Formerly the 'Stutzenberg' Cameron Special
1926 STUTZ BLACKHAWK RACING TWO SEATER SPORTS
Registration No. SV 4659
Chassis No. Tba
Engine No. Tba
White with black leather interior
Engine: 8-cylinders in-line, single overhead camshaft, 5 litre (322cu. in.) four SU carburettors producing 150bhp at 3,300rpm; Gearbox: three-speed manual; Suspension: semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear with live axle; Brakes: hydraulic four-wheel drum. Right-hand drive.
Before the Great War the Stutz Company had already established a reputation for producing some remarkable sporting cars and had gained numerous racing successes as a result. However in the aftermath of hostilities the company had become complacent relying on older established models and processes without making advances in technology and development. The market had changed and although some new six cylinder models were introduced in 1922, these were only seen as stop-gap policy in the need to establish a new marketable product. However fortunes were much improved when the Stutz Company employed Frederick Moskovics, formerly a development engineer with Franklin, Marmon and Daimler, as Head of the Company. The introduction of an all new eight cylinder engine was the turning point in 1925, and this combined with new and improved chassis design, hydrostatic brakes and stylish low-slung bodywork of the sports models was unlike any other American car of the time.
In 1926 a young Canadian living in Vancouver was so impressed with the latest sporting Stutzes that he purchased two Black Hawk models in order to modify them to construct his own answer to the fabled Mercedes SSK. However although the engines were powerful, their performance did not match the Mercedes output, so he further invested in a larger American engine and bought a 7-litre Duesenberg motor which he installed in his shortened, stiffened, modified Stutz chassis. This combination proved a most highly effective competition machine and the Cameron Special became a regular feature on local race-tracks in the period between the two wars. It was known simply but dramatically as 'The Stutzenberg'. The Stutz chassis had a reputation for toughness and durability, which was proved with their effective entries at Le Mans in the late 1920s, and it is this innate strength which ultimately has seen the survival of this car. It was laid up during WWII, whilst Cameron served with forces in Europe, however upon his return he dug the old car out of storage, during which time the original body had deteriorated, so he removed it, replacing it with a steel body of his own design. In the immediate post-war days it again proved effective in local events, but as time moved on the car became sidelined once more this time for good it seemed. Whilst languishing unused, the Duesenberg engine was removed, and subsequently Cameron sold the car having refitted an engine from a 1927 Stutz. The car remained in Canada until the late 1980s when it was offered to John Guyatt, a keen VSCC competitor and afficianado of 'Specials'.
He was intrigued by the story of the car and determined to purchase it, carried away with enthusiasm for a car of which he had only seen photographs. In short when it arrived in the UK it was a sorry sight and needed extensive restoration, but undeterred, although the body had to be discarded due to being completely rusted and rotten, he persevered rebuilding the chassis and mechanicals completely and fitting a shapely new racing body in the style of the 1921 French Grand Prix-winning car driven by the legendary Jimmy Murphy; thereby underlining its erstwhile Duesenberg connections. The engine was rebuilt with high compression pistons, reprofiled camshaft, gas-flowed cylinder head, and in spite of all efforts to acquire some original Miller carburettors, he was forced to settle on some reliable SU side-draught units, which have in fact proved very effective, so that now the engine output was increased from 95 to 150bhp on a rolling road test. Handling was improved by shortening the four quarter elliptic rear springs, and now the car could be used to compete effectively in VSCC road and track events. John Guyatt campaigned it thus for several years, before acquiring further restoration projects and the car was sold again to a young VSCC aspirant, who has had further development carried out on the mechanics by the knowledgable guidance of marque-expert Mike Trautlein, converting the big ends to shell-bearings and utilising modern Carillo rods.
The car is currently used often as daily transport in and around the London Metropolis, whilst on the track it has a top speed capability of over 115mph, which is no mean feat for a machine of this age. It is fitted with purposeful road equipment of lights, wings and aero-screens and is currently MoT tested and road licensed. Tractable and versatile it would provide the new owner with a car for all events and all seasons.