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A. K. Miller Stutz hoard


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I inquired about shipping on a small parts lot, the answer cured me of ever buying from this outfit.

As did the buyers premium.

I cant afford these guy's retirements.

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On 9/16/2020 at 5:59 PM, alsancle said:

A 1919 Series G that was in the Miller auction is open for bidding right now.

 

https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mt20/the-mitosinka-collection/lots/r0003-1919-stutz-series-g-close-coupled-touring/919127

 

$30,000 - $40,000

Offered Without Reserve

RM | Online Only - THE MITOSINKA COLLECTION 16 - 25 SEPTEMBER 2020 - Auction Closes on 25 September 2020

Serial No.
Engine No.
3658
G-3462
 
  • Formerly of the renowned A.K. Miller Collection
  • Still preserved in its Miller finishes and patina
  • Charming features including Derco luggage trunk
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
  • Fabulous character!

This Stutz Series G is significant as one of the cars from the famed Stutz hoard of A.K. Miller, who began assembling a barn full of Indianapolis’s finest during the late 1930s and continued for decades, acquiring some of the most significant surviving Stutzes. Mr. Miller often quickly repainted the cars in a brush-finished “house livery” of red with black fenders, and such is still worn by this Series G today.

The car was sold at the Miller estate auction of 1996 to David Reeder of Fort Smith, Arkansas. It later passed in 2007 to Gary Kuck of Lincoln, Nebraska, from whom Dennis Mitosinka purchased it ten years later.

Aside from having been returned to running and driving order, the car is still much as it left the Miller barns. It is still wearing a functional later upholstery job, “protected” by the remnants of long-used summer covers, and still overseen by the same weathered black top with its beveled backlight. The radiator shell and headlamps were re-plated many years ago, before or during Mr. Miller’s ownership. The car retains the Stutz oil change plaque on the dashboard, which is original and well-preserved, and the doors still close well. Underneath, much patina can be found, as is to be expected, but overall the car remains in solid shape and would be a shame to restore. In his ownership, Mr. Mitosinka replaced several small hardware pieces and installed a correct carburetor. A charming addition is a period Derco luggage trunk on the running board, while the Rudge-Whitworth wire wheels and dual spotlights add an elegant accent. At the time of cataloguing, the car had recorded 53,674 miles.

Every Stutz enthusiast knows the legend of A.K. Miller, and offered here is the opportunity to acquire a car very much as it left his famous Vermont “Stutz Mews.”

 

https://rmsothebys-cache.azureedge.net/1/3/4/d/3/8/134d3817483faac72b2974d68587f92fef5cc647.jpg

Sold low 

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17 hours ago, md murray said:

This is a WTF pricing kind of thing (other than it really is a beautiful condition ornament in the big or small picture of Stutz caps that have survived)- from the car of GOD or !!! ?

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1 hour ago, John_Mereness said:

This is a WTF pricing kind of thing (other than it really is a beautiful condition ornament in the big or small picture of Stutz caps that have survived)- from the car of GOD or !!! ?


 

Since the Ra was buffed out so much that I considered it to have almost no value, I expect who ever bought it has never seen one that wasn’t missing half the detail. Interesting.

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On 9/22/2020 at 1:43 AM, John_Mereness said:

Interesting Stutz in a hillclimb

 

 

