1915 Stutz logo.
The company was founded as the Ideal Motor Car Company in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1911. Ideal entered a car in the Indianapolis 500 that year and placed 11th, earning it the slogan, "the car that made good in a day". The next year, the founder, Henry C. Stutz, renamed the company Stutz Motor Company and began selling high-performance roadsters like the famous Stutz Bearcat.
Stutz was forced to raise money beginning in 1916, eventually selling the company in 1919. In 1922, three Stutz investors, one of whom was Charles M. Schwab, gained control of the company. The new owners brought in Frederick Ewan Moskowics, formerly of Daimler Benz, Marmon, and Franklin, in 1923. Moskowics quickly refocused the company as a developer of safety cars, a recurring theme in the auto industry. In the case of Stutz, the car featured safety glass, a low center of gravity for better handling, and a hill-holding transmission called "Noback". One notable advance was the 1931 DOHC 32-valve V8, one of the earliest multi-valve engines.
In 1927, a Stutz set a world record for speed, averaging 68 mph (109.5 km/h) for 24 hours. The following year, a Stutz finished second at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the best result for an American car until 1966. Stutz set another speed record at Daytona, reaching 106.53 mph (171.3 km/h), and the company placed fifth at Le Mans in 1929.
Production ended in 1935 after 35,000 Stutz cars had been manufactured.
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