Private Provenance: 1978 Stutz Blackhawk – Sold?

by | May 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

July 4, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this Stutz “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

May 29, 2021 Update – The private seller just posted a fresh listing with the same lone picture and asking price of $48,000.

In the 1970s, anyone who really was anyone in the American entertainment industry owned and drove Pontiac Grand Prix-based Stutz Blackhawks.  Arguably the most famous owners of these cars included Elvis and Sammy Davis Jr. Ever since we started Guys With Rides, we’ve dreamed of one day featuring a Malaise-Era Stutz Blackhawk. While our dream has finally come true, the lone picture and single sentence description of this 1978 Blackhawk originally listed in April 2021 on Craigslist in the Bronx Burrough of New York City leaves us having more questions than it answers. Currently offered at $48,000, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Stutz priced two thousand less than this guide’s #2 “Excellent” estimate of $50,000.

If you’re not familiar with them, the Stutz Blackhawk is an American ultra-luxury car manufactured from 1971 through 1987. New York Banker James O’Donnell partnered with retired Chrysler stylist Virgil Exner to revive the famed 1920s Stutz Motor Company in August 1968. Exner immediately went to work designing a custom personal luxury car that included a spare tire that protruded through the trunk lid, a massive ‘kidney’ grille, and freestanding headlamps.  To offer exclusivity and still allow easy servicing in the U.S. a custom-built Italian body was added to a General Motors platform and engine. The Blackhawk debuted in January 1970 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Prices ranged from US$22,500 to US$75,000 at a time when the standard Pontiac Grand Prixs on which they were based cost about $5,000 new.  All early Blackhawks were coupes, but rare sedans were produced later. Convertible versions were called D’Italia and Bearcat. Stutz Blackhawks became the car of choice among elite entertainers of the day.  By 1976 Stutz had sold 205 Blackhawks and about six a month were handbuilt in Italy and shipped to the U.S. By April 1980 350 Blackhawks had been sold and by the time production ended in 1987 approximately 500 to 600 cars had been manufactured.

The Canadian based car show Legendary Motor Car has this nice history of the Stutz Blackhawk in this video:

The first question anyone should have when a Blackhawk comes to market is who was the original owner and what was their claim to fame in order to be able to afford such a rare, hand-built automobile? While most of the interior and exterior pieces of these cars, mechanically the drive train is reliable and still easily serviceable GM body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive Pontiac. 

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Here for sale a 1978 Stutz Blackhawk all original low mileage leather interior please message with a contact number where you can be reached to discuss * Serious Inquiries Only Please * Thank You

Who do you think was the original owner of this Stutz Blackhawk?  Comment below and let us know!


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