The Stutz Blackhawk was an American high-end specialty luxury car manufactured from 1971 through 1987. The Stutz Motor Company was revived in August 1968 by New York banker James O’Donnell. He joined forces with retired Chrysler stylist Virgil Exner, who designed the new Blackhawk.
The new Blackhawk was prototyped by Ghia in Italy at a cost of over $300,000. To offer exclusivity and still allow easy servicing in the United States, a custom-built Italian body was added to a GM platform and engine. The Blackhawk debuted in January 1970 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Prices ranged from $22,500 to $75,000.
They featured the signature trunk-mounted spare along with distinctive side exhausts. Inside were Connolly leather seats with power front buckets and gold-plated interior trim, including the instrument bezels.
The hand-built Blackhawk had 18 to 22 hand-rubbed lacquer paint coats that took six weeks to apply. Total production time for each vehicle was stated to be over 1,500 hours. The production model utilized Pontiac’s 7.5-liter V8 engine and a GM Turbo-Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission. The engine was reportedly tuned to 425 hp.
Elvis Presley was the first to purchase the original production vehicle, and he liked the car and its statement so much, he eventually bought four more. Other elite owners included Evel Knievel, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Wilson Pickett, Robert Goulet, Larry Holmes, Jerry Lewis, Billy Joel, Lucille Ball, Elton John, Al Pacino, Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney and many more prominent and wealthy enthusiasts.