2021 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
1928 Stutz Model BB Sedan (Project)
|Engine||In-line 8-cylinder, 4900cc|
|Gearbox||3-speed manual with overdrive|
|Body Work||Seven-Passenger Sedan|
This lot is no longer available
Known as “The Car That Made Good in a Day” after Harry C Stutz’s first attempt at Indianapolis in 1911, the Stutz entered production the following year and quickly earned a reputation as one of the finest motor cars on the market. Indeed, Stutz’s legendary Bearcat (a stripped-down model with two bucket seats and a bolster tank) became one of two seminal American sports cars, alongside rival Mercer Raceabout. Launched in 1926, Stutz’s Vertical Eight – also known as the Series AA – was devised by Chief Engineer Charles Greuter and featured a 4.7-litre overhead-camshaft engine developing a healthy 92 horsepower at 3200 rpm. The Vertical Eight’s “Safety Chassis” boasted an underslung worm-drive rear axle to give more interior space and a better centre of gravity, along with an unconventional hydrostatic brake system that was replaced by Lockheed hydraulic brakes for 1927. In 1928, Stutz enlarged the motor to 4.9-litres, resulting in a power increase to 115 bhp at 3600 rpm and the new model was designated the Series BB. Built on two wheelbase lengths, a wide range of body styles were catalogued, most by Brewster or LeBaron. Stutz was also famous for introducing the Weymann method of fabric bodywork to America. Indeed, Charles Weymann was so impressed by the Stutz that he entered one in the 1928 Le Mans 24-Hour endurance race for Messrs Brisson and Bloch, who shocked the establishment (and Bentley in particular) by taking the lead for much of the race, eventually finishing a magnificent second to the winning British car of Barnato/Rubin. This was the first time an American car had taken on the Europeans on home soil at La Sarthe earned Stutz an enviable reputation abroad. On the road, the Stutz compared favourably with Bentley’s 4.5-litre and the marque was always highly regarded in Britain. Just 2,403 Series BBs were built in 1928 and surviving examples, particularly those still sporting their original coachwork, are highly sought after by collectors the world over.