Lot 361

1922 Stutz Series KDH Bearcat

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$173,600 USD | Sold

United States | St. Louis, Missouri

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Chassis No.
12974
Engine No.
D12972H
  • One of the great Jazz Age American sports cars
  • Powerful sixteen-valve four-cylinder engine
  • Formerly the pride of Stutz Club founder William Greer
  • Well-preserved and very attractive restoration
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

THE STUTZ BEARCAT

One of the most famous early American sports cars, the original Stutz Bearcat was the vaunted champion of the board tracks and the foremost competitor to the Mercer Raceabout. By the early 1920s its design of the Bearcat had evolved as its manufacturer had, and it had become a slightly more comfortable automobile, though still on a performance chassis with a large, potent sixteen-valve four-cylinder engine of Stutz’s own creation. It seated two passengers in a snug compartment with very low sides and no doors, giving an appearance of being “all engine” that was dramatic and visually powerful.

These were rorty beasts, and today are considered among the best-engineered and most powerful machines of the Nickel Era, a time not known for speed. Their drivability makes them particularly desirable to Stutz enthusiasts, many of whom continue to enjoy driving and enjoying their cars thanks to the support of the worldwide Stutz Club – an organization that exists largely thanks to one man, and this very Bearcat.

MR. GREER’S BEARCAT

The known history of the Guyton Bearcat begins in the late 1950s in Australia, where the car was discovered by collector Harry W. Dietert of Kerrville, Texas. Mr. Dietert brought the Stutz back to its homeland for his stable, and after restoration enjoyed the car in numerous hobby events, including the 1963 Glidden Tour.

In 1985, the Stutz was acquired by Doris A. Luther of Kansas City. Later that year it was resold to a dealer in St. Joseph, Missouri, after which it was cosmetically restored and then acquired in 1987 by William Greer of Indianapolis. Mr. Greer was a lifelong Stutz enthusiast and historian, and in fact the founder of The Stutz Club. Over the years numerous fine examples passed through his hands, none of which was treasured quite as much as the Bearcat, which represented the culmination of his decades-long dream to own such a model. His affection for the car is evident in its history file, which details his acquisition and ownership, and includes a poem that he wrote in the Bearcat’s honor.

Mr. Greer told the seller of the Bearcat that he would be a good home for it for the next 20 years, and so he was. In 2007, he was persuaded to sell it to his longtime friend, Fred Guyton.

The restoration of the car is well preserved, with a good shine to its distinctive yellow finish, and the black leather interior remains in excellent condition. Overall the appearance is quite authentic and clean, with the engine compartment and chassis remaining largely attractive and correct, though their finishes are older than the exterior paintwork. The windshield retains the 1960s Texas registration and Glidden Tour stickers from its Dietert ownership. Inspection of the interior reveals a wood-grained dashboard bearing Waltham gauges; the odometer notes 11,334 miles. Accessories include painted wire wheels and dual spotlights on the cowl.

This is an enthralling machine, from long-term good care by men who knew well and adored the Stutz marque.