The Stutz: Terry’s Roaring Time Machine

*Cue upbeat jazz music*

The 1920s was a time of flashy fashion, colourful music, and carefree living. Most of us would not have been around at the time but we’ll take people’s word for it! What we can take at face value are the amazing cars that came out during this era, because there isn’t anything quite like them left these days. 

Terry Hannan is one Mr. Lucky to have found himself one of these rare and exquisite time capsules at an auction in 2014. His car, a 1928 Stutz BB Saloon, did not have to do much to tempt Terry in putting down a bid. Apart from being a visual stunner, Terry also took note of its condition, rarity, and value – not to mention the fact that it holds the legendary historic car Stutz reputation as one of the top performers on the road during its heyday.

Stutz, Speed & Luxury

If you were a car enthusiast 100 years ago, a Stutz would have been something on your bucket list. Since day dot, Stutz projected a sporting image for itself after its first ever race car came in 11th place at the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911. It continued to wow the crowd for years to come and it almost took the crown at the 24 Hours of Le Man in 1928, proving that the Stutz is a machine of performance and durability against other leading marquees.

We asked Terry what he loves most about the Stutz and very simply he replied, “Easy to drive.” It’s uncommon to hear someone describe a historic vehicle from the turn of the century as easy on the road. However, you’d be surprised to know that many of the technical advances that we consider as relatively modern were actually introduced in the 1920s. Some of these examples are front wheel drive, four-wheel drive, electric powered cars, and even hybrid cars. Go figure!

93 Years Young

No car will look as good as this Stutz without a little TLC. To preserve its good looks and making sure it’s always road-ready, Terry Hannan has had to do some maintenance work. These include re-setting the springs, machining brake drums, replacing the water pump and a new thermostat. To add a touch of the 21st century, he’s installed a modern sound system without compromising the Stutz’ original dashboard.

Five owners, many world events, and a trip down under have come and gone, yet time hasn’t sunk its claws on this 93-year-old just yet. One might think a historic car like this would serve a better purpose in museum exhibitions or fancy car shows, but you’d be surprised how much on-the-road driving it’s still able to handle. Long before lockdown pulled the handbrake on going out, Terry put the Stutz to the test and experienced its durability first-hand. An 8-hour return drive from Bowral to Parkes NSW proved its hype as a hardy vintage despite its unsuspecting age and glamourous appeal.

We asked Terry if he has a dream car he aspires to own one day, but he said he wasn’t sure. Honestly mate, we think you’ve already found it.

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