many have said that “Dennis brings the story of Indianapolis’ automotive heritage to life.”

Have Dennis travel along with you and learn about the Indianapolis auto leaders who had a significant impact on the American transportation experience. For example, find out about how Louis Chevrolet became the first builder to win two Indianapolis 500’s with cars built in Indianapolis. Hear about the Duesenberg brothers building their prestigious luxury cars and race cars on Washington Street. Learn about Carl G. Fisher, one of America’s forgotten promoters, starting as a bicyclist in the 1890’s and going on to promote auto racing and develop transcontinental highways and leisure destinations. Discover tidbits about Harry C. Stutz who accomplished an amazing feat with his first Stutz automobile that finished 11th in the 1911 Indianapolis 500-mile race.

These and many more unique stories allow you connect to our transportation heritage. It extends from our everyday car, to luxury cars, and modern highway systems. Indianapolis Auto Tours transport you back to the era when autos were more about the journey than the destination.

Testimonial
For anyone with even a passing interest in the auto industry, Indianapolis Auto Tours, conducted by Dennis Horvath, provides a fascinating look at how pervasive the industry once was in the city of Indianapolis. There are a surprising number of buildings still standing that help tell the story of the auto industry’s early days in Indy. Buildings that once housed legendary marques, such as Marmon, Stutz, Duesenberg, and numerous others still have a physical presence in the city, but many people unknowingly drive right past them every day. Dennis relates fascinating stories about not only the companies, but also the leading industry personalities who once occupied those buildings whose success in the formative years of the auto industry ensured their rightful place in history.
Ted Woerner,
Co-Owner, Miles Ahead

Click here to Plan Your Visit.

Visiting Indianapolis’ automotive sites

Over the years I have developed Indianapolis Auto Tours to visit the city’s numerous automotive sites. I would like to share some of the highlights.

In the afternoon, we could kick-off our celebration at the James A. Allison and Frank H. Wheeler’s mansions along millionaire row on the Marian University campus. Let’s look inside these 100 year-old time capsules of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, automotive, and transportation founders.

Allison Mansion
Allison Mansion

Next, we’ll continue with an Auto Pioneer Burial Site Tour at Crown Hill Cemetery nestled along the Dixie Highway. Auto pioneers Carl G. Fisher and Louis Schwitzer are buried on Strawberry Hill near James Whitcomb Riley, President Benjamin Harrison, and Eli Lilly.

Later, we’ll tour the Stutz Motor Car Company complex on Capitol Avenue to view some automobiles built in the building from 1912 -1935. Building proprietor Turner J. Woodard has autos ranging from a Stutz Bearcat to a Stutz Pak-Age-Car.

On the next morning, we’ll go on an Auto Pioneers Tour visiting some mansions along Meridian Street and Fall Creek Parkway. We then continue along Indianapolis’ Automobile Row on North Capitol and auto manufacturing sites around the belt railroads circling the city.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum

After lunch, we’ll go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum to see Fisher’s custom-built 1905 Premier racer designed for the Vanderbilt Cup Race and the Fisher-era Stoddard-Dayton. Our afternoon will finished up by touring by the Prest-O-Lite and Allison Engineering factories on Main Street in Speedway.

It is interesting how this part of Indianapolis’ business and social heritage started over 120 years ago when Carl G. Fisher, James A. Allison, and Arthur C. Newby met while being members of the Zig-Zag Cycling Club during the 1890’s bicycle craze. Their friendships went on to form the genesis for ventures like the Fisher Automobile Company, Prest-O-Lite Company, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Lincoln Highway, the Dixie Highway, the development of Miami Beach, Allison Engineering Company, Allison Transmission, Indianapolis Stamping Company (the predecessor of today’s Diamond Chain Company), and National Automobile Company. These men and their ideas have brought employment and enjoyment to tens of thousand’s of individuals through the years.

I invite you to contact me at Indianapolis Auto Tours to customize your visit Indianapolis’ automotive sites.

For more information on our automotive heritage follow this link.

Stutz in the late 1920’s

On February, 17, 1925, Fredrick E. Moskovics (formerly of Remy Electric Company, Nordyke and Marmon, and the H.H. Franklin Company) was named president of the Stutz Motor Car Company, with the provision to proceed with his plans to design, develop, and manufacture a low European chassis with an eight-cylinder overhead cam engine.

