Perusing through an old list of early racing events throughout America I have in my possession, more often than not I come across the names of racers that leave me bewildered as to the identity of their make and this particular car is no exception.
I first read about this automobile in a Los Angeles Times article where Frank Garbutt drove it in a match race against the Green Dragon of Barney Oldfield at Agricultural Park’s 1 Mile dirt oval in late 1904. As glamorous as the article sounded in it’s description of that days racing by praising the performance of the homemade special against the might of Oldfield’s powerful racer, the results tell a very different story. The Stewart-Garbutt racer is mentioned in another two races throughout 1904, winning the Huntington Cup and struggling in another but then is never heard of again.
So, who were the individuals behind this contraption? From all reports, Albert Clement Stewart and Frank Garbutt were both from Los Angeles. A newspaper article from 1953 credits Mr Stewart with building the first auto in Santa Paula but not much is known about his partner. If any of our readers know something about this great looking car please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.