You Can Buy Elvis Presley’s Rare 1971 Stutz Blackhawk

The limited and rare Stutz Blackhawk was Elvis Presley’s favorite brand of car. He actually owned four of the luxury cars. In fact, the last photo ever taken of him was as he pulled into Graceland in his Blackhawk on the night he died. Now, the expensive neo-classic Stutz Blackhawk can be yours as it goes to auction in November. 

Who made the Stutz Blackhawk?

Stutz Blackhawk
Elvis 1971 Stutz Blackhawk | Mecum

Stutz Blackhawks were the result of New York banker James O’Donnell’s effort in the 1960s to revive the classic Stutz name. He hired the former head of Chrysler Design Virgil Exner to design a neo-classic car around a Pontiac Grand Prix donor. The Grand Prix coupes were shipped to Italy for the skilled oversight of Carriozeria Padane to create new steel bodies per Ex’s designs. 

To transform the Pontiac into a Blackhawk took over 1,500 hours. Supposedly, it took six weeks straight to paint the 18 to 22 coats of lacquer paint. In all, through several generations and several donor vehicles, Stutz manufactured between 500 to 600 cars from 1971 to 1987. 

What engines did Stutz Blackhawks use?

Stutz Blackhawk
Elvis 1971 Stutz Blackhawk | Mecum

The interiors also saw completely new styling and materials. Gold plated fixtures and trim, along with leather for soft surfaces and wood trim. Australian lambswool carpets abound. Engines were the 7.5-liter Pontiac V8 with 425 hp. They spin a Turbo 400 automatic three-speed transmission. 

The first Stutz dealer to receive a car, actually a prototype, immediately drove it to show Elvis. He hoped he would want to order one. He didn’t want to order one, he wanted the car on the spot. But the salesman said he needed it to drum up sales and couldn’t sell it. Supposedly, Elvis replied, “How do you think you’ll sell more cars, when you drive it, or when people see me driving it around?” 

How did Elvis get this car?

Stutz Blackhawk
Elvis 1971 Stutz Blackhawk | Mecum

But immediately, Frank Sinatra also wanted the Blackhawk. An important auto show was happening in Los Angeles that Stutz wanted the car at. Sinatra refused to have his potentially new car shown, while Elvis relented. So that is how Elvis got the Stutz Blackhawk.

But this isn’t that car. It crashed at the hands of Elvis’ LA chauffeur on his way to a car wash. It was deemed a total loss but was eventually restored. Elvis ordered another, which is this car. This is that car.

What happened to the Blackhawk after Elvis stopped using it?

Stutz Blackhawk
Elvis 1971 Stutz Blackhawk | Mecum

But he wasn’t done buying Blackhawks. He ordered another a year later, and one more in 1973. Eventually, he gave this car to his physician as a gift. “Dr. Elias Ghanem, A True Friend, Elvis Presley,” reads the dedication on the glove compartment door. 

Kept in the Los Angeles area, Elvis never spent a lot of time behind the wheel. The car currently has just under 32,000 miles on it. Should you be the winning auction bidder, you’ll also get the original 1971 California registration title made out to Elvis. But if you need to ask about its value, you can’t afford it. But you can watch the Mecum auction in Las Vegas this coming November.

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