The Bearcat began in the late 1960s by the revived Stutz Motor Company. The company had been resurrected by a New York banker named James O'Donnell. The Bearcat was designed by the legendary Virgil Exner and based on the 'Duesenberg Revival Concept car. A production version was not ready until the late 1970s. It used the GM A platform which it shared with the Blackhawk. Production was low, with around 13 examples produced.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2009
Sold for $37,000 at 2014 Mecum - Monterey.
The newly revived Stutz Motorcars were one of the world's most expensive automobiles of their era. They were hand crafted and built in Torino, Italy on an American chassis and originally sold for $74,765. All of the accessories are 24 karat gold plated and the trunk is fur lined. In total, about 700 examples of the Stutz were built and of those, less than 50 were 4 door sedans.
This example has been in storage for over 25 years and has been driven less than 9,000 miles since new.
The first Stutz was purchased by Elvis Presley, who later bought three more. The Stutz vehicles were popularity with celebrities and wealthy individuals. Frank Sinatra, Lucile Ball, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Cash, Kenny Rodgers, Larry Holmes, Evil Knievel, Willie Mays, Mohamed Ali, and the King of Saudi Arabia all owned Stutz motor cars.
Omar Bongo, the President of Gabon, special ordered this car for his son, Ali-Ben-Bongo, as a gift for his 20th birthday. At the time, Ali Ben Bongo was attending Law school in the United States. President Omar Bongo, one of the wealthiest men on the plant, had at least three more Stutzs in Gabon including a limousine. After Law school, Ali-Ben-Bongo returned to Gabon leaving his Stutz behind. He entered politics and at the age of 29he became Minister of affairs. In 1991 he was made Deputy of the National Assembly and in 1999 was appointed Minister of Defense. On June 8th of 2009, President Omar Bongo died and shortly after Ali-Ben-Bongo was elected President of Gabon.
This Stutz has a 350 cubic-inch V8 engine offering 160 horsepower. There is a 3-speed automatic transmission, rear seats embroidered with the Great Seal of Gabon, and 24k gold plated accessories.By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2014