1913 American Underslung Scout Roadster

Harry Stutz formed the American Motor Car Company in 1905. By that time he was, even though not yet thirty year old, arguably the most experienced automobile designer in America. Stutz's distinction is that, unlike Henry Ford who fastened on the Model T and kept it largely static for two decades, Harry Stutz kept innovating in an almost seamless stream of imaginative, creative and thoughtful designs. The American, although one of the earliest Stutz-designed automobiles, may have been his most innovative. Stutz identified the high center of gravity of the automobiles of the early 20th century, necessitated by the rudimentary tracks that passed for roads in those days, and dropped the frame under the axles, then offset the reduced frame and body clearance with huge wheels that raised the axles and yet preserved the low center of gravity of the chassis and body. It was nothing if not ingenious, earning his American automobiles the identifier 'Underslung' by which they're popularly known today. 1913's American Model 22-B Scout applied the underslung design to smaller 251 cubic inch 105 inch wheelbase light car rated 25.6 ALAM hp with minimal coachwork, the formula for a 'sports car'. This 1913 American Underslung Scout Roadster is a rudimentary, elemental speedster that proudly rides on immense 36x3 1/2 tires. It has a 3-speed selective shift transmission, expanding shoe rear brakes and is painted in the appropriate 'American Wine' with gray running gear. Restored in the 1980's -- or maybe before -- it ran the Great American Race in 1988 and is today a lovely, rude, used, patinated and rugged old campaigner, and that's its charm. It hasn't been polished in years. The paint is chipped and old, the top is worn. And all that aside ... it exudes character, the character of a cherished old collector car that's been  used with enthusiasm without a thought for Pebble Beach or AACA awards. It is  wonderfully aged because it hasn't been put away as some untouchable relic. Cars acquire their character by their history and their use, and this American Scout is used. It is dead straight, runs like a train and is a relic of the Sixties when cars like this didn't get primped and polished. Owners then exulted in their gutsy performance, elemental design and choice design details. This is a rare car. They don't turn up like this American Scout very often and the opportunity is not to be missed.

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