The Stoddard-Dayton Motor Car Company started out, as many early auto manufactures did, as a farm implement company in 1875 originating in Dayton, Ohio. As the automobile craze grew in the 1890’s, John and Charles Stoddard caught the fever and by 1904, with the help of a young English engineer, H.J. Edwards, launched their pilot model with a 4 cyl. Rutenber engine. Stoddards were a well-built automobile and soon orders outpaced production.
Unfortunately, in 1910, Stoddard made the fatal mistake of joining the automobile conglomerate of Benjamin Briscoe’s United States Motors, an eventual failed attempt to compete with Willy Durant’s General Motors. By 1913, the high-end Stoddard was dropped from the line and only Maxwell remained. Today, there are approximately 30 Stoddards known to exist and only 3 Stoddard Roadster 10H’s.
For the 1910 production year there were 3 different engines; 30, 40 and 50 HP, and 8 body styles; roadster, baby tonneau, coupe, touring, torpedo, landaulet*, limousine and town car. This Stoddard Roadster 10H has a 3 7/8” x 4 ½“ hemispherical combustion 4 cyl engine developing 30+ HP. The valves are 2”, each pair operated by a unique single rocker arm on top of the cylinder jugs, resembling a walking-beam steam engine when in operation. It has a true twin ignition using a Bosch magneto, Connecticut coils and 8 spark plugs. It sold new for $1500, compared to a Model T at the time for about $800.
The history behind this car is that it was discovered in an abandoned mine property in the West around 1940 and being recognized as a quality early automobile, was spared from the scrap drive of WWII. It passed through several hands until it ended up with the infamous antique car dealer, Art Burrichter in 1967. A collector from Pa. purchased it, and then sold it to his son 2 years lat-er. The son spent the next 9 years scavenging for parts and fabricating the ones he couldn’t find. Fortunately, in 1970, a sister Stoddard 10H was unearthed in upstate New York, so any needed patterns became available. In 1978, the restoration was completed and the Stoddard was taken to Hershey where it was awarded a National 1st Prize. Having only been driven a few times around the block, it was sold to another collector in Pa. who had seen it at Hershey. Apparently this gentleman took the car out once and had a carburetor backfire which scorched the side of the hood. After re-painting part of the hood, he parked it, and the car languished in a corner of his barn for the next 32 years. When the owner died, his family started slowly selling off his automobile collection and this is when I got wind of the Stoddard. Fortunately, one buyer was dealing with the family quietly and fairly, so the word never got out about the sale of these vehicles, or even the existence of this Stoddard. After a couple of years of patiently waiting, the family finally agreed to sell the car and I wasted no time.
After getting it back to Vt., I started calling all the Stoddard collectors to find out more about the car. To my amazement everyone had lost contact with this car and wondered what had ever become of it. I feel very fortunate indeed to have been in the right place at the right time. Presently, the engine is out and apart, aluminum pistons ordered, the transmission mounts modified to handle the twisting, the shifter shaft and transmission re-aligned, the clutch relined, the rear end adjusted, etc. I felt the 7” headlights were too small, so I set about procuring the 10” Gray and Davis ones on it now. I pounded out the dents and converted them to the early magnifier-type headlights by taking the lenses out of a couple of magnifying glasses and making the brass bezels and tri-pod supports to hold them in place. The convex lenses are from a clock-parts supplier in Oregon. A little buffing, and “Voila”, new headlights. And so, as you know, on and on it goes!
5 thoughts on “1910 Stoddard Dayton 10H Roadster”
I too own a Stoddard Dayton it’s a 1909 Model F touring. I’m about half way through a frame off restoration an I have been doing a lot of research looking for more info and photos to help make my car more accurate. As of today my family owns 3 Stoddard-Dayton’s. My 09 An 2 1910 K Roadsters.
I’m always looking to find more Stoddard friends.
Are you looking for Stoddard Dayton Parts or know of others who are? If so, I happen to have some items for a 1910 type car.
Raymond Drake 719 689-3000
I have a Stoddard Dayton carburetor, which was found under the floor of a cabin in Oregon. No other parts of the car were discovered. I immediately recognized the craft and quality of this part, but had no knowledge of its heritage. I have cleaned and preserved it for about 20 years, and it is currently mounted on a marble slab for display. I think it is a beautiful example of century-old technology, but, as a mechanic, believe it belongs somewhere it could be brought back to life, and used for its intended purpose. It is intact, and missing only one screw to be complete. No parts are frozen or obviously unserviceable. The serial number is No. 4-54434, and by online picture comparison, I believe it is 1910 vintage or later. I have invested about $300 procuring and preserving it, and would like to sell it for what it is worth. If you know someone who could use it please let me know. Thank you.
If you still have the carburetor, I would be interested in buying it if it will fit my car. what is the center to center dimension of the mounting bolts? What is the diameter of the throat?
This post just bubbled up, I totally for about it and poof its here.
If you still have the carb can you send me some pics?
I have since completed the 1909 F Touring and it has a Studebaker carb. It would be great to see if the one you have can work on my 09. Im in the process of getting ready to start the other 1910 K roadster.