Climbing aboard Craig Ekberg’s 1915 Stutz Bearcat reminds me of driving a tractor as a kid, because you have to climb up onto it, rather than down into it. The big cat’s bucket seat is much more comfortable than a tractor’s but not much bigger, and you are out in the open air, with no doors or windshield. You must enter the car from the left side because the steering is on the right, and the handbrake and gearshift block entrance from that side.
The enormous walnut steering wheel is up in your face at eye level, forcing you to look around either side of it to see where you are going, and I am over six feet tall. You’ve seen the old photos of the race drivers with their heads tilted to one side while driving? That was because they couldn’t look through the wheel with its large brass spark lever and throttle-quadrant in the way.
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