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Safety First: 1926 Stutz Model AA

The Model AA is often known as the “Safety Stutz” and the very first American production car to be built with safety in mind. This example has spent much, if not all, of its life in California, starting up north and eventually making its way to Riverside where it resides today. The seller believes that the car is 99.9% original, although it needs restoration. While not as valuable as some of Stutz other models, this AA could be fun to own. You can find it here on eBay with a BIN of $15,000 and the option to make an offer.

So what made this a Safety Stutz? When it was introduced, it was engineered with features such as a shatterproof windshield with narrow pillars for improved visibility, the running boards were reinforced to increase side-impact protection and they managed to get it closer to the ground to lower the center of gravity. While these things don’t sound all that impressive today, in 1926 these were advanced safety features!

While it does appear to be quite original, this Stutz is going to need a fair amount of restoration work. The seller doesn’t state what condition the big straight-eight is in, but it’s probably safe to assume it doesn’t run. The seller does note that the car comes with the original owners manual and Stutz history book, both of which are rare and cool to have. Personally, though, I’m more interested in the mechanical and structural condition.

It’s pretty amazing to think how far automobiles have come, especially when it comes to safety features. It might not be a Bearcat, but this is still a significant part of automotive history! If only this car could talk, I’m sure it would have some pretty amazing stories to tell.


  1. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Safety first, but still with wooden spoke wheels. Cars have history and untold stories of past owners and lovers, of rough roads and highways. Breakdowns and flat tires on poorly lighted country roads. Cold weather and hot days working havoc on their paint and upholstery. This Stutz surely has secrets held in its body and frame that would thrill readers if they could be revealed.
    God bless America

    Like 17
    • Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Well said, John M. Some folks DO find secrets in their cars own history, I.e., a lovingly repaired fender with a bad paint job over it, or something similar. But it would be more fascinating as you have said to have it give up its whole history of travels in time.
      This one could say something of the American spirit IMHO, just as our friends in other countries’ veteran cars would reveal their challenges and triumphs..

      Like 1
      • JerryDeeWrench

        Wow what a automobile. I would volnenteer to try and make it run just to hear it. Great find.

        Like 4
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Slick car!

    Like 2
  3. JerryDeeWrench

    What a automobile. I would volnenteer to try and make it run just to hear it. Nice find.

    Like 3
  4. Dovi65

    She’s a beautiful work of automotive history. What is most concerning about cars of the early automotive age is that so few people have any interest in them.
    This car should be brought back to life, and enjoyed. I hope that she goes to a good, loving, forever home

    Like 2
  5. Jim22

    I wonder why awkward looking “box” shape that protrudes the front fender was required. I love the headlight bulbs. Hard to imagine they turned night into day.

    Like 1
    • Pete Phillips

      That is almost certainly the battery box. Batteries were rarely put under the hood in these years. What an incredible automobile! Needs to be preserved just like it is!

      Like 0
  6. bigdoc

    Beautiful old car restored to original. With just a few minor updates to make it safer.

    Like 1
  7. Tara

    I would make it run and with minor restoration start using it on the road again, what a genuine original from the roaring 20s.

    Like 1
  8. ctmphrs

    I bet that box is a tool box.

    Like 0
  9. Del

    Stutz made nice cars.

    Hope it gets restored

    Like 0
  10. Ben

    It’s got a nice new home in Venice Beach Ca,
    hope to have it running in a few days!

    Like 3
  11. aribert


    Please post a follow up in a week or two and describe what you have learned and what you’re accomplished on the Stutz.

    Like 0
  12. Ben

    Took a week but the engines unstuck, has good compression. Have to rebuild some small components like the water pump, carb, distributor etc, but should be running soon.

    Like 1
    • Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Well done, Ben! Keep us up to speed(pun intended).

      Like 1
  13. Ben

    Next week will begin by reinstalling the oil pan and and pickup,
    cranking the engine to build oil pressure, heating the block and heads to
    free up some of the gummy oil in the passage ways. distributor is good and car has a nice hot spark, Carb is working great again, keep you fingers crossed!

    Like 1
  14. Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member


    Like 0
  15. Ben

    The Stutz is alive.
    the vertical 8 purrs like a kitten
    and now makes 30 psi of oil pressure
    at idle cold. next on the list Brakes!

    Like 1
    • Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member

      FYI-if you’re looking to save money, there’s an Army-Navy Surplus Store about an hour from here and they’re having a sale on Anchors..!
      Seriously, Good Job, Ben and thank you for keeping us up to date! Maybe a vid when you’re test driving it for the first time?
      Please Keep us posted!

      Like 0
  16. Ben

    Just finishing up the brakes, all the components were rebuildable.The radiator is the next hurdle, but a temporary one is in the works for blasting around the neighborhood.Almost all the wood in the roof that was marginal has been replaced by a master woodworker, it looks great. I have some video of the engine running but can’t post pics or vids for some reason.

    Like 1
  17. Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member

    A master wood craftsman is a good find, especially for your project, Ben.
    Is The replacement radiator repairable or have you found another?
    Thanks for keeping us in the loop!

    Like 0
  18. Ben

    Have about 70 miles on her, she rips thru traffic, has great brakes just finishing up the wood on the roof. Been playing w/ the timing just keep going faster and faster, already happy cruising at about 60!

    Like 1
  19. Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Perfect speed on the two-lanes, Ben, provided the brakes are up to it. Thanks for the updates!

    Like 0
  20. speedyb

    Having a great time with the Stutz, a few issues
    with one of the wheel cylinders, but the car has amazing
    brakes, the lockheed upgraded brakes stop like a modern
    automobile. thinking about sticking one of my US gear inline
    overdrives in the car just to calm her down at cruzing speeds,
    she has almost 5.00 rear gears!!

    Like 1
  21. Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member

    I noticed a lot of the trucks of that era had a similar rear gear drive ratio too..of course there apparently weren’t too many Superslabs at the time so they didn’t need to be able to do 75MPH all day long!!
    Thanks for the updates, Speedyb.

    Like 0

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