1925 Stutz Series 695H Speedway Six Torpedo Tail Speedster
Engine no. 15358
289ci, OHV, 80hp inline six-cylinder
Three-speed manual transmission
Hydraulic drum brakes
Only two owners since 1946
Recently lapped Indy
CCCA Full Classic®
An outstanding showing at the inaugural 1911 Indianapolis 500 by one of the first cars built by Harry C. Stutz inspired the slogan, "The Car That Made Good in A Day." Although Harry Stutz sold his company in 1919, the Indianapolis-based firm continued to produce cars of superb style and performance until 1935.
For 1925, the largest and most expensive Stutz models were found in the 695H Speedway Six series. These were the first Stutz cars offered with hydraulic brakeshence, the "H" in the model designation. Lockheed supplied the unusual four-wheel brake system, which utilized external contracting bands to slow and stop the vehicle. Priced comparably to the Cadillac V63 and Marmon 74, the 695H line was powered by a Stutz-built 289ci six-cylinder overhead valve engine rated at 80 horsepower. The free breathing overhead valve motor could propel the big Stutz to over 70mph while egging the driver along with a deep powerful exhaust note. To take full advantage of the hydraulic brakes the 695H came with oversized 33 x 6.20 tires mounted on wire spoke wheels. The Speedway Six name itself makes clear the sporting aspirations of this model. It broke from the typical American mode of luxury over performance and was true to Stutz' performance and racing roots.
The offered example no doubt started life as a more pedestrian road car, but by 1946 it was discovered disused in a field. The Ogden Family, who owned a farm in California's Central Valley, purchased the Stutz in the 1940s. An undated photograph from the '40s or '50s shows the car without a body (but with the front cowl) and with another car's motor sitting on the back and acting as an agricultural irrigation pump for the family's plot. It eventually ended up stored in a barn on the property sometime in the 1950s, remaining there until it was discovered by the current vendor in 2006.
Upon acquiring the body-less car, the decision was made to create a sporting racer in the vein of the torpedo-tailed Stutzes that found so much success on the racetracks around the world in the 1920s. Starting with a genuine torpedo tail of unknown origin, a body was carefully crafted atop the original frame and drivetrain. The finished product speaks for itself. Debuting at the celebration of 100 years at Indianapolis in 2011, the Stutz had the opportunity to do a few laps around the track on which its chassis was no doubt tested 86 years earlier. The event and this car's presence at Indy was featured in Speed TV's Car Crazy episode on the event.
In an enjoyable ride in the Speedster, this scribe found the car to be very tractable. A solid runner, it powered along nicely and the straight exhaust pipe made for a beautiful soundtrack! Road registered and totally street-legal, with the vendor now making arrangement to move overseas, it is time for the Stutz to move on to its next keeperits third owner in the last 67 years.
- Please note that this vehicle is titled under its engine number.