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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Auto Icons in AC

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Rare Stutz Bearcat, Stanley Steamer in Horseless Carriage tour

Cars are meant for driving - even nearly priceless, flawlessly restored early automotive icons.

The Albert City Summerfest Antique Car Show is gearing up to be one of the most impressive collections of early automotive icons ever seen in the area, and a tour from Storm Lake to Albert City and back is sure to stop modern-day traffic in its tracks.

So far, autos valued at over $2 million are expected to appear in a first-time event this month.

Highlighting the show and tour will be a Stutz Bearcat, the rare original American sports car. Owner John Rehberg of the Omaha Horseless Carriage Association, which is taking part in the local show, has painstakingly restored his example to councourse condition.

The Stutz Bearcat conjures up images of raccoon coats, the Charleston, bathtub gin, and rich young blades whisking their beautiful dates to the football game.

In 1910 Harry C. Stutz established the Stutz Auto Parts Co. in Indianapolis to manufacture a combination differential-transmission unit he had developed. To prove his transaxle's robustness, Stutz built a car fitted with one and entered it in the first Indianapolis 500 mile race in 1911. To Stutz's delight driver Cal Anderson came in 11th, averaging Within weeks Stutz set up the Ideal Motor Car Co., renamed the Stutz Motor Car Co. in 1913, to manufacture "The car that made good in a day."

The Bearcat emerged in 1912 with little bodywork, and a huge 4-cyclinder 6.4 liter engine that managed 80 miles per hour. A Stutz racing team, called the White Squadron, was the scourge of the American racing circuit during the teens, and one Stutz proved its worth racing across the country in a record 11 days.

The Albert City show will also include some of the earliest examples of alternative fuel vehicles - the 1899 steam-driven Locomobile, the 1910 Stanley steamer, and a Baker, one of the first electric cars in the U.S. in the early 1900s.

Also expected is a 1903 Ford - Henry Ford's first production model; a 1903 Cadillac that is the first production model for that famous nameplate; and the 1904 Oldsmobile - the first car built by Olds; and a 1909 Auburn.

Walt Kassube, from Weeping Water, Nebraska, plans to bring the Model T Ford that he aquired and restored, which had been owned new by his wife's grandmother. The car features working gas-powered headlamps.

The events include an Antique Car Tour sponsored by the Omaha Region of the Horseless Carriage Club of America.

On Friday, June 15, the cars will depart from the Lighthouse Inn in Storm Lake at 9:30 a.m. They will tour the Buena Vista University campus at 10 a.m., and arrive in Albert City for a noon lunch. They will return back to Storm Lake at 3 p.m.

On Friday, June 16, for the Summerfest celebration in Albert City, the cars will take part in the parade at 10 a.m. They will then be displayed for the public from 11-1 at the park, where a public lunch is taking place. From 1-4, the antique autos will be arranged at the historic depot building museum in Albert City.

The Northwest Iowa 2-Cylinder Club will also be displaying and parading its antique tractors, with plenty of other fun activities throughout the day in Albert City.