Veteran Stutz Bearcat leads classic car auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 13th October, 2015

A 1916 Stutz Model 4C Bearcat Roadster is the leading light at Mossgreen’s latest Collectors’ Cars, Motorcycles and Automobilia auction from 3pm Sunday October 18 at 935 High Street, Armadale.

One of the most significant American veteran cars, it is the only known Stutz Bearcat bucket-seat roadster in Australia from a total of 25 registered worldwide.

Brought to Australia shortly after it was built in Indianapolis, in 1952 the current owner bought the Stutz from a Dandenong motor wrecker.

The car was mechanically complete but carried the remains of a utility body.

The current owner added a single seater contemporary body and used the Bearcat in this form until 1959 when it was retired to the garage to await a full restoration.

This was carried out in 1996-7 and featured a complete dismantling with considerable research to ensure the authenticity of the restoration – including obtaining important technical details from The Stutz Club Inc.  

The Veteran Car Club of Australia (Victoria) issued a dating certificate for the Stutz, which was accepted by the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain.

Born in 1876 in Ohio, Harry Stutz worked in the Indianapolis automobile industry before designing a rear transaxle transmission built from 1910 by his Stutz Auto Parts Company.

His first car was completed in five weeks and competed in the 1911 Indianapolis 500 – finishing in 11th place.

Encouraged by his achievement, Stutz established the Ideal Motor Car Company and manufactured vehicles promoted as “The Car That Made Good in a Day”.

Stutz tested the worthiness of his stock automobiles by racing them, bringing to life the phrase “Race on Sunday; sell on Monday”.

In 1912, Stutz Bearcats won 25 of 30 competitions before turning their attention to long distance records and trans-nation events.

Other cars in the auction include a 1956 Ford Thunderbird, a 1958 Jaguar XK150, a 1959 Fiat 1100 and a 1962 Borgward Isabella Coupe.

Classic motorcycles (including a 1919 Cleveland Lightweight) are another feature along with memorabilia from speedway champion the late Billy Lamont. 

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