• This Month's Issue

    1st on the Track, 2nd on the Block: Why a Brabham F1 Beat It By $350k

    Legal Files: Two Costly Arguments for Agreed-Value Insurance

    $161k Koenig Testarossa: Enzo's Rolling, But Bidders Liked It

    190SL Face-Off: Condition and Color Contribute to $82k Gap

    Read More
  • SCM Platinum

    Over 200 cars that sold at auction covered in every issue of SCM. Our market reports include detailed information about the vehicle, including VIN, condition, options, and expert analysis from SCM's auction reporters.

    SCM Platinum is the largest database of collector cars sold at auction. Over 150,000 vehicles, including over 59,000 with detailed write-ups from our auction reporters.

    Now optimized for your mobile devices!

    Read More
  • Sports Car Market Magazine

    SCM is renowned for its unbiased coverage of the most prominent auctions around the world. Every issue of Sports Car Market is packed full of information you can't get anywhere else at any price. Find out the pro's secrets — what to look for and how much to pay for the classic of your dreams.

    Read More
  • Glovebox Notes

    SCM doesn't just cover collector cars. Every week, SCM reviews a brand new car online and in our newsletters, and there are new reviews every month in the magazine. Thinking of buying a new car? Check out our reviews!

    Read More
  • Insider’s Guide to Concours d’Elegance

    The 2014 guide includes a calendar of events and detailed descriptions of 21 featured concours.

    Read More

Recent Profiles

load more / hold SHIFT key to load all load all

1918 stutz series s roadster


The general public could be forgiven for thinking that the Stutz Bearcat was the only model made by the company. However, since 1911 when Harry Stutz had set up his own firm, there had always been two-seat roadsters and touring cars to keep the limited number of Bearcats made each year company. Mechanically there was no significant difference between the stark Bearcat and the far more practical roadster, simply a ten-inch shorter wheelbase and less bodywork for the former.

In the latter part of 1917, Stutz introduced its own 16-valve twin-spark engine for all models. This T-head engine provided outstanding torque, transmitted through a three-speed transaxle, a Stutz feature from the first cars to wear the badge. They could be driven from a walking pace to speeds approaching 100 mph in top gear and it's not surprising that Stutz cars were highly successful in racing from the very first, and achieved public recognition far beyond the relatively small number of cars actually produced.

At one time the Stutz pictured here was owned by the well-known Rolls-Royce collector, the late Rick Carroll. In 1975 it was bought by Herbert Watts, who undertook a complete and meticulous restoration of the car. The quality and authenticity of the restoration resulted in the car becoming an award winner in many AACA events from 1976 through 1980. The car was imported into the UK in the late 1980s and has proved to be completely reliable in numerous runs since that time. Currently the car is fitted with directional signals, modified rear lights and oil pressure and water temperature gauges for practical use on modern-day roads. These items could be easily removed if the new owner wishes to return it to its totally authentic appearance.

The car is eligible for a variety of antique auto and vintage sports car events ranging from light touring to all-out competition.


{analysis}{auto}396{/auto} The car described here sold for $53,130 (including 15% commission) at Christie's Nine Elms Auction held in London on November 1, 1999. We said in our report in the January 2000 SCM (page 36) that it was a "shrewd purchase." Here's why: As the catalog text pointed out, except for the wheelbase, the car is for all practical purposes a Bearcat with a few more creature comforts. Just as important, it doesn't carry the hefty price premium a Bearcat from the same period would command-something on the order of 50% or more, all for going without doors and a slightly shorter car.

These are tough, brawny automobiles and require a bit of beef to drive, unlike their great rivals the Mercers, which demand little effort to conduct properly. And despite the claim in the catalog text about a top end nearing 100, a peak speed of 75 mph would be more realistic. Still, with just two-wheel mechanical brakes providing retardation, even 75 should be quite thrilling enough for most collectors.

The British buyer got an added bonus with this car as well. Unlike US clubs, which use a cut-off date of 1915 for "brass era" cars, the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain allows cars built through 1918 to participate in many of their events, giving the car added value in the UK. It could also compete in Vintage Sports Car Club events over there and vintage sports car races and rallies here in the US as well.

