1973 Stutz Blackhawk Coupe
Chassis no. 2K57Y3A191345
2011 marked the centennial of America's most sporting prewar car, Stutz. The original brand for which it is generally heralded failed in the mid-1930s, however, in a little over two decades, the company left an incredible legacy of racing success which began in their earliest days. Despite always being a small, low production company, Stutz was always well known for speed and performance and for its Indianapolis earned motto "The Car That Made Good in a Day." Such was the success of its products, that to this day two of its model names 'Bearcat' and 'Blackhawk' resonate greater than some car companies.
For the next 30 or more years the Stutz name would lay dormant, until the late 1960s when it would be revived in an altogether different incarnation, as the Stutz Motor Car of America. As marque revivals go the resuscitation of the Stutz brand in 1969 was perhaps more a case of finding a name to fit a product, but it was surely testament to the original company's success that the felt that the company and a product name such as Blackhawk would still have significance after nearly two generations of absence in the car market.
With funding from New York banker James O'Connell, and House of Representatives member for Oklahoma Howard Williams behind the project, none other than famed designer Virgil Exner penned a design that as ever was sure to draw attention. Built on a contemporary Pontiac chassis and powered by their 'big block' engine, some 425bhp was on tap to propel an all new luxurious Stutz.
To give some sense of the market that the car was aimed at, Elvis Presley purchased the first one, and would later buy three others, while a number of celebrities also picked up on this fashion accessory, including Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin as well as Lucille Ball and Liberace. Various iterations followed, with different General Motors running gear, while the cost of purchasing one ballooned to more than $30,000, perhaps surprisingly this second Stutz company would survive until 1992 in some form, nearly as long as the first.
This 1972 Blackhawk Coupe is powered by a modified Pontiac 455 cubic inch V8, coupled to a three speed transmission. This car was sold by Jules Meyers to lumber magnate Max Hill of Pasadena, California. The car's second owner, a friend of Max, purchased the car in 1976 and kept it 31 years. During his ownership the car was repainted and rechromed in the mid-1990s. In 2007 the car was sold to James Helmuth, who had maintained the car for its previous owner. Keeping the car in good stead, it was acquired by the vendor, the Stutz's fourth owner, in 2011 and shows less than 66,000 miles on the clock.
Looking good today, it is sure to turn a few heads when you take it out. Between its performance, design and details it is sure to provide good entertainment for the driver too!