1926 Stutz Vertical Eight
1926 Stutz Vertical Eight

The new Vertical Eight Series AA was introduced in January 1926. All models were priced at $2,995. This car was marketed as the Safety Stutz because of its innovation of safety glass windows. Other safety features included four-wheel hydraulic brakes, a low center of gravity, and a strong frame. The base of the car was Charles R. “Pop” Greuter’s 92-horsepower straight-eight engine with chain-driven, single-overhead cam¬shaft, and dual ignition, including two spark plugs per cylinder. The chassis featured an underslung worm-drive differential and centralized chassis lubrication. This configuration allowed the fitting of low built, attractive bodies with safety glass. In 1926, the company set a sales record at 5,069 units.

In late 1926, the Stutz Company formed collaboration with the Weymann American Body Company, a subsidiary of the French Weymann firm. The Weymann American plant manufactured the flexible, fabric-covered body. Reportedly, Stutz helped with some of the plant’s financing and was its largest customer.

1927 Stutz Black Hawk Speedster
1927 Stutz Black Hawk Speedster

In 1927, the Stutz company introduced another new model, the Black Hawk Speedster. The boattailed two passenger speedster had reduced coachwork with scant cycle fenders, step plates replaced the running boards. The models’ fast looks proved to be no illusion when they won the American Automobile Association Stock Car Championship in 1927 and 1928. A privately-entered Black Hawk placed second at the 1928 Twenty-Four Hours of Le Mans after leading the Bentley team much of the way.

That same year, the company newsletter, The Splendid Stutz, announced the optional availability of a dash mounted radio. Stutz introduced the six-cylinder Blackhawk marque starting at $2,345, in January 1929, at the National Automobile Show in New York City. By July, the company reduced the price to $1,995 in hopes of being more competitive in the market.

Moskovics transformed the moribund Indianapolis automobile company into a dynamic producer of advanced luxury performance cars. Along the way, he created a model which even today is a symbol of speed, sport, and the good life of yesteryear.

For more information on Indiana cars & companies follow this link.

Mileposts in Indiana automotive history-Part Two

In this series of posts, I’m sharing some of my list of Indiana’s mileposts in automotive history. I share this automotive heritage to energize and excite auto enthusiasts to get involved with collectible cars.

1906 American Motors Company of Indianapolis develops the American Underslung car, one of the first examples of low-center-of-gravity engineering.

1906 Maxwell-Briscoe, (predecessor of Chrysler Corporation), builds its plant in New Castle. It is the largest automobile plant in the nation.

1906 National Motor Vehicle Company introduces a six-cylinder model, one of the first in America.

1907-American-Underslung
1907-American-Underslung

1907 Willys-Overland Motors is established by auto dealer John North Willys, who takes over control of Overland Automobile of Indianapolis and moves it in 1909 to the old Pope-Toledo plant in Toledo, Ohio.

1909 Carl G. Fisher, James A. Allison, Arthur C. Newby and Frank H. Wheeler pool $250,000 in capital to form the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Company and transform an Indianapolis west side farm into a two-and-a-half-mile oval that becomes synonymous with automobile racing. The Speedway is designed as an automotive testing ground for U.S. manufactured automobiles to establish American auto supremacy. After the August motorcycle and auto races, the macadam track is repaved with 3,200,000 ten-pound bricks.

1911 The first Indianapolis 500 Mile race is held May 30. A Marmon Wasp averages 75 miles per hour to win. The Wasp employs streamlining via elongated front and rear sections and adds the innovation of a rearview mirror.

1911 Haynes Automobile Company is the first to equip an open car with a top, a windshield, headlamps and a speedometer as standard equipment.

1912 Stutz Motor Car Company is founded by Harry C. Stutz, who merges his Stutz Auto Parts with Ideal Motor Car.

1912-Stutz-Model-A Roadster
1912-Stutz-Model-A Roadster

1912 The Davis car is the first to have a center-control gearshift and the Bendix self-starter.

1912 The Stutz Bearcat is introduced with a design patterned on the White Squadron racing cars that won victories in 1913. Stutz also produces family cars, while the Bearcat provides lively competition for the Mercer made at Trenton, New Jersey.

1913 On July 1, the Lincoln Highway Association is created with Henry B. Joy (president, Packard Motor Company) as president and Carl G. Fisher as vice president. The Lincoln Highway is conceived as America’s first transcontinental highway.

1913 Premier and Studebaker concurrently introduce a six-cylinder engine featuring mono bloc engine casting.

1914 The Haynes is one of the first autos to offer the Vulcan Electric Gear Shift as standard equipment.

1914-Haynes-Model-28-Touring-Car
1914-Haynes-Model-28-Touring-Car

Mileposts in Indiana automotive history -Part One

To learn more about Indiana’s automotive innovation, I invite you to pick up a copy of Indiana Cars: A History of the Automobile in Indiana click here.