Stutz Advertising Art by Warren Baumgartner (1923)
Stutz Bearcat Roadster Ad (September, 1923): Illustrated by Warren Baumgartner
Stutz Coupe Ad (September, 1923): Illustrated by Warren Baumgartner
Stutz Touring Ad (October, 1923): Illustrated by Warren Baumgartner
Images: Vanity Fair; Country Life Magazine; House & Garden Magazine
America's Pre-eminent Sports Cars
By 1923 Stutz was closing out the second chapter in the company's history. Wisconsin T-head engines powered the early cars while the Stutz-made dual-valve four-cylinder powered cars that were post-1917 models. By 1922 the big Stutz four (now called the Speedway four), though a remarkable motor, was beginning to show its age. The large T-head four was a remnant of an earlier time. Stutz did its best to keep the venerable four viable—even making a detachable head version—but realized a more modern engine was needed.
Sales were slipping and Stutz designers knew a more marketable model was needed. All the other major manufacturers were producing six- and eight- cylinder engines. Lacking the resources for a fully revamped car, Stutz turned to engine producer Weidely. Weidely could supply a well-designed overhead valve six-cylinder motor. Though by now separated from his company, Harry Stutz chose the Weidely motors for his new automotive venture: the HCS. These durable engines gave good performance with the smoothness demanded by the public. These engines were well made though perhaps a bit pedestrian by Stutz standards. The push rod operated, overhead valve-train was hidden beneath an attractive alloy valve cover. Engine casting was one-piece cast iron. Ignition was handled by a single-plug Delco distributor. Not an earth-shattering design, but it provided good performance with the features the market demanded. Some would argue it was Stutz's first and perhaps only step toward a more sedate car. To answer the critics demanding more performance from America's sportiest car Stutz developed and built a more potent version of the Weidely motor the Speedway Six.
The six-cylinder Stutz era did usher in several technical advances most notably four-wheel hydraulic brakes in 1925. The Six also was the first Stutz to adopt a conventional transmission design making it perhaps the best handling Stutz to date. The combination of the refined motor, exceptional Stutz chassis and light roadster bodywork should add up to a delightful machine to drive. Its large Houck wire wheels give the car a sporty appearance that further enhances this attractive Stutz.