354ci OHV Inline 4-Cylinder Motor
3-Speed Sliding Gear Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Leaf Springs with Live Axles Front and Rear
Rear-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes
*Excellent performing brass era car
*Great looking and advanced overhead valve engine
*Sporty "Baby Tonneau" body
*Eligible for all brass era events
The Model 10K
The Stoddard family of Dayton, Ohio were successful entrepreneurs with interests in paint and varnish manufacturing and farm equipment. The patriarch's son, Charles Stoddard, became convinced of the future of the automobile and, being a logical, progressive businessman from a successful family, carefully investigated the then competing technologies, gasoline, steam and electric. After deciding that gasoline had the best chance of success, he contracted with the Rutenberg Company in Chicago for a supply of engines and began to manufacture the Stoddard Daytona automobile.
The company's position was in common with many of its competitors: to build large, heavy, reliable, luxurious automobiles. Stoddard Daytons were just that. The smallest car the company ever built (aside from those built by its Courier subsidiary) was an 18hp four-cylinder. They would eventually go up to a 70hp sleeve valve six.
After a few years of experience with the Rutenberg-built fours, Charles Stoddard designed a T-head four rated at 35 horsepower for the 1907 models. One of the new 35hp Stoddard Daytons finished the Glidden Tour with a perfect score and it was a Stoddard Dayton that not only won the first race held on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909 but separate car also paced the event.
In 1908 H.J. Edwards, an experienced engineer from England, was hired and given a free hand to design Stoddard Dayton's next engine, a powerplant which has forever secured the company's place in automotive history. Introduced in 1909, the next Stoddard Dayton was a 4.75 x 5 inch 36hp four, a configuration that was in itself not unusual. Its valve layout, however, set it apart. In an era when mechanically-operated intake valves had only recently superseded "automatic" intake valves sucked open on the intake stroke and T-heads were only just yielding to simpler and more compact L-head valve positioning, Edwards' design for Stoddard Dayton was a true cross-flow head with inclined overhead valves and hemispherical combustion chambers.
The first Model 9 Stoddard Daytona engines used an ingenious valve actuation system with a single camshaft in the crankcase and only a single pushrod and rocker arm pivoted in the center of the head to operate both valves. Exhaust valve operation was conventional with the pushrod pressing down on the valve. The intake valve, however, was opened when a low place on the lobe allowed a spring on the pushrod to pull down on the positively-fastened pushrod and the other end of the rocker arm.
The Stoddard Dayton layout was efficient in terms of moving parts, but imposed large friction loads on the valve gear which had to constantly work against the pressure of the intake valve opening springs. The rubbing loads on the camshaft and tappet were severe and quickly wore out the valve gear. After a year of experience, Stoddard Dayton redesigned the engine to separate the valve gear, placing a second camshaft on the other side of the engine and duplicating the pushrods and rocker arms for conventional valve operation against springs which held the valves closed.
Stoddard Dayton's experiments with engines were not over, either, although the hemispherical head engines continued to be produced. In 1912 Stoddard Dayton added a huge 70hp Knight sleeve valve six-cylinder to its catalog—but the Stoddards had sold out to Ben Briscoe in 1911 and the company succumbed when U.S. Motors went under in 1913.
The Motorcar Offered
This fine Stoddard Dayton is powered by the firm's 50hp overhead valve four. With nearly square bore and stroke dimensions it is a higher revving, more sport-oriented engine. Stoddard applied much of their knowledge learned on the race track to producing high performance road cars like this one.
Having resided in a long term private collection, the Model 11k was restored several decades ago but presents handsomely today. Nicely finished with great brass work the big Stoddard has an imposing husky look. The large brass radiator hides the car's most impressive feature—its wonderful engine. Lifting the hood reveals the heart of this machine with its eight huge rocker arms working its large exposed valves.
The sporty "baby tonneau" body work matches the sporting character of the frame perfectly and still allows the practicality of a few extra seats. The car rolls along on the distinctive oversized wheels that Stoddard-Dayton was known for.
This car is bound to impress at any brass car event. One should have no problem keeping up with the fastest of the cars with this potent and lightweight machine.