The Guyton Collection | Lot 358
1923 H.C.S. Series IV Touring
$49,840 USD | Sold
| St. Louis, Missouri
4 May 2019
- The product of Harry C. Stutz’s second automobile company
- Known, documented history with only five owners since new
- Acquired from respected Stutz Club founder, William Greer
- Beautiful, high-quality restoration
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
What do you do when you no longer own your own name? If you are Harry C. Stutz, and have just acrimoniously departed your namesake automobile company, you move to another Indianapolis factory and introduce the H.C.S. This expensive and sporty automobile, powered by a Weideley four- or Midwest six-cylinder engine, looked quite a lot like a Stutz, was targeted directly at Stutz’s customers, and was sold under the not-so-subtle tagline, “We Know of No Better Cars.”
Many customers pre-ordered H.C.S. cars on the strength of the Stutz name, and an H.C.S. even paced the Indianapolis 500 in 1921. After production began, however, sales began to drift off, and the H.C.S. faded into memory after just 2,175 were built in four years. This was no reflection on the high-quality, well-engineered nature of the product, however, which by 1923 boasted a six-cylinder engine with overhead valves, aluminum crankcase and oil pan, and a split driveshaft with torque tube – impressive specifications for the Roaring Twenties!
Typical of the automobiles in the Guyton Collection, the six-cylinder H.C.S. touring has a distinguished history. It was purchased new by Theodore Molino of Rossford, Ohio, and a copy of the letter from Harry C. Stutz, congratulating him on his acquisition, remains in the file! Mr. Molino retained his H.C.S. until November 1969, when, still in extremely original and intact condition, it was sold to Bill Freeman of Chelsea, Michigan, who commissioned its full restoration by Clark-Patton of nearby Plymouth, with parts acquired from the famed A.K. Miller.
It next passed to William M. Worthman of Columbus, Ohio, from whom it was acquired in 1992 by the late William Greer. Mr. Greer was a dedicated and passionate enthusiast, and the founder of The Stutz Club. Following a cosmetic freshening and rebuilding of the engine and transmission, the H.C.S. was driven by Greer on tours and exhibited at several concours, including the Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles.
Despite its regular use, the H.C.S. has been well preserved since its acquisition by Mr. Guyton in 2015, and is still in very good condition, with only minor wear to the paint around the shut lines. The body hardware is correctly finished in German silver, aside from the running boards, which are cast aluminum. The car is complete with a set of side curtains and a top boot, as well as extensive documentation and hand-written maintenance invoices from its various ownerships, and recorded 57,627 miles at the time of cataloguing.
The opportunities to acquire a Stutz are rare; the H.C.S. is rarer, still, and no less technically fascinating. Here is the opportunity to attain one with peerless provenance, courtesy of Messrs, Greer, and Guyton.