Category archives: Vehicle Profiles

Classic Profile: 1932 Stutz Super Bearcat

The Stutz Super Bearcat was powered by a twin-overhead-cam straight-eight engine | Courtesy of the author
The Stutz Super Bearcat was powered by a twin-overhead-cam straight-eight engine | Courtesy of the author

Wearing a set of Goodrich Silvertown whitewall tires – distinguished by the double diamonds on the sidewall – the shortened chassis of the 1932 Stutz Super Bearcat is clearly apparent. At only 116 inches, the wheelbase was a full foot and a half shorter than the standard offering. In comparison, today’s Ferrari FF rides on a 117.7 inch wheelbase. Continue reading

Classic profile: 1930 duPont Series G Special Sport Sedan

The 1930 duPont Series G by Merrimac was shown in this period photograph | Courtesy of the writer
The 1930 duPont Series G Special Sport Sedan by Merrimac was shown in this period photograph | Courtesy of the author

As you’ve probably guessed, I enjoy searching for old photos of early cars. During Monterey Classic Car Week, this means a stop at Automobilia Monterey, and it was there that I found this image of a uniquely bodied duPont Series G Special Sport Sedan.

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Classic Profile: 1909 Stoddard-Dayton Model 9K

The Stoddard-Dayton touring car was photographed in London | Courtesy of the author
The Stoddard-Dayton touring car was photographed in London | Courtesy of the author

Illustrating the pride of Dayton, Ohio, this picture shows a Stoddard-Dayton Model 9K posed in London. The building in the background appears to be Britain’s House of Commons or Parliament Building, and the picture might have been taken from the embankment across the Thames River.

The Stoddard name was already well-established and respected within Dayton. It was John Stoddard’s farm-implements business that put Dayton on the map as a center for industrial production. Together with his son Charles, the two would turn to automobile manufacturing with the Dayton Motor Car Company in 1905. Continue reading

Classic profile: Cup-winning 1905 Richard-Brasier

The Richard-Brasier race car was shown at the 1905 Paris Salon | Courtesy of the author
The Richard-Brasier race car was shown at the 1905 Paris Salon | Courtesy of the author

I came across this postcard in Monterey last year and couldn’t resist. As it states, the card illustrates the Richard-Basier stand at the Paris Salon in 1905. The star-car of the French show, the 1905 Gordon-Bennett winning racer is seen front and center.

The French firm of Richard-Brasier has a confusing history with many name changes, but the story starts with brothers Georges and Maxine Richards. They entered the bicycle business in 1893 and a few years later started manufacturing vehicles resembling the Benz Velo. In 1901, they enticed Henri Brasier, the chief designer for Mors, to join the team. His impact was immediate and by 1902, Brasier’s name was added to the marque. Continue reading

Classic Profile: Maserati wins 1939 Indianapolis 500

Wilbur Shaw in the Maserati 8CTF at Indy | Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Wilbur Shaw in the Maserati 8CTF at Indy | Indianapolis Motor Speedway

In 1938, Ernesto Maserati developed the Maserati 8CTF to compete with the likes of Mercedes and Auto Union on the European GP circuit. Although not particularly successful on the Continent, the car gained fame stateside with a historic victory at the Indianapolis 500. Continue reading

Classic Profile: 1921-26 Duesenberg Straight Eight

This Duesenberg Straight Eight has sedan bodywork by Charles Schutte | Courtesy of the author
This Duesenberg Straight Eight has sedan bodywork by Charles Schutte | Courtesy of the author

The Automobile Trade Journal of July 1, 1920, wrote, “The Duesenberg Automobile & Motors Corp. has bought a factory site in Indianapolis and plans 2,400 cars the first year of operation. In addition to a special Duesenberg engine, the car will be equipped with four-wheel brakes and an axle designed by Fred S. Duesenberg. The new car is stated to be 400 lbs lighter than those of similar power and will obtain from 18 to 22 miles on a gallon of gasoline.” Continue reading

Classic Profile: 1905 Locomobile Model E

A big umbrella serves as a sunshade for this 1905 Locomobile Model E | Courtesy of the author
A big umbrella serves as a sunshade for this 1905 Locomobile Model E | Courtesy of the author

In the early years of the 20th Century, few new cars included a top – or a windshield for that matter. Typically, a top would have been an extra cost and we can tell from the picture that this Locomobile was sold without a top. The give-away is the lack of “irons” – the metal brackets that attach the top to the car. Continue reading

Classic Profile: 1909 Pope-Hartford Model S

The apparently chauffeur-driven 1909 Pope-Harford | Courtesy of the author
The apparently chauffeur-driven 1909 Pope-Harford | Courtesy of the author

In the early days of motoring, automobiles were typically possessions of the wealthy. Professional drivers were often employed and many chauffeur organizations existed to advance the profession. This picture appears to show a chauffeur bringing up the family’s 1909 Pope-Hartford somewhere in New Jersey. Continue reading

Classic Profile: 1913 Mercer, a car to be admired

Early car collector Cameron Bradley (left) shows off his restored 1913 Mercer Raceabout | Courtesy of the author
Early car collector Cameron Bradley (left) shows off his restored 1913 Mercer Raceabout | Courtesy of the author

From the day the first Mercer raceabout was sold in 1910, these have been cars to be admired. The Mercer Automobile Company was founded by the Roebling and Kuser families in Mercer County, New Jersey – thus the company’s name. Both families were wealthy and prominent with extensive manufacturing experience, and they wanted to build a high-quality sporting car. Continue reading

Classic Profile: Mercedes 710 Type SS

The Mercedes 710 Type SS in Bayreuth, Germany,  in 1937 | courtesy of the author
The Mercedes 710 Type SS in Bayreuth, Germany, in 1937 | courtesy of the author

Sometimes a picture reveals more than what first appears. What drew me to this picture is the Mercedes 710 Type SS. Looking almost new, this car was still something special a decade after its manufacture and clearly seems well cared for. Continue reading