1931→1933 Stutz DV-32 Super Bearcat
One of the most desired of all Stutzs is the Super Bearcat. Fashioned on a special short-wheel base chassis, these cars were built for drivers that relished in performance similar to Stutz’s race cars.
The Bearcat term was first applied to Stutz’s seminal 1914 racecar, a Spartan design that conquered early American motor sports. Later cars prepared for Le Mans and stock car racing also kept the term. The final Bearcat was prepared on Stutz’s last chassis, the DV-32.
The DV-32 model was launched in 1932 and was named after its ‘dual valve’ cylinder head with twin overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. When installed on the old ‘Vertical Eight’ engine, power was raised to 156 bhp. While this was amount below Cadillac, Marmon and Duesenberg in power, the engine’s specific output was much higher.
Unique to the Super Bearcat is a chassis measuring 17.5 inches shorter than a standard DV-32. These are typcially equipped with a small roadster body sometimes covered in fabric by Weymann. With these small dimensions, the car could reach 90 mph (145 kph).
In total only 10 Super Bearcats were produced. Factory production halted around 1933, leaving these cars as the swansong of one of America’s great marques.
DV33068 – Sold by RM Auctions at their Automobiles of Arizona sale for $594,000 USD inclusive of buyer’s premium. Described as ” Owned in the 1950s by a Joe Streeter of Oklahoma, it was acquired by the Harrah collection circa 1974. Dr. Atwood purchased it at the September 1984 dispersal auction and committed it to John Sanders’ Antique Auto Restoration in Rockford for a complete restoration.
The Weymann fabric body was carefully deconstructed and rebuilt as necessary. Mechanically the car was thoroughly rebuilt as required. A full set of photos from the restoration accompanies the car, documenting its remarkably solid original condition as well as the quality of the restoration. Upon completion, it commenced its tour of the 1988 show season, earning AACA National Junior and Senior First awards, and the AACA President’s Cup at year’s end.
The 1989 season brought an AACA Grand National First at Sheridan, New York, and Preservation status. The car’s high point was taking a Third in Class at Pebble Beach that August.
This is, arguably, both the rarest and most desirable Classic era Stutz of all. Its exceptional provenance – dating back to the 1950s and including the renowned Harrah’s collection – make the Atwood collection’s superbly restored car perhaps the finest surviving.”²
Sources and Further Reading
1.Wells, Dale et. al. The Splendid Stutz, The Stutz Club:1996.
2.2009 Automobiles of Arizona. RM Auctions: 2009.
Story by RM Auctions, Richard Owen
|type||Series Production Car|
|production years||1931 – 1933|
|built at||Indianapolis, Indiana , USA|
|block material||Cast Iron|
|valvetrain||DOHC, 4 Valves per Cyl|
|fuel feed||1 Schebler Carburetor|
|displacement||5278 cc / 322.1 in³|
|bore||85.6 mm / 3.37 in|
|stroke||114.3 mm / 4.5 in|
|power||116.3 kw / 156 bhp @ 3900 rpm|
|specific output||29.56 bhp per litre|
|body / frame||Steel Body over Steel Frame|
|front brakes||Hydrualic Drums w/Vacuum Assist|
|rear brakes||Hydrualic Drums w/Vacuum Assist|
|f suspension||Solid Axle w/Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs|
|r suspension||Live Axle w/Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs|
|wheelbase||2946.4 mm / 116 in|
|front track||1435.1 mm / 56.5 in|
|rear track||1435.1 mm / 56.5 in|
|top speed||~144.81 kph / 90 mph|
Auction Sales History
1932 Stutz DV-32 Super Bearcat – sold for $1,012,000
ex-Dr. Frederick A. Simeone, William Ruger Sr. One of the most sensational American sports cars. Weymann fabric coachwork with original covering. Powerful and sophisticated engine. Impeccable provenance. One of the last examples not in a major collection.
Auction Source: The Amelia Island Auction 2015 by Bonhams
1932 Stutz DV-32 Super Bearcat – sold for $539,000
Formerly part of the Dr. Barbara Attwood and Harrah Collections. Engine rebuilt, brakes overhauled and new tires fitted in current ownership. Multiple award-winning restoration. With its multiple award-winning restoration as well as its exceptional provenance dating back to the 1950s, this superb DV-32 Super Bearcat surely ranks among the finest surviving examples today.
Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Auction by RM