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Lot 140

2015   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2015

1928 Stutz Model BB Four-Passenger Speedster

Coachwork by Robbins

SOLD $209,000

Estimate

$250,000 - $325,000| Without Reserve

Chassis

BBC4BB27C

Car Highlights

Owned by Noted Collectors Since 1953
Show-Quality Stone Barn Restoration
Thoughtful Mechanical Upgrades by Experts
Laycock Overdrive Fitted for Ease of Touring
AACA and CCCA Award Winning Example

Technical Specs

299 CID SOHC Inline 8-Cylinder Engine
Single Schebler Carburetor
110+ HP at 3,600 RPM
3-Speed Manual Gearbox with Overdrive
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
Live-Axle Suspension with Leaf Springs
Register to Bid

William Ruger, Fairfeld, Connecticut (acquired in 1953)Mr. Spotsky, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (acquired in 1958)Stearns Motor Museum, Irwin, Pennsylvania (acquired in 1969)Johnny Pascucci, Meriden, Connecticut (acquired in 1982)Private Collector, New York (acquired in 1996)Current Owner (acquired from the above)

AACA Concours, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 1998 (First in Class)CCCA National Meet, 1999 (First in Class)Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 1999 (Class Award)

Charles H. Schwab of Bethlehem Steel stepped in to save Stutz in the mid- 1920s, hoping to revive the glory days of the Bearcat. Schwab was new to the auto business and hired an expert to run the company. Hungarian immigrant Fred Moskowics had worked for Daimler in Europe, and Marmon and Franklin in the US. Moskowics became President of Stutz, sold of current inventory, and introduced the new Vertical Eight Safety Chassis model for 1925. It was an audacious design: a five-liter straight eight with chain-driven overhead camshaft. The driveline was lowered 5" with a worm-drive rear axle, and servo-assisted brakes required little pedal effort. At the 1925 dealer’s convention, Moskowics took $3 million in orders in one single day, an astonishing figure.

Three Stutzes won the 1927 Stevens Trophy, averaging 68 mph for 24 hours around the Indianapolis track, even in appalling weather. Stutz won every stock car race they entered in 1927 and the AAA championship, and set a stock car record of 106.53 mph at Daytona Beach. Despite this success, two incidents caused the company to quit racing. First, Stutz lost a $25,000 Indianapolis match race to Hispano-Suiza, and then Frank Lockhart was killed attempting a land speed record in his Black Hawk.

Stutz just missed a historic upset, when Charles Weymann – who beat Stutz in the match race – drove a Stutz as a privateer at Le Mans in 1928. Weymann bested the Bentleys for much of the 24-hour race until gearbox problems dropped him to 2nd.

The car on offer is an exceptional Stutz. It received a concours-level restoration in 1996, at New Jersey’s Stone Barn Automobile Restoration. The upholstery was re-trimmed by Sharp Brothers of Elyria, Ohio, and the Stutz won its class at the 1998 AACA show at Hershey, Pennsylvania. A class win at the CCCA National followed, in 1999, and a Pebble Beach award where Stutz was the featured marque that same year.

In 2008, the engine was sent to Baynton Jones racing shop in the UK, where Stutz is held in high regard. The crankshaft was stroked, and high-compression pistons and new connecting rods were fitted. Compression was raised to 7:1 from 5:1, while a new camshaft and improved valve train were installed. An MSD ignition system was added, a Schebler S carburetor improved engine breathing, and a Laycock overdrive unit reduced engine revolutions to 1,750 rpm at 60 mph. New wire wheels and a larger exhaust were added in 2011. Most recently, the Stutz has been part of one of the preeminent private California car collections; and it has had minor cosmetic and mechanical attention to prepare it for touring or show events.

This Stutz performed at the highest expectations for the model back in the Roaring 20s. Today, the new owner will undoubtedly thrill at the chance to own a piece of American motoring history.