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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 1: What would Elvis drive?

Well, here he is, the King of Kings (apologies to those who may be offended). Sitting pretty in his expensive and rare '70's ride. Actually the last time he ever drove, he drove this car on the left. It was the car he took to his midnight dentist run, the night before he was found on the bathroom floor - gone but not forgotten.

Now about his ride........would you believe it was a mid '70's Pontiac? Probably not, since Elvis was a car guy and loved to drive expensive and flashy cars. Although this is April Fool's Day, I kid you not about him driving a Pontiac.

Well to be fair, his ride started out as the Pontiac Grand Prix to the right, but what he ended up driving, was radically different and considerably more expensive. Back in the late '60's a New York banker had the great idea of resurrecting a classic name from the 1920's and '30's. Sound familiar? Yes sir, it's been tried many times (like VW's current Bugatti Veyron) with varying levels of success.

Elvis takes delivery
This time, the idea was to bring back the Stutz name on a tried and true platform, like the Pontiac's. As the story goes, he bought the very first one, the demo, so to speak, arguing that the company would get much more publicity with him driving it, than with them simply showing it around the US. It worked and they sold him the first Stutz Blackhawk in 1971. He loved these cars and ended up with three or four others.

Hand built on the Pontiac frame by Ghia of Italy, these cars featured top grade leather, thicker steel, real wood trim and of course, the absolutely necessary 24 carat gold trim. To move these heavyweights, the Pontiac motor was tweaked up to 425 HP. It certainly was a dramatic looking car......

......featuring such '30's "gimmicks" as free standing headlights and an exposed spare tire. Price? Actually, not too bad and in today's market it would be in the $150-$200k range. Arab sheiks line up on the right, please.

How do these compare to the originals?

Back in the day, they came in a variety of body styles, but this custom job is representative of the high end nature of the Stutz name. And if that guy in the pic above looks smug, well I guess he has a right to.

So back to Elvis's ride. Did the new Stutz Blackhawk truly represent the high style of the original or was it just another of those ersatz '30's styled cars that popped up frequently in the 1970's? A car that was well suited to the flashy, over the top Elvis, that millions came to know and love. One thing we know for sure, it outlived the King, as it was built until 1987. But you gotta admit, the Stutz sure did fit well into his Graceland lifestyle.......

Until next time.........

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