The popular Stutz slogan still remembered today was “The car that made good in a day.” The title was bestowed on Harry C Stutz in 1911 when his driver, Gil Anderson, placed 11th at the Indianapolis 500 . . . an amazing accomplishment and one that immediately inspired sales. The car had been built in just five weeks and was the first automobile to bear the name Stutz. At the race, it averaged 110 km/h (about 68 mph) and was only beaten by vehicles with engines much larger than its own.
Stutz Motor Car Company of America has long been renowned for its innovation and longstanding contributions to automotive engineering. From its inception, Stutz held a reputation for building fast, durable and safe cars with the utmost in style and luxury. Stutz designed and built the first under-slung chassis, which lowered the auto’s center of gravity so it could turn more safely and efficiently at greater speeds, an innovation that influences automobile manufacturing to this day. Stutz was also the first to use safety glass and the dual overhead cam engine. In addition, Stutz produced the quietest running and most powerful engine on the market.
Only 35,000 first-generation Stutz motorcars were produced in the twenty-year history of the company. In fitting tribute, all Stutz vehicles manufactured during the Classic Era of the automobile (1919-1946) are now recognized as “full classics” by the Classic Car Club Of America.
Chassis number 10547 was purchased new in 1921 for $4,500 by the husband of Sadie Raines of Brentwood, Tennessee. The car was then sold by Mrs. Raines in 1955 to AK Miller for $500 with 30,370 original miles. Miller’s notes indicate a new ring and pinion had been fitted prior to his purchase. Photos exist from 1955 as well as two letters from Mrs. Raines to Miller. A two-page list of Miller’s maintenance records indicates the engine suffered irreparable cracking and subsequent water leakage, and the car was put into storage in 1967 with 31,924 miles on the odometer.
In 1996, the car was sold at the AK Miller Estate auction by Christie’s. Lot number 28 was described as a “1922 Stutz Series K Touring Car, ” and the Christie’s catalog has a photo of the car in place in a storage shed.
Mr. Ed Downey of Woodstock, Vermont was the purchaser, but the sales invoice lists the car as “1922 Stutz Speedway.” Downey completed a frame-off restoration and found the car essentially complete. Downey changed the color from the original red to grey, a factory option. He also procured a properly dated removable head engine and replaced the broken engine original to the car. This engine was an option in 1921. Many photos of the car being disassembled and restored exist, along with all the receipts from Mr. Downey’s restoration.
In October 2011, Thurston Jr. and Andrea Twigg-Smith of Barnard, Vermont purchased the car. At that time, the engine had two broken valve guides that were subsequently replaced. Mr. Twigg-Smith acquired many tools to replicate those original to the car, including the correct Simplex jack.
An abundance of literature and documentation is included with the car as are some original parts that were replaced during Downey’s restoration. The current mileage of 32,236 is believed to be correct.
This car is fitted with an electric fuel pump and starts easily. Its mighty engine has the sound you would expect from a Stutz of this era. It cruises down the road effortlessly and is ready for any Classic Car Club Caravan. Note: this is the only 1921 Stutz 6/7 Tourer still in existence!