Antique Car Insurance: History of the Stutz Motor Company
In the history of American motor vehicles there have been hundreds of designers and manufacturers, but few had the ability to eternally distinguish themselves from the crowd. While some early American auto makers were focused on making vehicles widely accessible to consumer, others set out to distinguish themselves as luxurious and extravagant symbols of wealth and leisure. The Stutz Motor Company was one such brand, and the Stutz Bearcat was their claim to fame.
Throughout its lifetime, Stutz Motor Company was known as an American producer of fast cars and vehicles for the rich and famous. The Bearcat has been called the “first American sports car” by some enthusiasts because the early models were essentially a road-friendly version of their racer. Stutz has also been credited with the development of “the under-slung chassis”, which greatly enhanced the safety and cornering of motor vehicles. The technology is still being used today.
Originally produced between 1912 and 1925, the Stutz Bearcat roared through the early part of the twentieth century with enough speed and flash to embody the spirit of the Roaring Twenties. The Bearcat became nearly synonymous with extravagance and luxury at the time. In 1914 it was priced at $2000, which two to three times as much as the average American “basic” car. The Bearcat rose in popularity due largely to its luxurious and fast reputation at much more affordable prices than some of the imported European sports cars of the era.
In 1912, Stutz Bearcats won 25 of the 30 auto races in which they were entered, increasing their prestige and appeal among motor enthusiasts of the time. In 1915 a stock Bearcat was driven by Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker to achieve the record coast-to-coast drive time of eleven days, seven hours, and fifteen minutes. This drive was the inspiration for the Cannonball Run race and subsequent film adaptation of the events.
Stutz Motor Company struggled through the great depression and wartime era which lead to vehicle production ending in 1935. The America’s luxury auto makers produced some 35,000 during their twenty-four year run. While the brand was later revived as the Strutz Motor Car of America in 1968, it never again regained its early prominence.
No matter what type of vintage, classic, antique or collector car you own, getting the right insurance to protect your prized vehicles is vital. At Condon Skelly, we know are as passionate about protecting your vehicles as you are about collecting them. We’ve been helping our customers protect their classics with affordable, industry-leading insurance coverage since 1967. We’re a group of collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals who specialize in insuring all types of collector vehicles. For more information, contact our antique car insurance specialists today at (866) 291-5694.