1929 Stutz Model M Le Baron Phaeton

 

1929 Stutz Model M Le Baron Phaeton

1929 Stutz Model M Le Baron Phaeton

The beautiful car shown in this article is the 1929 Stutz M Le Baron Phaeton.

One of the more interesting early American automaker story is that of Harry C. Stutz and his Stutz Motor Car Company. Stutz was an engineer and became involved with automobiles right after the turn of the century in 1903. Interestingly enough, the first company Stutz founded in 1910 was the Stutz Auto Parts Company. Shortly afterwards the company got into auto building and the Stutz Motor Car Company was founded.

Born at the Indianapolis 500

One of the more interesting facts regarding the Stutz Motor Car Company was that it's very first automobile was built specifically for the 1911 Indianapolis 500 Race. The first Stutz car was built in just five weeks and upon completion was taken immediately to Indianapolis for the first running of this historic race. The car finished in first place which led to the Stutz slogan, "The car that made good in a day". Speed and reliability were the goals of the company and they certainly went on to achieve those goals.

1929 Stutz Model M Series

1929 Stutz Model M Series

During the 1929 model year the Stutz Motor Car Company sold a little over 2,300 automobiles. This of course was prior to the Great Depression and as we have pointed out in several other articles, the Great Depression took it's toll on most automakers one way or another. In the case of the Stutz Motor Car Company, it went out of business in 1934 in the middle of the depression. As an example of the weakness caused by the bad economy, in 1930 Stutz sold only around 1,500 cars compared to the 2,300+ in 1929. Things continued downhill and tough from there.

The most popular and most remembered car from the Stutz Motor Car Company was the "Bearcat" that stayed in production until 1925. The Bearcat was essentially considered a race car.

1929 Stutz Coupe interior

1929 Stutz Coupe interior

While the Bearcat didn't have interior amenities you'd expect in a high priced automobile, the relatively light weight car coupled with it's power made it quite popular with racers. After the Bearcat went out of production inn 1925, the Stutz aim was to replace the racers with luxurious automobiles. What the Bearcat did surely achieve was to give Harry Stutz a permanent place in automotive history.

The Stutz Le Baron Phaeton

The chassis design of the Stutz attracted the attention of custom coach builders who easily recognized that its low profile and great power gave them greater options in design, construction and execution than its competitors.

It was because of this that a coachbuilder such as LeBaron's company, while mostly known for their construction of sporting and boattail bodies on Stutz chassis, elected to build this amazing Open Drive Town Car on the 1929 Model M chassis.

1929 Stutz M Series Le baron front end grille

1929 Stutz M Series Le baron front end grille

LeBaron used the long wheelbase chassis, powered with the race proven Vertical Eight engine, to create a simple yet eye catching Town Car that is entirely coach built in its appearance. Founded in Bridgeport Connecticut in 1920, Le Baron was considered a prominent coach builder during the 1920's.

Links to two additional AutoMuseumOnline photo articles you'll find interesting include the:

1933 Duesenberg Model J and the 1929 Cord L-29.

1929 Stutz M Le Baron Phaeton Specs

All Stutz automobiles in 1929 were Model M's. Every one was also powered with a 322 cid, 185 horsepower overhead camshaft straight-eight engine.

The 1929 Model M wheelbase was 134.5 inches. The braking system was composed of Lockheed vacuum-assisted, 4-wheel hydraulic drum brakes and the vehicle had Lovejoy dual hydraulic shock absorbers.

The Stutz Motor Car Company's 1929 M Series Le Baron models featured an auxiliary trunk, a rumble seat, and dual side-mount spare tires and wire wheels. This was a fancy car and looked terrific. The 1929 Stutz Model M Le Baron had performance, style and quality.

A Great Collector's Car

First of all, by the very fact that so few Stutz automobiles were produced as compared to many of it's competitors, the cars are rare. Beautifully restored Stutz models are even rarer. A finely restored 1929 Stutz Model M Le Baron could obtain around $300,000 to $500,000 plus at auction.

(Photos from author's collection)

Shelby GT 500 Super Snake

Carroll Shelby, one of  America's best known automotive designer, race car driver and businessman made many contributions to the performance car industry. Carroll Shelby raced successfully in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Many might have heard of Carroll Shelby's Cobra which is what he was best known for. What Shelby accomplished with the Ford Mustang model is legendary.