This particular car was missing its top and bows; not a big deal except to the purist, since fair-weather driving would bew the expected norm when exercising the car. The engine is a combination of the advanced and the near-obsolete. It has four valves per cylinder and a dual ignition system but retains the T-head layout which, by 1917, most automakers had abandoned in favor of side-valve or overhead-valve configuration. Still, the 353 ci monobloc unit is a powerhouse to be reckoned with and few marques of the time could match its road-going performance.

However, these engines also had the nasty habit of developing severe cracks in their water jackets over time and the potential buyer of a monobloc T-head Stutz today should check for this problem carefully. The transaxle design was conceived by Harry Stutz several years before he ever built a car bearing his name. Its operation can be balky if the linkage adjustment isn't just right.

But those are about the only caveats for these legendary cars. This Stutz should prove to be an excellent buy over time for the new owner since it has superb, documented provenance, along with a first-rate restoration not so long ago and conscientious care since then. Now it glows with the slight patina of use which the English collectors, particularly, prize in their vintage cars. Well bought.-Dave Brownell
{/analysis}

Recent Blog Posts

  • Every Day is Alfa Day – Exercising the Duetto and the GTV +

    When it comes to driving old cars, some weeks are better than others. Between producing the magazine, running the business, traveling and doing non-car activities with Bradley and friends, the days fill up quickly. That’s why I am so appreciative when things fall together and I'm able to get serious Read More
  • This Week's Classic Mystery Photo +

    The monthly Mystery Photo has been an SCM tradition for 25 years. Each week, we’ll share one of our “greatest hits” photos from the past and give you a chance to provide a new witty and provocative caption. Each week’s winner will be announced in the Newsletter. Share your caption Read More
  • The Making of a Next-Gen Gearhead +

    Bradley’s first crash wasn’t his biggest one, but it was a wake-up call. When you go down on a motorcycle, even on a little one and in the dirt, you go down hard. We talk a lot about how to get kids involved in our world of cars and motorcycles Read More
  • Nutso Off-Roading Through the City (With Bikini Girls -- Mildly NSFW) +

    Read More
  • This Week's Classic Mystery Photo +

    "Tell the herd to relax. It's not a Jaguar." — Julian Shoolheifer The monthly Mystery Photo has been an SCM tradition for 25 years. Each week, we’ll share one of our “greatest hits” photos from the past and give you a chance to provide a new witty and provocative caption. Each Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Collector Car News

  • Branson Presents "Toad," an AC-engined 1951 Frazer Nash +

    An AC-engined 1951 Frazer Nash known as "Toad" and a 1963 AC Greyhound will cross the block at Branson's Fall auction.  The sale takes place October 17-18 at the Hilton-Branson Convention Center in Branson, MO. View an up-to-date list of the current consignments here. Read More
  • Meet Keith Martin at the Hilton Head Island Concours +

    The Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d'Elegance returns to South Carolina October 24-November 2. SCM Publisher Keith Martin will serve as a concours judge and participate in Friday's Motoring Festival Driving Tour. View the full event details here. Get tickets here. Read More
  • Barrett-Jackson Breaks $33m in Las Vegas +

      Barrett-Jackson rocked Las Vegas with another record-setting auction at the Mandalay Bay Event Center on September 25-26. During the three-day event, Barrett-Jackson hosted the largest number of consigned vehicles in the auction’s Las Vegas history with more than 700 vehicles and more than 339 collectible automobilia pieces crossing the block Read More
  • Auctions America Presents "Bid Anywhere" Online Sale +

    Auctions America has announced its own online collector car auction. The sale is called Bid Anywhere and will launch Friday, November 21. A 1991 Ferrari Testarossa is among the offerings. Read more at www.auctionsamerica.com. Read More
  • Ferrari F40 at Bonhams' Zoute Sale +

    A 1989 Ferrari F40 once owned by Formula One star Nigel Mansell (estimated at $760k-$1m) headlines Bonhams' Zoute Grand Prix sale on October 10. The sale will take place in the picturesque Belgian seaside resort of Knokke-Le-Zoute in conjunction with the Zoute Grand Prix Rally and Concours d'Elegance, October 9-13. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4