Auctions and Brokerage
*Please note that this vehicle is titled H5067.
C. Elbert “Val” Valentine III, Montpelier, Vermont (acquired in the early 1970s)John Rehberg, Springfield, Nebraska (acquired from the above in 2003)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, August 2015 (First in Class)
The Stutz motorcar made its public debut at the inaugural running of the Indianapolis 500 in May 1911, placing 11th. The upstart company capitalized on the publicity and employed the catchphrase “The Car That Made Good in a Day,” a slogan fortified by a string of racing victories in years to come. Bearcat models carried the Stutz banner for performance during the firm’s first decade. Racing success with drivers such as Barney Oldfield and Earl Cooper fueled the Stutz reputation for speed, while cross-country endurance runs by “Cannonball” Baker underscored its reliability. By 1920, exemplified by this Series H Bearcat, the car became more civilized with the addition of a roadster top and door.
Propelled by a rugged 361 cid T-Head four-cylinder engine producing 80 hp, the short 120" wheelbase boasted an enviable power-to-weight ratio. The driving experience was enhanced by operation details unique to the Bearcat model, such as the gearshift lever and hand brake placed outside the body on the right side of the car, affording more space in the interior compartment.
In the early 1970s, this car was acquired by Stutz expert C. Elbert “Val” Valentine III, whose collection included a number of significant Classic and Brass Era automobiles, including another Stutz Bearcat. Mr. Valentine applied his mechanical expertise and knowledge of the marque to this example during his almost three decades of ownership. He was not able to complete this project, however, and sold the car to John Rehberg of Nebraska in 2003. Mr. Rehberg entrusted completion of the restoration to another Stutz enthusiast, Tom Batchelor of Reno, Nevada, who purchased the second Valentine Bearcat, a 1922 model. These efforts returned this Bearcat to its former glory with superb attention to detail. In 2014, during the consignor’s ownership, Mosier Restorations of Los Angeles replaced the Stutz cylinder blocks with improved John Bertolotti castings. The original numbered crankcase, however, remains intact. The quality of the restoration – cosmetically, mechanically, and in terms of authenticity – was validated by two events in 2015. First was the successful completion of a robust driving tour without incident in the spring. In August, the car received First in Class honors at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®. An encore tour performance followed in the spring of 2016, again with no mechanical issues.
The Bearcat body is finished in a striking and period-correct bright yellow, accentuated by black fenders, black painted wheels, and a correct tan canvas top. The interior is trimmed in the correct Spanish-grain brown leather and the car is offered with a beautifully preserved factory brochure.
While the number of Stutz Bearcats extant is few, even scarcer is the opportunity to acquire one. Offered here is the prospect for at-once Nickel Era motoring pleasure or top honors on the concours field.