2007 shelby gt 500

2007 Shelby SuperSnake

The First Production Model Mustangs

Following are the specs for the first production model Ford Mustang in 1965. These are from the standard non-Shelby modified models.

  • 108.0 wheelbase
  • 181.6 inches length
  • Weight of 2583-2650 pounds
  • 101 HP six cylinder engine and a 164 HP V-8

Production totals for the 1965 model year 501,965 for the 2 door hardtop, 101,945 for the convertible and 77,079 for the fastback model. The 1965 Ford Mustang was considered to be a sporty compact car with it's distinctive long hood. The Ford Mustang was by far the most successful model built by the Ford Motor Company during the 1960's.

Distinctive Shelby lettering

The Mustang Based Shelby GT 350

Ford's relationship with Carroll Shelby began decades ago. In 1964 the Ford Motor Company approached Carroll Shelby with the idea of asking him to make the 1965 model year Mustang a performance car. What Shelby was able to accomplish with the Cobra, Ford wanted to do with their new Mustang model. Ford Motor Company was well aware that they had a potential winner with their new Mustang model and making it into a true top performance car would go a long way in competing against the Corvette which had it's start in the 1950's. Ford hoped the new Shelby R racing models would give Corvette a run for it's money.

Shelby accepted the offer and began work on the Mustang in the summer of 1964. By early 1965 a new car was created. This was the Shelby Mustang GT 350. It didn't take long for Shelby's touch to be noticed. The racing car version Shelby produced, the Shelby GT 350R had won an SCCA race against some top performers as Chevrolet's Corvette. More than 500 Shelby Mustang GT 350's were built in 1965.

shelby supersnake gt 500

625 HP Shelby modified engine

The 2007 Shelby Ford Mustang GT 500

Carroll Shelby produced two versions of the 2007 Mustang GT. One was a 319 HP version and the other 500 HP. Both cars were quite popular when introduced. The Shelby Mustang GT featured in this photo article is a 2007 Shelby SuperSnake Convertible with a six-speed manual transmission and producing 625 HP. Production of the Shelby GT started in December 2006 and the performance car went on sale to the public in January 2007.

A supercharger upgrade kit gets that extra power from the engine. It's also said that an additional tuning kit can deliver horsepower in excess of 725. Today, collectors with Shelby GT models can avail themselves with an assortment of upgrade packages. The upgrades can offer 650+ HP as well as 750+ HP with the sleek designs that Shelby Mustangs are so noted for. Some have said that the Shelby SuperSnake looks like it's going 200 MPH standing still.

mustang super snake

2007 Shelby SuperSnake dash

Building the 2007 SuperSnake

It's important to note that the Shelby SuperSnake is manufactured by Shelby Automobiles and not Ford Motor Company. Shelby has their own performances additions put on the vehicle. In developing the 2007 Shelby SuperSnake, Shelby's team worked together with Ford at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and in Dearborn Michigan. Ford Racing and Team Shelby designed the aggressive suspension and engine package specifically for the this vehicle. The aim of the project was to blow away any other performance car on the planet.

Included in Shelby's 2007 SuperSnake is a Ford Racing performance exhaust system, Shelby designed 20 inch Alcoa wheels, front brake cooling ducts, a carbon deposit hood featuring Shelby design, a 6-speed manual transmission with 3.73:1 rear axle ratio and Carroll Shelby signature embroidered headrests, floor mats and other Shelby specifically designed components.

Four additional AutoMuseumOnline photo articles you'll find interesting are the First Corvette American Sportscar .... the Gullwing Mercedes ...the 2004 Lamborghini Gallardo...and the 1964 Sunbeam Tiger V-8.

ford mustang gt 500

Shelby GT 500 logo

A Collectors Car

As you probably already know, the Ford Mustang in general has been and still remains a valuable collector's car. With high performance racing modifications or not, the Ford Mustang found it's permanent place in American spots car history, in many ways the same as the Chevrolet Corvette has.

Vintage and classic car values are affected by national financial problems like recessions and depressions. It's interesting to note that some high performance collector cars have become more appealing to investors and collectors alike during times of financial uncertainty. A collector's car is a hard asset and may very well outshine and be a safer bet than the stock market. As of this writing many well known classic automobile auction houses claim that prices have been relatively stable during the recent deep recession. The really nice high performance cars have apparently fared better than the average classic which have indeed seen softer prices.

(Photos from author's private collection)