An American luxury car, the Blackhawk was introduced in 1971 until 1987 by the Stutz Motor Company. Designed by Virgil Exner, the Blackhawk was prototyped by Ghia for more than $300,000. Unveiled at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City in January of 1970, the Blackhawk was met with excited response. Approximately 500-600 units ad been manufactured by the end of production in 1987. In 1972 the MSRP for the Blackhawk was sold for $23,000 and the following year it was sold for $43,000.
The steel body of the Blackhawk was hand built by Torina, Italy. The overall length measured more than 19 feet long, and the production model used Pontiac Grand Prix running gear, Pontiac's 7.5 L V8 engine and a GM TH400 automatic transmission. The engine was tuned to produce 425 hp and had 420 lb/ft of torque. Weighing 5,000lbs, the Blackhawk could achieve 0-60mph in just 8.4 seconds and had a top speed of 130 mph. Later on during its production period, Blackhawk's used Pontiac's 403 and 350.
The design of the Blackhawk by Exner came with a spare tire that protruded through the trunklid and separate headlights. Inside the Blackhawk were gold plated trim and birds-eye maple. The original Blackhawk models were coupes, but eventually sedans were produced. The Blackhawk was completely redesigned in 1980 for the Pontiac Bonneville chassis.
Elvis Presley was the first to purchase the original production vehicle, and he eventually bought four more. Other elite owners to own the Stutz Blackhawk included Evel Knievel, Sammy Davis Jrs. Larry Goulet, Dean Martin, Wilson Picket, Robert Goulet, Larry Holmes, Jerry Lewis, Billy Joel, Lucille Ball, Elton John, Al Pacino, Frank Sinatra, Paul MCartney and many more influential people. Each vehicle included a dash plaque that named its original owner.By Jessica Donaldson