1921 Stutz Bearcat

Not sold at a high bid of
$500,000 - $600,000
Est. Range
Lot Number
Unrestored original
Auction House
Chassis no. 10555; Engine no. K10557. Blue with black fenders and a black leatherette top over black leather. RHD. 360/88hp T-head four, 3-speed, Warner speedometer, drum headlights, S&M spotlight, single rear spare on the rear deck, old cracked Firestone tires, running board occasional (Mother-in-Law) seat.

Evaluation: All there, original, and marvelous. Believed to be just 11,486 miles from new in the possession of the first owner’s property caretaker having never changed hands except by bequest to the caretaker then to ‘Chasing Classic Cars’ Wayne Carini. The original paint is worn off in areas but only lightly surface rusted underneath. The upholstery is ragged and recently reinforced. Offered with maps from the period, a Boston Stutz agency bag and the original build tag. Runs like a train after being attended to by Evan Ide. Pebble Beach FIVA Award winner. Far from pristine, but far too significant and original ever to be ruined by a restoration. The essence of a survivor from a time when it should have been turned into a hot rod.

Bottom Line: Sold for $594,000 by Bonhams at Quail Lodge in 2016 a year after being feted at Pebble Beach, this bid is $110,000 less than it brought there and is thoroughly disappointing. It may be that the notoriety has worn off but the appeal of running, driving, original cars with performance and recognition has not; it should have brought well more than the reported high bid here, a disappointment and a missed opportunity.

by Rick Carey
23 October 2021
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  • Bob Ragan says:

    In my opinion this is among the greatest barn finds ever. My dad owned a Stutz back during his youth. I saw the CCC episode where Carini found the car. It was only a few miles from my college alma mater. I dream…. if I had only known…..

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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.