Sue and David Pater have been club members since 1981. So dedicated in fact, that their son Harley was born on a club meeting night along with another member who also had their son on the same night! (In hospital not at the clubrooms).

They own a 1928 BB straight 8 Stutz. Originally they rallied with a 1924 Buick, but being the last of the 4 cylinder models found the power, or lack of power, a major deterrent in long
distant rallying. David also owned a 1928 Indian outfit, which had to be sold to purchase the chassis and bones of the Stutz.

It was decided that the bicentennial rally to Canberra would be the date to aim to have the Stutz restored by. The easiest part was the entry. First they discovered the Stutz was a much rarer breed than they imagined and found not only parts but also suitable original drawings few and hard to find. After a nearly a year, the Stutz was purchased in 1984, they finally had enough information to build a body. David wanted a roadster, but with
three kids a phaeton was more practical.

After the woodwork and skinning was done as near to the original as possible, it seemed they were nearly there but it had barely started! Next came the engine which though in good nick had to be rebored where all the white metal had been poured where it shouldn’t have been. The original parts were not all the correct year. It is amazing how quickly one finds things out when you begin researching.

PatersStutz.JPG (22381 bytes) PatersNash.JPG (19629 bytes)

Of course, then came the wiring, the fitting of the engine, the nickel (not chrome because this was not original to 1928), the upholstery, leather of course, just the skins costs a fortune. Then came the painting. The colour was researched to as near as possible to the original, though no Stutz was ever painted the same colour. (i.e all were custom painted). Electric Blue’s that’s what they call the Stutz) was off an original catalogue sourced from USA. In 1928 fish scales were used but the Paters used a modem metallic paint as close to the colour as possible.

It took a lot more time and effort which if thought of prior to starting would have put them off but they still had their entry in the Canberra 1988 rally so with a huge effort especially from their friend Wally Nye they made it to the rally. Since then they have had many miles of happy rallying. The Stutz has been to Canberra twice, to Kangaroo Island, outback to Broken Hill and beyond.

As the family grew up, basketball and band practice along with all the other commitments from children kept them busy but they will try to get back into vintage motoring now all the children have finally got their own driving licences.

Sue has found the Stutz a heavy car to handle and has recently bought herself a 1925 Nash ute. This is as far away from original as you can get. (Nash didn’t even make a ute). With the fibreglass dog sitting up in the back she intends to have fun which is why we join a club such as the DVHCC inc.

If you are considering joining a club that caters for pre 1942 cars, come and join us and have a good time.