RobRoy Hillclimb in outer Melbournein1957-8 by the video dates.  The altered BB STutz would have belonged to one of the Sheppard brothers.  (The other brother did a very good restoration of a 37.2 Hispano Suiza, which he mostly drove as a chassis until he finished restoration of the James Flood body.)  There is some uncertainty of the actual ownership of the Stutz when it was associated with Bullen Brothers travelling Circus, but it was mostly driven by a clown with a substantial thirst for ethanol as a recreational pharmaceutical.  The original body was severely damaged by a fire, and it was re-constructed as the video shows it by Martin and King, ( who were not the most prestigeous coachbuilders in the motor trade.  As you can see, it was rebuilt as a closed coupe to someone's fancy; and we guessed it was likely a Black Hawk speedster originally, because there is a simulation of the rear of a "boat-tail "outline at the back,  and it has an HC preface to the engine number.   Peter Sheppard told us that most of the boat-tail had become lead loading which was very heavy.   Max Kennedy owned it for a long time and admired it greatly, and it has travelled a long way by sea since.  Much later I recieved a letter of enquiry with photos from  a new owner in California; who was emphatically convinced That it was a "Corsica" body.  I think I told him of no history here that it had ever been near Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, or anywhere else in the Miditerranean.   Bit like the beautifully constructed "S76"rcing FIAT in UK in recent times. Stuart Middlehurst had that remains of a wrecked car chassis winched out of a deep gully in northern New South Wales, and carted in home here on top of his diesel Peugeot 504.  John Medley researched the old local newspaper which reported the accident.  The ownership of the bproperty was mentioned, and the surname was still in the current telephone directory.  When John rang, thye owner swaid that john should really talk to his mother.  The lady was well in her 90s, and her memory was as sharp as a tack.  She had walked down the road the morning after the accident when she was a very young child, with her mother; who had taken photos of the chain drive car upside down in the gully below. As the newspaper had reported, it was an Austro Daimler.    There was the chassis frame and just one engine cylinder, with a piston pin score; but apparently repairable. The man  who got the frame from Stuart, and relinquished it to an enthusiast in Tasmania; from whom the builder of the replica racing FIAT acquired it.  Then the stray engine cylinder went to a man in Norway, who we understand has essentials of an engine with one cylinder missing but probably no hope of finding a frame to help rebuild an original car.

Back to circuses and Stutz cars,  Fred Edwards' father  had a detacheable head T-head four when he ran Edwards Western Circus, some time before Bullens Circus used that BB shown in the video to attract interested audience to their shows.

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Also, I should add that the Corsica provenience associated with this Stutz coupe relates to the London coach builder, Corsica. It has UK Corsica body plates fitted, although it seems odd that this car should be sent to the UK to be re-bodied then returned to Australia.

c.jpg

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13 hours ago, edinmass said:

I think the car is fantastic, And I would own it. Our dispute was related to AA, M, SV, and DV and the numbers they bring. The new owner will be very happy. I know I would.

 

I was going from this result last year at Amelia.    156k all in.   Same car just no second cowl?

 

https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/am19/amelia-island/lots/r0068-1928-stutz-model-bb-four-passenger-speedster-by-philips/742370

 

https://rmsothebys-cache.azureedge.net/b/d/e/e/5/7/bdee57ebff12ce72330e8fd0d4a72ee7ca6afea8.jpg

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I think the Corsica bodied car is pretty cool,  but without the back story I questioned the builder given the just slightly crude lines of the back of the roof.    It does have some great post war history though.

 

https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/az12/arizona/lots/r263-1928-stutz-series-bb-coupe-by-corsica/280471

 

This car began life as a Black Hawk speedster. Bodied by Millspaugh & Irish, the Indianapolis coachbuilders best known for work on Model A Duesenbergs, on a right-hand drive chassis, it was purchased by the owner of an Australian winery. Some time thereafter, and most likely in period, it was re-bodied into the current distinctive two-passenger coupe by British coachbuilder Corsica of London.

Corsica Coachworks was established at Kings Cross, London in 1920 by Charles Stammers and his brothers-in-law Joseph and Robert Lee. Never large, the firm claimed not to have employed designers, preferring instead to directly carry out its customers’ devices and desires. Because Corsica was small and could cater intimately to customers’ whims, the workshop attracted many of the sporting crowd, and while little is known of the early ’20s Corsica output, a good deal of it is believed to have involved Bentley.

