Harry C Stutz is considered as one of the greatest innovators in the automotive industry. Harry had humble beginnings, he grew up on a farm from Ohio but has always had natural talents when it came of machinery. He started out fixing farm equipment and eventually, everyone in town went to Harry to have something fixed. At the age of 18, he went out to pursue engineering and became very successful with his career. He became known as a very creative inventor who wanted everything to be perfect. One of his early engineering success was designing the Underslung engine for American Motor Car Company. In 1911, he left the American Motor Car Company and started his own, the Ideal Motor Company. Harry Stutz always knew that the best way to advertise the performance of his cars was through racing. The first car his company built went directly to the track and finished the Indianapolis 500. Although it placed 11th, the first timer did not encounter any problems which were branded as “the car that made good in a day.”
The next year, Harry renamed his company into Stutz Motor Company. His people always admired him for his talents, but they always feared his strict leadership. The workplace should always be left perfectly clean, otherwise, they would never hear the end of it. Under Harry’s leadership, they were able to create high-performance vehicles that were able to take on the international racing arena. Eventually, Stutz became known as one of the best cars of its time.
In 1919, he sold part of his ownership rights to the company to increase the capital. He regretted this decision after losing full control over the production and left the company. The company met a number of difficulties and was under new management. The Stutz Motor Company was able to get back on their feet when they found another talented engineer, Frederic Moscovics.
In 1926, Moscovics reinvented the company’s philosophy and created the “Safety Stutz” chassis which feature a double drop which gave the car a lower center of gravity, significantly improved the handling, increasing stability, and provided a fresh new look. The car had a worm-drive rear axle and hydraulic brakes on all corners. It was powered by a new engine, the Vertical Eight which featured a twin-plug ignition and one overhead camshaft that was connected to a link-belt chain. In 1927, the Stutz Model AA with a Vertical Eight was able to break the 24-hour speed record. During the 24 hour drive, it had an average speed of 68 mph. The next year, Stutz competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and placed 2nd.
But despite its success in the racing world, the sales remained poor. In 1928, in its efforts to increase the sales, Stutz created a new line of vehicles, the Black Hawk. But Moscovics was not too happy to reduce the price of his creations. The Black Hawk was built on a new 127” short wheelbase and powered by a 6-cylinder engine that was based off the Vertical Eight. The new chassis featured innovations that were ahead of its time such as a new cross-bracing but still had the double-drop low-slung design.
The 6-cylinder engine was connected to a 4-speed transmission, this means that the Black Hawk is one of 2 American cars that have a 4-speed transmission during that time. It had a big Lockheed hydraulic drum brakes on all corners and a B&K vacuum booster. Unfortunately, the Black Hawk was not enough to save Stutz. The American market was no longer interested in the classic European styles. Stutz ultimately closed down in 1935.
The Stutz Black Hawk had a very short production run of 5 years which makes them a rare and highly collectible car. This featured 1929 Stutz Black Hawk with a rumble-seat roadster coachwork is a beautiful example. It is believed to have been designed by LeBaron, who was known to have designed a number of Black Hawk coachworks. This Black Hawk is in excellent condition and was restored to perfection several years ago. It has been rarely used since it was restored and has been kept in great condition. The sporty roadster body comes in a charming light green finish that is accented with black fenders and dark green wire wheels. The exterior looks excellent with no signs of imperfection.
On the inside, the rumble seat is covered in tan leather which looks great with no signs of fading, tears, or any other flaws, and the same goes for its canvas top. The engine looks clean and works perfectly well. It is obvious that this care received a lot of attention since it was restored. The Stutz Black Hawk is considered to be one of the best touring cars of its time, and this one is a great example that perfectly represents the talents of Moscovics.
References & Photo Credits: