Stutz V.I.P. / Parade project
In a press-release
James D. O'Donnell stated that the Stutz Company will present a model, named V.I.P.,
an automobile designed for parade and ceremonial use, priced at $ 75,000.00!
At that time, the Blackhawk was one of the most exclusive automobiles available, priced at $ 22,500.00.
Most Stutz-fans never had seen
this mysterious V.I.P.-car,
and so we doubted that this was more than a phantasy in O'Donnell's head.
Thanks to Brooks, we have a sketch for that car:
But we never knew more about that interesting Pre-Royale.
In August 2004, I visited Mr.
Exner, showed him that picture, and asked him if he knows more details
and here is his story:
In 1966, his father, Virgil
M. Exner, sr. was contacted by a person named Fritz Lang.
Lang, phoned from California, explained that he has made his money with developing light-equipment,
and cameras for the Hollywood-industry.
Now he wanted to fullfill his lifetime dream:
He ever dreamed of being a circus man, but the circus should be better, bigger, and different to all the existing circuses.
He thought of having a circus-train, and when the train arrived in town,
some beautiful circus-vehicles should roll off the train, building up the circus tent.
There should be light-trucks, tent-trucks, and cars for the artists, and all the animals.
Lang asked Exner if he'd be able to design all these cars, and of course,
there should be a parade car, for the director.
Exner liked the idea, was fascinated, and started immediately designing all these cars.
Maury Baldwin, a friend of Exner, and Chrysler designer got involved in the project.
A couple of weeks later, he got another call from Lang.
But this time it was not Fritz Lang, it was his son, Richard Lang,
and he asked Exner about a cheque, that Exner got from Lang's father.
Exner explained the plans of Fritz Lang, and the son told him that his father had this dream,
but that he also had agreed some time ago, that he is no longer responsible for his expenses,
that Lang-Junior should take care of his money.
So that interesting project was cancelled before it really started,
with the exception that there was a design for a V.I.P. car (not a Stutz at that time), and all the other circus cars.
I think Exner
showed this design-sketch to O'Donnell
during his work for Stutz.
O'Donnell was fascinated by the idea of having the ultimate states-limousine, and enclosed a picture to a later press-release.
So this dream-car just was a wonderful dream...
back to Virgil
M. Exner, sr.
back to Virgil Exner, jr.