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Stearns Knight


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On 12/5/2016 at 11:00 AM, Cookie Man said:


Dad just said that appears to to be it - looked at it in mid 1960's (very first Antique car he ever looked at)  - $3,200 drive it home - he did not buy as cost was high and parts availability, but said it was in outstanding condition.  He thought it was midnight blue when he saw it.


Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, Cookie Man said:

It was blue and beige when it was sold by Harrahs. This was a repaint over the original colors. A previous owner had this taken to bare metal and primed.


Darryl, are you going back to the original color scheme?  If you are taking a poll I vote for blackwalls :).

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The original colors were two shades of drab. The leather was a drab close to olive. These color may not be as appealing today as in 1928.

In the 1928 Salon catalogue Brunn illustrates this car in black with a green swept panel from the cowl to the radiator.

This is probably how I will do it.

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On 12/7/2016 at 8:43 PM, alsancle said:

There are 3 known coachbuilt 8 cylinder Stearns-Knight cars known according to the registrar.  All the bodies were built by coachbuilders but most were in series.  This is the coachbuilt Baker Limo in the Nethercutt.



I think you meant Barker... ???

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On 12/7/2016 at 11:07 AM, alsancle said:

This is a 1925 Model C Sport Touring that is owned by a collector in NY.   He tours with it extensively.





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13 hours ago, alsancle said:

Looks Great Garry.   Same body as the 8-90 at the top of the thread?

Similar but with the six-cylinder it's much shorter. The body is by Robbins it does get driven regularly and when things are running smoothly it will do 70 miles an hour. It is barely broken in at 78000 miles, it drives and stops very well for a 5800 pound vehicle. Most of the smoking issues I believe wera due to the Skinner not functioning properly.

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On 11/26/2016 at 2:58 PM, John_Mereness said:

One of my dad's very first employees (a good friend and avid model railroader too), Dave Bell, drove a 1929 Stearns Knight 6 Cylinder Coupe - I believe it had a Robbins body and was very similar to the green 6 cyl coupe pictured above (excepting wooden wheels and a rear mount spare).  The body was mostly aluminum.  And, it was maroon with black fenders and natural wood  wheels - original interior.  Black long grain top - with landau irons. He drove the car everywhere and it was weekend regular in our driveway in the late 60's and early 70's.



Where was this located? Was it a drop head?


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  • 3 weeks later...

A touring car for sale.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/27253720658




A 1919 Stearns Knight L4 - Light Four Touring Car in unrestored condition with original paint, interior and top with side curtains.
A numbers matching vehicle by the F. B. Stearns Co. with Chassis No. 7016 and Engine No. L7016.
The 4 cylinder Stearns-Knight engine is a sleeve valve design used be several auto manufacturers of the day.
Body No. 1489 by Lind Motor Body of The Ohio Blower Co. in Cleveland, Ohio.
Odometer shows 8248 miles, but actual mileage is unknown.
Engine turns over by hand with the hand crank.
Tool chest under front seat contains original tools, side curtain frames, manual windshield wiper and portable cigarette lighter.
Front and rear fenders may have been repainted, but body is original paint.
Car has been in climate controlled garage in California for 8 years after coming from a climate controlled collection in Florida.
Additional pictures are available imgur.com/a/CMJfR
This rare car is an excellent candidate for the preservation class.
If you prefer original condition prewar cars you will not be disappointed with this Stearns Knight Light 4.
Please look at all the pictures because they are part of the description and a good indicator of condition.
The car has no title and will be sold with a Bill of Sale.
Thanks for your interest and consideration.


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Here is the full description. http://www.rmsothebys.com/hf17/hershey/lots/1929-stearns-knight-j-8-90-seven-passenger-touring/1705347


  • Formerly owned and restored by Knight engine guru Al Giddings
  • One of 11 surviving examples of the ultimate Knight-engined American car
  • “The car that Stearns should have built,” on an original J-8-90 chassis
  • Featured in the January–February 2014 issue of Antique Automobile magazine
  • Among the rarest Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classics

Some of the greatest American Full Classics are the least-known today. Among them are the grand final products of the F.B. Stearns Company of Cleveland, Ohio, one of America’s finest automakers since 1903, and since 1912, its foremost proponent of the Knight engine design, with its mechanically actuated “sleeve valves.” The Knight engine was complex but remarkably smooth and silent. In its ultimate Stearns iteration, the J-8-90 of 1928-29, it produced 112 quiet hp from 385 cu. in., and was mounted on an incredibly overbuilt, partially boxed frame with superbly constructed coachwork. The result, in its quality and engineering, was every bit the equal of a Packard or Lincoln of the time.

In two years, just 388 of the J-8-90 were manufactured, and only 11 of them remain in existence, mostly in museums.

The car offered here, one of those fabulous rarities, resided for many years in Southern California, later passing through the hands of Knight enthusiasts Richard Hamilton, Ken Lane, and Peter Woyen and Mark Young. By the time that Woyen and Young acquired the J-8-90 it had deteriorated for many years, and its original sedan bodywork was beyond saving. Accordingly, it was decided to restore the Stearns as a seven-passenger touring, a factory body style of which no original examples have survived.

The project came to fruition under the ownership of renowned cinematographer, engineer, and passionate Knight enthusiast, Al Giddings, who saw the coachwork recreated to original factory designs and drawings, resulting in superior quality and accuracy. Because of the similarities between Stearns’ sedan and touring bodies, original sheet metal from the beltline down could be used, with a modified original cowl. Mr. Giddings rebuilt the engine and transmission himself, while the chassis and body were finished by Patrick Kelso and David DeJon, with paint by Kevin VanLaarhoven. The late Knight enthusiasts Patterson Barnes and Art Aseltine provided considerable help and support as well.

The result is an Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) National Award nominee, among many other prizes won all over the country, and has been exhibited at the AACA Museum here in Hershey. It is certainly one of the finest restored Stearns-Knights in the world, and would likely be the rarest Full Classic in whatever collection it enters. Pride of ownership is evident in every nut and bolt.



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On 1/13/2017 at 11:28 PM, alsancle said:

29 Stearns-Knight under restoration.  No model given.  






So this looks like an 8-90 as they have some engine shots and the body is now back on the chassis.   Mike Gassman and I grew up together but I haven't seen him in 35 years.  It looks like he's doing a great job on the Stearns.




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