Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by LeBaron
Robert Gottlieb, Los Angeles, California (acquired circa 1972)Current Owner (acquired in 2003)
Since its 1911 debut at the inaugural running of the Indianapolis 500, the Stutz name has been synonymous with speed and performance. Christened, “the car that made good in a day,” Stutz competed regularly at Indy during the years that followed. For the 1926 model year, the brilliant engineer Fred Moskovics introduced a new Vertical Eight engine that was instrumental in re-establishing Stutz as a formidable competitor on the track. Offered here is a 1930 Series M model equipped with the ultimate in sporting coachwork, the Boattail Speedster design by LeBaron.
The 1928 Stutz feuds with Bentley and Hispano-Suiza are legendary and automotive historian Maurice Hendry once called this Stutz engine, “the most refined high performance design of the day.” By 1930, the single overhead cam, straight-eight engine produced 113 hp, enough to propel production models to 85 mph, with power delivered through a new four-speed gearbox. The Stutz Series M chassis was equally advanced, employing worm drive and a dropped frame providing a lower center of gravity. Four-wheel hydraulic brakes, now with a vacuum booster, were capable of countering the M’s speed potential.
Commensurate with its mechanical refinement is this example’s coachwork. While body styles offered on the Series M ranged from staid sedans and limousines to more sporting cabriolets and speedsters, eclipsing all of those was the rare LeBaron Boattail Speedster. Beyond the sensual taper of the boattail design, other complementary styling features include the pronounced rake of the windshield, cut-down doors and small step plates in place of full running boards, all contributing to its purpose-built presentation.
This car was part of Robert Gottlieb’s collection since the early 1970s and remained there for more than 25 years. Mr. Gottlieb possessed encyclopedic knowledge of Classic Era automobiles which he shared with other enthusiasts in his “Classic Comments” column in Motor Trend magazine during that publication’s formative years in the early 1950s. In the early 2000s, the car was acquired by another noteworthy collector with a penchant for speed and performance automobiles.
Striking orange paintwork contrasts with black-painted cycle fenders and a folding black canvas top. Chrome wire wheels and whitewall tires with dual side-mount spares complete the exterior look, with black leather upholstery applied to the interior. The intimate boattail design accommodates just the driver and passenger, with room for travel accommodations behind the seats, accessible through the side golf club door as well as a small panel in the taper tail.
Just 13 of the 1929–1930 Series M models are known to the CCCA today, and no other is equipped with this distinctive boattail coachwork. Appreciated by two well-known collectors for almost 50 years, it presents an opportunity not likely to be repeated.