Bearcat Beater: 1918 Stutz Hot Rod


We featured this stunning Stutz hot rod over two years ago. Well, it looks like someone has had their fun with it and are now ready to let someone else have a turn. The seller claims that it was built in the thirties for a Philadelphia restaurateur. The engine came from a Hudson and the brakes from a Dodge. About the only thing Stutz is the grill badge, but it still looks fun to me. It’s now located in Dade City, Florida and is listed here on eBay with no reserve!


Stutz may be best known for their pre-war sports car, the Bearcat. It was an impressive machine for the time and it would be amazing to own one today. They are exceptionally rare and valuable though so this might be the next best alternative. Heck, the title says it’s a Stutz and it might even outperform the original, so why not?


The inline six came out of the 1933 Hudson. This would have been a new engine if the car was really built in the thirties. It would be interesting to see if there’s any documentation to prove that build date. The transmission is a non-synchromesh unit, but at least you have juice brakes. It would be fun to try to figure out what each of the parts came from. Is the frame Hudson or did it come from something else? Was the body custom made? What about those headlights?


There is an inspection sticker on the windsheild from 1954 so it was built at least 62+ years ago.  Or the windshield came off something that was inspected in ’54… There are so many questions about this car’s past, but that is part of the fun. I’m sure pieces of the story have changed or lost over the years, but there has to be a few people out there who know more about this awesome creation?


All I know is that this thing would be a blast to cruise around in. Supposedly, it can handle highway speeds, but I bet that’s a thrill! The cockpit looks comfy and the fire extinguisher is your only safety feature. Just make sure it’s been inspected recently!


The previous owner mentioned that the Marathon sign could be removed and so did the current one. So, why has no one removed it yet? That’s probably the only thing I’d change here. It looks about perfect and just needs someone who can keep up the maintenance and drive it. Perhaps a few period modifications could be made while you hunt for more Stutz bits to install. Whatever you do though, there’s no denying that this is a very unique build.

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  1. Not really a Mopar guy

    Never seen a Stutz done up like that.
    Very cool!

  2. Alan (Michigan)

    My recollection was that the car did not have a hood in the previous listing…. And a look there confirms it. If that is actually the case, I’d say that the seller has been a good steward in sourcing or making one which fits the character of the car. But little else has changed, so all of the old “used personal hotrod” character remains.

    Not for me, but certainly fun for someone.


    Here in PA our current inspection stickers require the VIN of the vehicle it is affixed to to be written in on the back of the sticker along with some other information. I know that this was the same procedure going back into the 1960s. I do not know if that was the case for the 1950s but it could be worth a look at the back of the sticker to see what, if anything, is written on it.

  4. OGwagon

    Ridin’ in a Stutz Bearcat, Jim,
    Those were different times.
    And the poets studied rows of verse,
    And all the ladies rolled their eyes.

    Sweet Jane
    Lou Reed

  5. Van

    great car, built in the 30s no. I’d say vets returning from ww2 maybe. great car.

  6. Mike Burnett

    Yeuch! Looks like Something out of the Adams Family.

  7. Mark S Member

    If it were mine I’d refurbish to make it drivable by today’s standards. Then I’d custom build a boat tail body onto the back of that existing cab. I’d then repaint it in a two tone colour combo. Then I’d enjoy it.

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