Surprise Stutz

A museum in Indiana just isn’t complete without a car or two—even when it isn’t an automobile museum. So I wasn’t surprised to see two classic cars at the Indiana State Museum.

I was surprised to learn of the story behind the beautifully restored Stutz AA four-door sedan that the museum has. The car came from the estate of an eccentric recluse, A.K. Miller. Miller was indeed wealthy but you’d never know it from the way that he and his wife lived in a rural town in Vermont. They lived in an old, dilapidated farmhouse without electricity.

He died in 1993 and his wife passed away in 1996. This is when things get interesting. Because he had no heirs and it turns out he didn’t pay taxes, the government moved in to take care of the estate. They found millions in gold, silver, and stock certificates.

And dozens of cars, mostly Stutz, scattered in barns, sheds, and lean-tos. These cars with a racing heritage would typically bring high dollar amount in an auction. Unfortunately, these cars on Miller’s property were in bad condition, left to decay over the years.

One of these cars—a beautifully restored 1927 Stutz—now graces the Indiana State Museum.

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