Elvis' 1971 Stutz Blackhawk prototype
# 276579 P 330858

Jules Meyers and Elvis' Stutz

Jules Meyers and Elvis' Stutz at the Airport.

This second shot I got in July 2004, it's a scan,
coming from B. Kavcic, owner of the first prototype.

Jules Meyers and Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley liked the design of Virgil Exner's Revival Cars.

1971 Stutz Blackhawk
photo by "stutz3"

He had ordered a Duesenberg, but the production never had started,
so he bought the Stutz Blackhawk. The very first one!

Blackhawk prototype 2
photo by Butch Sedlow

I heard, that Elvis and Frank Sinatra were guests in a TV-show, where the Stutz was presented.
Both wanted to buy that car, so the decision was made,
that the first, who can pay cash will get the car.
Elvis won, and Frank Sinatra never bought a Stutz, seems that he was not used to loose...
But the rest of the Rat-Pack, Sammy Davis, jr., and Dean Martin bought several Stutzes.
A similar story is issued by Graceland, written on a collector card.

In August 2003, I had the chance to talk to Sonny West, he was Elvis bodyguard, he told me a completely different story:
Jules Meyers, the first Stutz-dealer showed up at Elvis' home at Hillcrest with the Blackhawk.
Elvis was interested, and Mr. Meyers told him that he can sign a contract, and that the Stutz-Company will build him his Blackhawk during the following months.
Presley wasn't interested in signing a contract, he was interested in buying the car,
the car standing next to him.
Jules Meyers tried to explain that this car was the very first Stutz, that he need the car to show to potential buyers, to drive around, showing the beauty of the car.
Elvis answered with a question:
"How do you think you will sell more cars, when you drive it,
or when the people see ME driving it around???"
Well, Jules saw the point...
All what he was able to do was to ask for a ride home...

The TV-Show-story was good, but this story is better,
and it sounds more like Elvis handled these things.

Thanks to Sonny West for sharing this story with me and the Stutz-fans!

In March 2004, I had another chance to hear more about the true story,
how Elvis got his first Stutz,
I talked to Jules Meyers, the seller.
He told me that Elvis wanted to see the car, so they made an appointment.
When Jules Meyers came to Elvis' home, Presley wanted to have the car, so Meyers told Elvis that there will happen a car show, in a couple of days, and that he will need the car to show it.
It was O.K. with Elvis, so the car was sold,
and Meyers was able to show the car at the local car show.
Elvis agreed also to take some press-pictures with him and the car, good for publicity.
Jules Meyers told me that it is true that Sinatra was also interested in the car, but Sinatra also said that if he will get the car nobody will be able to show the car at any car-show anymore, and taking pictures of the Stutz with him is not going to happen.
So it was obviously the better decision to sell the car to Elvis Presley.

Blackhawk, 1973 and 1971
photo by "stutz3"

The first Blackhawk that was sold, showed some differences to the later models of 1971,
it was the second prototype, the first one was owned by the founder of Stutz.

out in the green

One of the best photos, showing the car at daylight.

Blackhawk at Graceland
photo by Scott Gilkey

The most significant detail of the prototype was the big rear-window.

big rear-window
photo by Scott Gilkey

Unfortunately, the car was involved in an accident, and the front was heavily damaged...

photo by Bengt Dahlgren

Jules Meyers, who sold all the Stutzes to Elvis, made an offer.
He offered $1,000.00 for the wreck.
I don't know if he made a joke, I don't think so, he is a businessman,
and it would have been the most interesting deal in his life, if Elvis would have accepted...

photo by Bengt Dahlgren

Later, Mr. O'Donnell, the founder of the new Stutz company helped to restore the car.
I don't know why, but they didn't use the original lights.
In my opinion, the car looks ugly with these ones!

photo by Bengt Dahlgren

They used head-lights of a 1961 Imperial, as you can see on the photo below.

Imperial lights
photo by Ron Swartley

The following photos were taken by Bengt Dahlgren, in 2002.
I hope you will enjoy!

1971 Blackhawk

Elvis' Blackhawk


b/ spare wheel

1971 spare wheel


see photos of the production of this car:
The Klemantaski Collection: Page 2
The Klemantaski Collection: Page 3

see photos of this car, when it came out of the factory:
The Klemantaski Collection: Page 4

see his 1971 production car
see his 1972 Blackhawk
see his 1973 Blackhawk

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