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Series H Bearcat
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  Article Image gallery (8) 5067 Specifications  
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Country of origin:United States
Produced in:1920
Price new:$3,250
Successor:Stutz Series K Bearcat
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:August 02, 2016
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Click here to download printer friendly versionSince its introduction in 1912, the legendary Stutz Bearcat evolved only in subtle details, until an all new model was launched in 1917. Where the original Bearcat's amenities for the occupants were limited to a pair of seats and a small 'monocle' windshield, the new Series R model featured proper bodywork and full-width glass. Perhaps even more importantly, the 1917 Bearcat also boasted an all-new four cylinder engine developed and built in-house.

The new Stutz engine took the place of the Wisconsin-sourced T-Head four cylinder engine, built up of two blocks of two cylinders. Again featuring a T-Head with a pair of lateral camshafts, the new 'four' was constructed from a single casting of cylinders with the head attached. The head featured four valves per cylinder, which helped hike the power from 50 to over 80 bhp, despite a reduction in displacement.

As before, the Bearcat featured a straightforward ladder frame chassis, sprung by semi-elliptic leafs on both ends. Compared to the rest of the Stutz line-up, it had a slightly shorter, 120" wheelbase. Also carried over from the earlier models was the three-speed gearbox, which was attached to the rear axle. While not quite as spartan as its predecessor, the new Series R Bearcat was a thinly veiled road-racer. Still strictly a two-seater, it sported a pair of spare wheels/tyres on the rear deck.

At the model's launch, the new Bearcat was priced at $2,300, which represented a $300 hike compared to its more rudimentary predecessor. Although a new 'Series' was introduced, the Bearcat's design changed little until production ended in 1922. The most substantial change came in 1922 when a removable head was introduced and a left-hand drive version became available. By that time the price had risen to $3,250.

During the production period of the second generation Bearcat, demand for Stutz vehicles had dropped, which prompted the owners to reconsider their line-up. The Bearcat was one of the victims as the American manufacturer switched to more luxurious models. The name was revived in the early 1930s for a very short wheelbase version of the range topping Stutz. The first and second generation Bearcats remain among the most sought after American cars of the 1910s and 1920s.

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  Article Image gallery (8) 5067 Specifications