Little Puzzle: 1937 Stewart Coupe Utility

The coup utility, or ute as they are known in Austrailia, has been very popular for many years. There were a few in the US that were also popular, like the El Camino and the Ranchero. Beginning in 1934 with Ford, the Australians created utes out of everything from Austins to Valiants. The styling of this truck is very similar to other utes of the time, especially the top with the quarter window. Peter R found this one listed on eBay and it is a puzzle. The Stewart Motor Corporation was founded in Buffalo, New York in 1912 and ended production in 1941. What car could this ute have been based on? Stewart built cars for a short time in their early years but wasn’t building cars in the 1930s. There is no mention nor are there any pictures of this little truck anywhere in their literature or advertisements.

The restoration was beautifully done and looks typical for a car of the era except perhaps for the upholstery.

Does this engine look familiar to anyone? Could it be a flat head 4cyl Lycoming engine? Perhaps one of you can tell us about it.

Here’s that familiar ute roofline. How do you think this truck came to be? Those hubcaps say Stewart and the badge on the hood is in the correct Stewart script. After the first Ford utes in 1934, many manufacturers started building them, but they were Austrailian companies. It’s difficult to believe a manufacturer of large trucks in New York would develop a ute from scratch when they don’t have a car or pickup to start from. It’s going to be interesting to hear what you think. Thanks to Peter for finding this fascinating puzzle. Wouldn’t this be a fun little truck to have?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Ebay ad says this uses a Waukesha engine, David.

    Looks like fun, but I’ll bet it’s neither fast nor comfortable. Would be interesting to know why Stewart built right-hook Utes, and whether this one ever made it Down Under.

    • george sapia

      this post is for david frank as there is no way to send him a reply, david not a puzzle really, yes many companies sent their chassis’s to australia to build the ute part for the aussie market why not stewart? utes were not just made from cars, they made utes from pick ups and australia wanted something unique and different from the standard utilitarian pick up of the day they wanted a truck cargo space with a plush interior of a car not yet offered anywhere and also a blended unibody look which america didnt do till the 1956 powell, then the ranchero and finally the el camino all twenty years later.this ute is based on the 3/4 ton american p/u which is the rarest truck today built in buffalo, and sent for the ute body treatment at the factory in australia for the aussie market where i acquired it 14 years ago, just recently utes are becoming known in the states when i started shipping them here many years ago very few people knew they existed, it is the only one known, thank you for you sight..

      Like 1
  2. Adam T45 Staff

    I’ve been doing some investigation and believe that the Stewart was never exported to those of us Down Under.

    It appears that this may be an extremely rare vehicle, and it is entirely possible that this is the only ute produced by Stewart. Their market was more aligned with manufacturers such as Diamond T, and by the time this little gem was produced it appears that the company was only producing about 800 vehicles of all types per year. In 1938 they produced 390 vehicles, and by 1939 the count was down to about 70 vehicles registered.

    I personally would love to own this little guy, but I shudder to think about the availability of parts for it. If you would like a condensed history of the Stewart brand, try the following link: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1935-1936-stewart-panel-and-dump-truck.htm

    • george sapia

      i have to correct you adam yes stewart was imported to australia,i acquired this ute from there it is the only example known parts are not so hard except body panels everything else is delco or carter or waukesha 4 cyl motor the production numbers you show are for all vehicles of that said year large trucks panels and chassis only offerings, yes it is rare any info on stewart is only come about in the last couple years and mostly by myself as when i first brought the truck to the us 14 years ago the internet was young and there was nothing now there are a few things out there mostly pics of my truck and a few like the article you shared thanks for your input

  3. Tom Member

    I wish I had the cash laying around to buy this one. Love the right hand drive. Good luck finding parts!!!! Very cool as I enjoy vehicles that you really “don’t see” around. Love the period. I wish they would have dropped the gate for a photo of the bed.

    Looks like the early inspiration for the Chevy SSR.

    • george sapia

      tom the only hard parts are the body panels all mechanics are standard including the 4cyl waukesha engine, i have no problem keeping her running thanks

  4. Kiwi Glen

    These certainly made it to nz and I have a friend with a restored Stewart ute. The history of his ute is well known as it is a one owner family as his grand father bought it new. It is possible that the ute part was built either in NZ or Australia as it was common to have cab chassis combos completed in NZ to reduce import taxes due to having at least some local content

    • Adam T45 Staff

      Hey Kiwi Glen, you may well be onto something there. I’ve been unable to find any credible info on imports of Stewart vehicles into Australia, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you received them in NZ. The NZ market definitely received some vehicles that we never received. I’m also following the line of whether some may have been exported into South Africa. That would also account for the rhd configurations. I’ll keep looking because I am way to stubborn to give up on that.

    • george sapia

      kiwi glen could i please have a pic of your friends stewart ute and what year do you say it is? as this is the only one known for 1937 and i have it here in cali
      fornia it was built in australia from the factory from a stewart pick up sent from the factory in new york as most utes were built from american chassis sent to australia for the aussie market, europe also sent cars to mobilize the aussies

      Like 1
  5. Jim Marston

    The engine in the photo of the Stewart is a Red Seal Continental F series .

    • Jim Marston

      I still stand by my statement ! The engine pictured in this Vehicle is an F series Red Seal Continental Engine not a Waukesha the Waukesha engines were used in Stewart Trucks and maybe in the Buddy series , But the engine in this truck is a Continental F series !

      • george sapia

        peter of the three trucks you have seen were any of them utes? or just larger trucks and what years? i have never seen another stewart ute anywhere and have searched endlessly for 14 years since i acquired it in australia,i have seen big trucks and they are even rare but no utes thank you

    • george sapia

      no jim the motor is an original 4 cyl waukesha easily mistaken though for a continental,it also has a 4 speed tranny and is completely original from the factory and listed as such with a waukesha motor in specs

  6. HBChris

    It has been for sale since at least Jan 2016. Then it was $55K.

    • george sapia

      not for sale continually since jan 16 only a test sale now and then but yes i have dropped the price as i have other dreams now

  7. Peter Morrow

    Peter M
    Calling from Australia. Stewart trucks were certainly imported to Australia . I have seen three, mid thirties models. One derelict, one restored at the Lancefield Truck Show and one also restored in the late Merve Brunt Collection . How many ,and by whom were they imported will require further investigation.

  8. Peter Morrow

    Further to my previous input on Stewart trucks in Australia, a quick search on the Australian National Library ‘Trove’ digitised newspapers lists importers and sales outlets from at least 1924 up until 1937. Hope this helps.

    • george sapia

      thanks peter, any mention of utes? as my ute is a 3/4 ton all ive seen and only a rare few are large trucks not even any regular pick ups eexcepat a 1935 american pick up here in the states and it is the only non ute pick up known also

  9. John Shepherd

    Looking at the lines of the Cab ..This Ute Body has to be Australian built and maybe the Chassis etc imported

    • george sapia

      yes john exactly what happened, this is what was done with many ute makes,i have had the stewart for 14 years and all research leads to this,it is the only one known thank you

  10. Steve

    My dad was a pipeline welder. That engine looks like the same one in several of his 200 amp Lincoln SA-200’s…

    • Jim Marston

      Yes , Continental F162 and F163 engines were used for many years in Lincoln Welders as well as six cylinder F series in the larger amp welders

      • george sapia

        yes waukesha also supplied motors to welding units matter of fact the two companies were closely related..

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