The early 1930s brought some of the best-known Corsica coachwork, including a low-slung sports body for the Double Twelve Daimler and an open two-seater for Donald Healey’s 1935 Triumph Dolomite, by which time the works had moved to Cricklewood. Other Corsica clients commissioned work on Rolls-Royce, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz and Bugatti chassis. Like many of the bespoke builders, Corsica closed its doors during World War II, never to re-open.

The car’s second owner used it to promote his popular circus in Australia. It came to the United States in the 1950s and was repainted in the current blue over the original black. Otherwise it is an amazing original car, unmolested since the period re-body into the intriguing dorsal-fin coupe. It was recently re-commissioned for the road, with new tires and a complete service of the fuel and braking systems.

 

https://rmsothebys-cache.azureedge.net/7/9/3/9/c/7/7939c74d8ce4b8407d945a8270ff1fd07cf604d4.jpg

https://rmsothebys-cache.azureedge.net/d/1/d/1/9/a/d1d19aad76e27925036697f6e7c64bc1e2441129.jpg

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https://rmsothebys-cache.azureedge.net/f/1/8/c/2/4/f18c241b9636954197a450bbbcc3c0b25636d85e.jpg

Is this  a fairly rare body? 99.9% sure it is the same car that was in a local shop @20 years ago. If so it was one of the finest untouched original cars I've ever seen, but back then shops restored them to make a buck. Original colors were dark green fenders light green body dark green leather. Wish I took photos. It would have won the unrestored class at Pebble Beach.  Bob 

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42 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

https://rmsothebys-cache.azureedge.net/f/1/8/c/2/4/f18c241b9636954197a450bbbcc3c0b25636d85e.jpg

Is this  a fairly rare body? 99.9% sure it is the same car that was in a local shop @20 years ago. If so it was one of the finest untouched original cars I've ever seen, but back then shops restored them to make a buck. Original colors were dark green fenders light green body dark green leather. Wish I took photos. It would have won the unrestored class at Pebble Beach.  Bob 

 

From auction description:

 

The example offered here, one of very few survivors with the Tonneau Cowl, was discovered in the early 1980s in Flemington, New Jersey as an excellent and well-preserved original car. Subsequently, it was cosmetically restored for a Mr. Kovacs of Fairview, Connecticut. Inspection shows that the Stutz was not completely taken apart for the work, which was unusually sympathetic for the era. The body was refinished in two-tone maroon, similar to the original livery, and correctly reupholstered in leather. Mr. Mitosinka invested considerable time in cosmetically improving the car, including repainting the beltline and several chassis components, replacing incorrect or poor hardware, re-chroming many trim pieces, and having a handsome luggage rack built; exhaustive receipts and photography for this work are included in the file.

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In the 1930s in London there were dealers who specialized in "replica" cars or bodies. That meant, they would buy a used, 10 year old Rolls Royce or other high grade car and have it rebodied in the latest style. The result was what appeared to be a new car for a much lower price. I don't know who made the bodies, but it sounds like the kind of thing Corsica might have had a hand in.

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  • 1 month later...

I had a chance to go to the sale and passed. George went with a bunch of CCCA guys from the area. They borrowed an old trashed enclosed trailer we used for storage that I wouldn’t let a dog ride in. It came back with about six tons of iron in it........literally. More Stutz hard parts than anyone has ever seen since. We were amazed the trailer didn’t split in two from the weight. 

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I remember riding down that long, narrow dirt road to the sale and being shocked by the number of people and amount of equipment that had assembled out in the middle of the woods. Some folks at the sale claimed that Christies had been forced to airlift containers filled with their gear into the site and I wonder now if there was any truth to that? Before the last day of the sale there was rain and that dirt road that ran up the middle of the sale and separated the sale tent from the barns was totally covered in messy little puddles. Somebody on a neighboring farm was working a chain saw pretty hard that day and it was a riot watching the prim and proper auctioneer working equally as hard to maintain composure and be heard over the droning a few times. Anybody else remember going?

