Tag Archives: american car

1927 Stutz Vertical Eight Speedster

Harry C. Stutz is one of the great automotive pioneers of the last century, mentioned among notables like Bugatti, Miller and Duesenberg. One of his first forays into automobile manufacture was the design of an engine for the American Motor Car Company’s Underslung model.

  •  298.6-cu. in. SOHC inline eight-cylinder engine,
  • 95 HP,
  • three-speed manual transmission,
  • solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs
  • a 131” wheelbase.

AMIG 1927 Stutz 2 eng

Stutz formed the Ideal Motor Company in 1911 and immediately saw the importance of marketing his automobiles through racing. The very first car that left the Indianapolis plant was delivered straight to the track to compete in the Indianapolis 500, finishing 11th with no mechanical issues or failures and earning the slogan, “The Car That Made Good in a Day.”  One year later, the then-renamed Stutz Motor Company’s cars were seen as some of the finest money could buy.

AMIG 1927 Stutz 1
 

In 1926, engineer Frederic Moscovics developed the “Safety Stutz” chassis with a double drop that gave a low center of gravity, excellent handling and a rakish look. Four-wheel hydraulic brakes were fitted, as well as a worm-drive rear axle. The new “Vertical Eight” straight-8 engine had a single overhead camshaft driven by a link-belt chain and featured a twin-plug ignition. It was smooth, powerful and quiet.

 

In 1927, a Vertical Eight-equipped model AA set a 24-hour speed record, averaging 68 mph over 24 hours and Stutz backed that up in 1928 when its vehicle finished second to only to the Bentley Boys’ entry at the legendary 24 Hours of LeMans race.

 

This magnificent Stutz AA Black Hawk Vertical Eight featured a beautiful, sporting boat-tail speedster body — the first American car with that style of coachwork. This example still wears its original ID tag, displaying number AAS570575. It has been carefully restored to exacting standards and is ready for touring or show.

 

The body is finished in a subtle two-tone light beige / tan, which is set off by dark red painted wheels and a red cockpit.  Minimalist cycle fenders with fabric mud guards up front, simple alloy step plates and dual side mounts complete the look. The paint finishes and panel fit are excellent. Chrome trim and detailing highlight the quality of the car. The body is styled with drum headlights, wind wings, dual tail lights and, of course, the wonderful Stutz mascot on the radiator.

 

Inside the period cabin, newer red upholstery is in excellent condition with matching red carpeting. The simple dash features comprehensive instrumentation and a fantastic wood steering wheel mounted on a chrome column. For touring, luggage can be stowed either via the side mounted golf club door or the small trunk in the rear of the body.

Stutz 1
 

The Vertical Eight engine is a strong runner and has been very nicely detailed. It is striking, with a beige painted block and an evocative red cam cover. Thanks to the overhead cam and dual ignition, the 298-cubic inch mill is good for a strong 95 horsepower. This particular example also wears a period Wall Oil Rectifier — an early oil filtration device that heats the oil to rid it of unwanted moisture and fuel. The engine bay of this Stutz is a fascinating lesson in clever engineering and fine restoration work.

 
Stutz 2

Moscovics-era “Safety Stutz” cars are well-renowned for their robust performance and excellent handling. They remain highly collectible. The example we photographed today has been lovingly restored and invites regular use as a sporty touring companion for CCCA events, or as an entry to nearly any show field in the world.

1940 Packard Super 8 One Sixty Convertible Coupe

Always built to the highest standards, the 1940 Packard Coupe was unquestionably one of the finest American cars of the pre-war era. In the 1930s, Packard controlled nearly 40 percent of the luxury car market, yet its traditional, labor-intensive, and low-volume production methods would soon contribute to a dire need to revise their approach. Forced to modernize or perish, Packard hired George T. Christopher, a retired GM production executive, to lead the development of an all -new automobile that was suitable for volume-production methods, yet retained Packard’s legendary build quality, engineering, and prestige. 1940 was a pivotal year for Packard, and is considered by many to be the last year of Packard’s Classic Era. A 1940 Packard is smooth, quiet and elegant, with enough modern technology to make them great touring cars on today’s highways.

40 Packard Super 8 convertible

Christopher devised a 4-year plan to introduce Junior Series cars to the market, and eventually, they dominated Packard’s bottom line. The market was changing, and all manufacturers were forced to respond with more standardized manufacturing techniques. Coachbuilt manufacturing became impractical, and efficiencies such as lighter aluminum pistons and the new Stromberg AAV-26 carburetor allowed the new 160 HP Super 8 engine to become the powerplant of choice for all upcoming Senior Packards. The Super 8 One Sixty Convertible Coupe sold for $1,797 when new.

40 Packard Super 8 coupe engine

  • Inline 8 cylinder 356 cubic inch engine
  • 160 HP
  • 3-speed all synchromesh transmission
  • independent parallelogram front suspension
  • rear semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension
  • 127” wheelbase

 

The unmistakable Packard look was subtly altered for 1940 with small side grilles flanking the iconic “oxbow” radiator shell, a styling touch that was already being used on other marques to make them appear wider when viewed from the front. Also, headlight pods now rested on the front-fender “catwalks,” a step toward the eventual integration of the lamps into the fenders that would take place in 1941. The headlight pods were now filled with brighter sealed-beam lamps, and the parking lights were shifted to slender nacelles atop the fenders. It was also the first year for fully covered dual sidemounts as optional equipment.

40 Packard Super 8 coupe

With just 401 Super 8 One Sixty Convertible Coupes built in 1940, this car is both rare and desirable, and is a CCCA “Full Classic” that easily runs down the highway at modern speeds. With legendary Packard reliability, smoothness, and classic styling, it will offer the option of open-air motoring always available at the push of a button.

40 Packard Super 8 steering wheel