1911 Stoddard Dayton Model 11A Five Passenger Touring
Chassis no. 11A 162
Engine no. 11A 278
432ci OHV Inline Four-Cylinder Motor
4-Speed Sliding Gear Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Leaf Springs with Live Axles Front and Rear
Rear-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes
*Wonderful original condition
*Impressive 40hp over-head valve motor
*Four speed transmission
*A very useable original car
The Model 11A
The Stoddard family of Dayton, Ohio were successful entrepreneurs with interests in paint and varnish manufacturing and farm equipment. The patriarch's son, Charles Stoddard, became convinced of the future of the automobile and, being a logical, progressive businessman from a successful family, carefully investigated the then competing technologies, gasoline, steam and electric. After deciding that gasoline had the best chance of success, he contracted with the Rutenber company in Chicago for a supply of engines and began to manufacture the Stoddard Daytona automobile.
The company's position was in common with many of its competitors: to build large, heavy, reliable, luxurious automobiles. Stoddard Daytons were just that. The smallest car the company ever built (aside from those built by its Courier subsidiary) was an 18hp four-cylinder. They would eventually go up to a 70hp sleeve valve six.
After a few years of experience with the Rutenber-built fours, Charles Stoddard designed a T-head four rated at 35 horsepower for the 1907 models. One of the new 35hp Stoddard Daytons finished the Glidden Tour with a perfect score and it was a Stoddard Dayton that not only won the first race held on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909 but separate car also paced the event.
In 1908 H.J. Edwards, an experienced engineer from England, was hired and given a free hand to design Stoddard Dayton's next engine, a powerplant which has forever secured the company's place in automotive history. Introduced in 1909, the next Stoddard Dayton was a 4.75 x 5 inch 36hp four, a configuration that was in itself not unusual. Its valve layout, however, set it apart. In an era when mechanically-operated intake valves had only recently superseded "automatic" intake valves sucked open on the intake stroke and T-heads were only just yielding to simpler and more compact L-head valve positioning, Edwards' design for Stoddard Dayton was a true cross-flow head with inclined overhead valves and hemispherical combustion chambers.
The first Model 9 Stoddard Daytona engines used an ingenious valve actuation system with a single camshaft in the crankcase and only a single pushrod and rocker arm pivoted in the center of the head to operate both valves. Exhaust valve operation was conventional with the pushrod pressing down on the valve. The intake valve, however, was opened when a low place on the lobe allowed a spring on the pushrod to pull down on the positively-fastened pushrod and the other end of the rocker arm.
The Stoddard Dayton layout was efficient in terms of moving parts, but imposed large friction loads on the valve gear which had to constantly work against the pressure of the intake valve opening springs. The rubbing loads on the camshaft and tappet were severe and quickly wore out the valve gear. After a year of experience, Stoddard Dayton redesigned the engine to separate the valve gear, placing a second camshaft on the other side of the engine and duplicating the pushrods and rocker arms for conventional valve operation against springs which held the valves closed.
Stoddard Dayton's experiments with engines were not over, either, although the hemispherical head engines continued to be produced. In 1912 Stoddard Dayton added a huge 70hp Knight sleeve valve six-cylinder to its catalogbut the Stoddards had sold out to Ben Briscoe in 1911 and the company succumbed when U.S. Motors went under in 1913.
The Motorcar Offered
This Stoddard Dayton Model 11A has survived in amazingly original condition. The paintwork, though a bit thin in places, is remarkably intact. All the fine details are still present like the bronze pedals and running board tool cases. A charming detail of this car is the registration numbers stenciled onto the fuel tank. Above the tank you can see the Selden Patent plate still attached along with the original ID tag.
The car is equipped with a Bosch "A" coil ignition system allowing for simple, often handle-less starting. The interior has been fitted with set of canvas rain covers to help preserve the original upholstery. A new and correct top was fitted, however, as the original had deteriorated beyond repair.
Under the engine cover, however, is the prime attraction. The hemispherical combustion chamber, inclined valve cross-flow 40hp Stoddard Dayton engine with its abundance of brass and bronze exposed valve gear is a display that will fascinate and captivate anyone who loves intricately timed and coordinated machinery whether its stationary or in motion. It is a masterpiece and an important example of the creativity that the Stoddards nurtured at their automobile company. When shown, it will attract favorable attention from concours organizers, tour participants, and casual spectators. For the new owner it will offer an opportunity to impart a sense of the significant accomplishments of the Stoddard Dayton automobiles on themselves and others.
- Please note that this title is in transit.