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It was a fun event to watch. Has anyone kept track of all the cars, how may got restored, what did they win, how many times have then been flipped? Think the supercharged Coupe has had 3-4 caretakers since the sale.  The now green Roadster than Jay Leno how has , may be the best restored one.  Bob 

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24 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

It was a fun event to watch. Has anyone kept track of all the cars, how may got restored, what did they win, how many times have then been flipped? Think the supercharged Coupe has had 3-4 caretakers since the sale.  The now green Roadster than Jay Leno how has , may be the best restored one.  Bob 

In his segment on that car Leno candidly remarks how it's taken 20 years to get the car running properly. They sure did a lot of work on it! Like you say, it would be pretty interesting to trace the cars and see what work work has been done on them. I know of a couple. My brother's friend ended up with I believe the Model M dual cowl from that sale and it's being well cared for down in PA. 

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I was there with my friend Carl Amsley of Stanley fame since there was a car and some parts in the sale. The car was bought by Geo. Staley and restored.

I had made contact with him after the sale and subsequently did some work for him on the car.

I had been there earlier and bought the remains of a 1927 Boattail . He had responded to an ad I had placed in Hemmings. On the advise of a few people I ignored the post card, I was told he'll lead you along and you will not be able to buy anything. After the second post card I responded, about a week later the phone rang at 4 AM and it was A K MIller, we talked for quite a while and came to an arrangement. A week later we were on the road, my wife and 3 kids in tow(truck bed was fitted for kids, our youngest was 1). We arrived late afternoon and met the Millers. AK suggested we disconnect  the trailer and leave it, would be easier for us to get around. Next morning when we returned the trailer was stacked full of used roofing that we had to unload at another location,Mother(as he called his wife) my wife and me. After Mrs Miller fixed lunch AK then handed she and I shovels and be began moving dirt from in front of the shed where the chassis was stored. The story continued but to long for this forum, we later visited them several times at there home in New Jersey. This was late 70's.

As a side note my wife and kids remind me sometimes how we never took a vacation unless there was a trailer following.

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6 hours ago, edinmass said:

I had a chance to go to the sale and passed. George went with a bunch of CCCA guys from the area. They borrowed an old trashed enclosed trailer we used for storage that I wouldn’t let a dog ride in. It came back with about six tons of iron in it........literally. More Stutz hard parts than anyone has ever seen since. We were amazed the trailer didn’t split in two from the weight. 

 

You had a chance and you didn't go !! It takes a brave man to admit to something like that.

 

I made a similar mistake with the Don Short sale in Washington State. I knew about it and it wasn't even a long distance from where I lived but I had assumed it would be almost all very high priced , restored cars. I had no Idea

there would be any near the amount of parts and potential project cars that there turned out to be. And it was exceptionally difficult to book time off work that year, very few people available to fill in my position on the ship.

So I gave it a reluctant miss. Once I saw an after the fact on line catalog I kicked myself twice around the block. And I live in the country..., long blocks. Not many opportunities like these sorts of sales in most lifetimes.

 

Greg

 

 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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7 hours ago, edinmass said:

I had a chance to go to the sale and passed. George went with a bunch of CCCA guys from the area. They borrowed an old trashed enclosed trailer we used for storage that I wouldn’t let a dog ride in. It came back with about six tons of iron in it........literally. More Stutz hard parts than anyone has ever seen since. We were amazed the trailer didn’t split in two from the weight. 


I remember that trailer well.   I helped load 4 Stutz Timken worm drive rear ends into it for George at the auction.   

 

1 hour ago, edinmass said:

I don’t regret missing the Miller sale as much as I will admit to missing the Packard 100th in Ohio. I passed on that one also.......that was a mistake.

 

I attended that one too.  I was using 100% of my vacation time from work that year to go to Europe for 3 weeks and to go to Herhsey that fall.  I called in sick to work the Thursday & Friday of the Packard meet to be able to attend.  I called it "The Packard flu."

 

    

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