Elvis' Stutz Blackhawk | Prototype # 276579 P 330858
Elvis purchased this Stutz Blackhawk on October 9, 1970, for $26,500
Sonny West: 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 could sign a contract, and that the Stutz-Company will build him his Blackhawk during the following months.
Elvis 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 needed 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 ... Elvis got the car although it was shown at a motor show prior to delivery.
Jules Meyers: Elvis wanted to have the car, I told Elvis that there was a car show, in a couple of days, and that I would need the car for that. It was O.K. with Elvis, so the car was sold. Elvis also agreed to take some press-pictures with him and the car - good for publicity. Frank Sinatra was also interested in the car, but Sinatra would not agree to any pictures of the Stutz being taken with him and he would not agree to the car being displayed at the car-show. So it was obviously the better decision to sell the car to Elvis Presley.
Jules Meyers hands Elvis the keys to his Stutz Blackhawk.
Elvis then immediately turned the car over to George Barris to further customize it. Elvis had for many years, had several motor vehicles designed and coach built by his friend, 'The King of Customizers' George Barris.
Once George Barris had completed his work, the car was then delivered to the International Hotel in Las Vegas on October 12, 1970 [Quick work!] accompanied by a letter on Stutz Company letterhead verifying delivery to the International. Sonny West took delivery as Elvis was in Memphis on that date but Elvis soon flew to Las Vegas to see his completed new car. Unfortunately, this first Blackhawk car was involved in an accident on July 1, 1971 and the front was heavily damaged. Elvis had sent Sir Gerald, his L.A. chauffeur, out to have the car washed and it ended up in an accident. After that, Elvis put it in storage. Repairs to the car were not completed until the early 80s. Mr. O'Donnell, the founder of the new Stutz company helped to restore the car, after earlier advising that the car was 'a total wreck' and the only value this car now bears is one of salvage' and offered $1,000 for it in a written letter to Vernon Presley dated August 2, 1971. Being a prototype original parts were not available so the radiator grill and the front lights fitted are not original.
The Stutz Blackhawk prototype, that was sold to Elvis Presley, at the Airport.
Elvis leaving 1174 Hillcrest Drive home (See rear reverse lamps!) Elvis' Mercedes-Benz 600 can be seen behind.
Elvis' Stutz Blackhawk prototype on display at the Graceland Car Museum.