Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Robbins
*Please note that the carburetor on this car is an updraft carburetor and not a downdraft as stated in the catalogue.
Formerly the Property of William B. Ruger
Known history of this Stutz Model BB is distinguished by the succession of noted and caring owners it has enjoyed since 1953, when it was acquired in Brooklyn, New York, by William Ruger, the renowned collector and enthusiast. During his tenure, Mr. Ruger is understood to have driven the Stutz around the Fairfield, Connecticut, area near his family home. In 1958, Mr. Ruger sold the car to one Mr. Spotsky, a resident of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, who participated with it in many CCCA CARavan tours among other events. In 1969, the car was purchased by the Stearns Motor Museum of Irwin, Pennsylvania, which retained the car until circa 1982, when it was acquired by Johnny Pascucci of Meriden, Connecticut. In 1996, it came into the ownership of the consignor.
Following this acquisition, the Stutz was entrusted to Vienna, New Jersey’s Stone Barn Automobile Restoration for a complete body-off restoration to concours-level standard. The upholstery was re-trimmed by the Sharp Brothers of Elyria, Ohio. The work was completed in time for the Stutz to be shown at the 1998 AACA show at Hershey, Pennsylvania, where it won First in Class. In 1999, the Stutz went on to win its class at the CCCA National meeting and later that year the Speedster was invited to be shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it was awarded Third in Class. Furthermore, when Stutz was the featured marque at Pebble Beach in 2011, the Speedster was invited back where it again placed third.
Properly enjoyed, maintained, and toured ever since, the consignor decided to rebuild the engine in conjunction with Baynton Jones of the UK for additional power output in 2008. The crankshaft was stroked, higher-compression dome-style pistons were added, and new connecting rods with modern shell-type bearing inserts were installed. Accordingly, engine compression was raised to 7:1 from the original 5:1. The cylinder head was sent to Baynton Jones racing shop, where a new camshaft was made and a more-efficient valve train was installed. An MSD multiple-spark ignition system was discretely hidden under the front seat. A Schebler S carburetor, the same as that used by the Duesenberg Model J, was fitted to the completed engine for improved breathing. The drivetrain was upgraded to match, with the installation of a Laycock overdrive unit. The same as that used on many Vintage Bentleys, the overdrive unit provides a useful 0.788:1 gear ratio. The consignor reports that with the overdrive engaged, engine revolutions are just 1,750 at 60 mph. The wheels were re-spoked in 2011, and a larger-diameter muffler and exhaust deliver an authoritative sound.
A complete set of side curtains accompanies the Stutz at auction, as well as a luggage trunk, a good original-specification Zenith 105D carburetor, and the original driveshaft. Clearly benefitting from proper care, an enduring show-quality restoration, and careful enhancements for touring enjoyment, this 1928 Stutz Model BB marks a wonderfully sporting touchstone to the ebullient late 1920s.
The Stutz Model BB
Postwar, Harry Stutz separated from the company, and it was revitalized in 1923 with the arrival of industry veteran Frederick E. Moskovics and the launch of the new Vertical Eight, also known as Series AA, for 1926. An engineering and stylistic tour de force with pioneering safety features, including a powerful new SOHC inline eight-cylinder engine, hydraulic brakes, safety glass, a lower ride height, and more, the Vertical Eight marked a new beginning and profoundly influenced the company’s road cars to follow. Relentless development brought Lockheed hydraulic brakes for 1927 and displacement and power increases for the Series BB of 1928, animportantyearthatincludedentryintothe 24 Hours of Le Mans, where Stutz led much of the race and finished second only to Bentley.