Thursday 17th December 1925
The new Stutz Vertical Eight, with ‘Safety Body’, the first Stutz designed during the Frederic E. Moskovics era, was unveiled to dealers. The ‘Eight’ captured some of the essence of earlier Stutz automobiles in its performance and its rakish, underslung look that made competitors look dated. To achieve this, Moskovics specified a Timken worm-drive axle and combined it with a “double-drop” frame that allowed the car to sit lower on its big wheels than competitive cars. Billed as the “Safety Stutz” and priced at over $3,000, the Vertical Eight also featured hydraulic brakes and rudimentary “safety” glass. Neither high-tech effort proved completely satisfactory, however. The safety glass featured an array of tiny wires cast into the panes, while the originally fitted Timken Hydrostatic brakes proved so unreliable they were replaced by a Lockheed system a year later. On the positive side of the ledger was the newly designed Vertical 8 engine. It was a single overhead cam straight eight, displacing 287 cubic inches, actually a tad smaller in displacement than the Speedway Six that had preceded it. But the new mill delivered 92 horsepower with the help of “twin ignition” — two spark plugs per cylinder.
Schwab had invested a huge sum in the development of the Vertical 8, and early on it appeared the investment would pay off. Sales jumped to 5,000 units as luxury buyers heard good reports about the performance of the new Stutz, and its sleek looks were another strong selling point.