USINFO | 2013-04-28 13:52

The Stutz Motor Company was a producer of luxury cars based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Production began in 1911 and continued through 1935. The marque reappeared in 1968 under the aegis of Stutz Motor Car of America, Inc., and with a newly defined modern retro-look. Although the company is still active today, actual sales of factory produced vehicles ceased in 1995. Throughout its history, Stutz was known as a producer of fast cars (America's first sports car) and luxury cars for the rich and famous.

Stutz Motor Car of America

SMCA badge

1979 Stutz IV-Porte

Virgil Exner had more luck with the Stutz name. In August, 1968, New York banker James O'Donnell raised funds and incorporated Stutz Motor Car of America. A prototype of Exner's Stutz Blackhawk was produced by Ghia, and the car debuted in 1970. All these cars used General Motors running gear, featuring perimeter-type chassis frames, automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes with discs at the front. They were extremely lavishly furnished, with all possible luxury features such as electric windows, air conditioning, central locking, electric seats and leather upholstery. On the sedans there was typically a console for beverages in the rear seat. Engines were large V8s, originally of 6.6 or 7.5 litres but by 1984 the Victoria, Blackhawk and Bearcat were using a 160 horsepower 5,736 cc unit and the Royale a 6,962 cc Oldsmobile unit developing a modest 180 horsepower (130 kW).

This incarnation of Stutz had some reasonable success selling newly designed Blackhawks, Bearcats, Royale Limousines, IV Portes, and Victorias. Elvis Presley bought the first Blackhawk (1971). He later purchased three more. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. all owned Stutz cars,as did Evel Knievel and numerous Sheiks and Shahs, entertainers, royalty, and barons of business from around the world. The Stutz Blackhawk owned by Lucille Ball is currently on display at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino Auto Collection in Las Vegas, NV. However, owing to their extraordinary cost (Stutz was touted as the World's Most Expensive Car) - a Royale limousine cost US$285,000 and a Blackhawk coupé over US$115,000 in 1984[7] - production was very limited and it is believed only 617 cars were built during the company's first twenty-five years of existence (1971–1995). Sales of Stutz began to wane in 1985 and continued to do so on through 1995. Warren Liu became its chief share-holder and took over leadership of SMCA, Inc. in 1982. The company is most recently preparing for the production of its new line of luxury sport sedan, as well as for its new electric and hybrid vehicles.

©2012-2014 Bywoon | Bywoon