1933 Stutz DV-32 Five Passenger Sedan
Chassis no. DV64 1595
Engine no. 33306
2011 is the centennial year of one of Americas' great marques, Stutz. The company consistently produced interesting, sporting and mechanically sophisticated designs, of which the most highly regarded, elusive and sought after is the famed DV-32.
In the early Thirties luxury manufacturers struggled for market share in a heavily depressed sales environment. The great Depression had obliterated the market for high priced cars and companies were closing or being absorbed right and left. Great names like Cadillac were surviving as a result of introducing novel new products like the Sixteen then Twelve cylinder models, it was clear that they needed to differentiate to standout and multi cylinder engines were getting the attention.
Only Duesenberg stood out as being such an exceptional product that they did not need to change their 32 valve twin cam straight eight. The Stutz Company was aware of the problem but they had very little resources to offer as a defense. The Company's eight-cylinder motor was highly advanced when introduced in 1927 and the cars were well styled and had excellent performance but by 1931 their sales had basically dried up and they began work on a new engine to get attention.
Without the resources to develop a new multi-cylinder motor, they focused on their superb eight. Their idea was to produce a new twin-overhead cam, 32 valve, cylinder- head to breath life into the product line. This design, heavily derivative of Duesenberg, though not new to racing and European GT cars, was radical for America. The single cam straight eight now called the SV-16 was a great motor though never produced much over 115 HP. The new DV-32 head bumped the engine horsepower up to 156 and put the Stutz engine back into contention of the luxury market.
The DV-32 transformed the look of the engine into something new. A pair of polished aluminum cam covers with cloisonné DV-32 emblems gave the engine an exciting look. The new combustion chamber design eliminated the need for the twin plug arrangement of the SV-16. The performance of the car was notably improved and the engine had a lively, powerful and high-revving feel.
This more powerful engine was well matched to the superb Stutz chassis. The low-slung worm drive frame is noticeably lower than its competition and the vacuum boosted hydraulic brakes were superb. In recent years several Stutz enthusiasts have tapped the potential of this motor. Through adjustments in the compression ratio and improved carburetion a staggering amount of power can be attained. The massive lower end and cast iron head are nearly bullet proof.
The late introduction of the DV-32 engine makes it scarce today. Only 150 were produced before the company closed up in 1935. This car has handsome five-passenger sedan coachwork mounted to the DV-32 chassis. This 145inch chassis is the premiere version that was reserved for much of the custom coachwork Stutz offered. The car has been owned by a noted Stutz expert for many years and has toured extensively through Europe. It was fully restored a number of years ago but still presents well today. The interior is nicely trimmed and the Gordon Buehrig designed instrument panel is the centerpiece.
Stutz DV-32 cars are always highly sought after. Mechanically their only rival is the Duesenberg, and the Stutz low slung chassis gives the car an exotic look that few American classics possess. This DV-32 represents one of the greatest values in a premiere American Classic.