Built in just five weeks, Harry Clayton Stutz’s first car did sufficiently well at the 1911 Indianapolis 500, finishing 11th, despite numerous stops for fresh tires, to prompt its creator to set up the Ideal Motor Car Company to manufacture the Stutz.
The first production models were closely based on the successful Indianapolis car and featured proprietary Wisconsin engines and Stutz’s own rear 3-speed transaxle. The Bearcat remained a fixture of the range until the end of the 1924 season, when the installation of Frederick E. Moskovics as company president marked a change of emphasis: From now on, Stutz cars would be aimed at the luxury end of the market.
This car was completed in 1918 at the Stutz factory in Indianapolis, IN, before delivery to the first owner, who is believed by the Stutz Club to be Harry Stutz’s first cousin, Charles Elsworth Stutz. The rare dickey seat and engine-mounting modifications to the crankcase were, reportedly, made after his racing successes with the “Special Bearcat.”
The Stutz comes with a good history file containing sundry restoration invoices, copies of the handbook and technical papers, a V5C document and Stutz Club correspondence. This is a wonderful, powerful, and imposing vintage automobile — and it is ready to use.