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The Anti-Concours: 1918 Stutz Hot Rod

Stutz Hot Rod!

Sure wish I was at Pebble Beach right now… Back in 2011 Josh and I had the opportunity to attend many of the events that take place every August on the Monterey Peninsula. We sure had a great time. It seems that everyone else did too and they must have told all their friends about it. Hotel room prices have skyrocketed as a result so we will have to be content watching from a distance yet again this year. To honor all those fancy machines sitting on the manicured lawns this morning, I wanted to featured this 1918 Stutz. Now, this is not like any Stutz you are going to see at the concours. Some might call it a blasphemy, but I think it’s just plain cool. Find it here on eBay in Lansdale, Pennsylvania for $21,500 or best offer.

Red Leather

Stutz was an American manufacturer that may be best known for their Bearcat. It was an open-bodied sports car that was considered fast for the time. It was cheaper than comparable European offerings, but still did quite well at the races. One would be welcomed with open arms at any concours type event today. I had secretly lusted after one for a while until the realization came that I will probably never be able to afford the price of entry. Well, the fire was rekindled when I discovered this Frankenstein.

Hudson Inline Six

Twenty thousand dollars is a lot of money, but nothing when we are talking about Bearcats. Now, lets be honest. There really isn’t much here that is Stutz. The grill came from one and it is registered as one, but the rest of the car has been cobbled together from a variety of sources. The six-cylinder engine came from a Hudson, the chassis may be from a Dodge, and the body is made of wood. Still, I love this car and it might be the closest I ever get to my pre-war sports car fantasy.

Fuel Tank and Spare

This contraption is claimed to run and even drive well at highway speeds! Sure, it will never get me an invite to any prestigious shindigs, but that’s alright with me. I will be having too much fun in my Stutz Hot Rod to attend anyway!


  1. jim s

    if the frame is a dodge why is it titled as a Stutz? interesting find.

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  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    Back a few years ago, a couple inherited an absolutely pristine, original ’35 Ford 3-window coupe. The car had been stored for an unknown period when the owner’s health deteriorated but was easily returned to Driver Status. They sent the car to a ‘Specialty Shop’ that (must have cost them half a million) butchered that car to a shadow of what it once was; it only remotely resembled a ’35 Ford and that was it. Some people call that a Hot Rod but when I see an artifact butchered like that, I call it a crime. Of course that’s my opinion and fortunately we still live in a country that gives us the freedom to do what we want with our cars.

    This Stutz hot rod is what a real hot rod is supposed to be; a mixed bag of what was available to make a neat, fun, cruiser. Something scrounged from the boneyard and all put together to make a personal statement to the rest of the automotive community: ‘I built that; I drive it and I’m damned proud of it!’ I don’t know what happened to the hot rod community over the years. Maybe too much money was entered into the mix but it changed so radically that what it was once was, was lost forever (almost). I was once a fan of hot rods (and still am to some extent) but when I saw complete cars in cherry condition reduced to brightly painted rubble (not to mention trailer queens) I withdrew my interest and concentrated on restoration/preservation.

    This car is testament to the original hot-rod…

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    • DT

      Youre not the only person with that opinion,thank goodness. Where I live ,There is a body shop that does “restorations”….so finaly I looked at his photo gallery. Every car had 20 inch wheels and hot wheels paint jobs……..YUCK!!!

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  3. Mark E

    Not only anti-concours but anti rat-rod, street rod, just about any category you can think of. For $20k you can buy a nice post-war Packard or some other real car, thanks!

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  4. shawnmcgill

    Now, THAT’S one I could have a ball with!

    I think I’d try to build a Boattail rear end for it. If I screwed it up, so what?

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  5. Dolphin Member

    I’m with those who think this is cool and that it would be a real hoot to own and drive.

    I don’t know whether it’s an authentic early American hot rod, but it sure looks like it. I’ve seen photos of similar looking early machines in some of the old SCTA publications that I used to own, so I think this could be a genuine early rod from the ’30s.

    And it’s presented just right—no lofty claims, no obvious mistakes/contradictions in the description, just some ideas about what it might be made up of because, not being the builder, that’s about all that Old Forge Motorcars can offer prospective buyers. Only the builder knows for sure, and since it was built in the ’30s it looks like he’s not around to talk to anymore.

    Yes, $21.5K is a lot of money, but I’ve seen more money than that wasted on way less interesting vehicles. And they’ll entertain offers, too.

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  6. Alan (Michigan)

    I think the term is “Underslung”, nothing to do with singing.

    Cool old cobbled-together crapcan. Fun to tool around in, would have been at hit on Woodward Avenue Saturday.

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  7. Wiley Robinson

    $21.5K might be alot of money but there’s $100k worth of cool in that car. That’s one of the neatest cars I’ve seen here. If I was you and could swing the money, I’d get it.

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  8. John

    Now BF has branched into the obscene. Would someone please buy it and build it back into a real Stutz like nature intended it to be? This is a crime against nature. (But I’d sure like to have it).

    I wonder if many body panels are available from the Stutz parts department? Ok I have to say it — Chitty chitty bang bang, chitty Chitty bang bang……

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  9. yanmarley

    Cool car – wish I had the dough, it would be a fun ride and get you way more attention than any megabuck cookie cutter hot rod out there – this is how they came about in the first place. If anyone on here does buy it please give us a full report. Good find!

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  10. That Guy

    I’m guessing this car originally had a hood, not an exposed engine. I’m basing that on the cleating on the firewall which more or less follows the contours of the radiator shell. That wouldn’t have been needed if the car was hoodless from the start. But then I’m assuming the body was built for this car, not scavenged from something else.

    The only thing I don’t like about this car is the Marathon Oil sign on the gas tank. It looks too perfect and brightly-colored. At first I thought it was a reproduction, but now I think it probably is an original; still, I think I’d want to hang it on the wall and find a beat-up replacement to attach to the car.

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  11. A.J.

    Ok, I see one or two Stutz parts there. The radiator shell, not much else. It is a crime to call this a “Stutz”. Honestly.

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  12. Chris A.

    To paraphrase an old Mercer owner comment, “You gotta be nuts to call this a Stutz”. But way, way back into the 1920s’, often the only way to identify a car going by was a distinctive radiator shell or radiator cap.

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  13. Justin

    Did no one else see the “elephant in the room?
    Is the box under the rear of the car it’s trunk? No pun intended…

    Like 0

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