By on May 16, 2022

We resume our coverage of Stutz today and pick up in the mid-Seventies. With the reborn brand’s personal luxury Blackhawk attracting the rich and famous from across the nation, Stutz attempted to keep the car fresh through visual edits every couple of years. In addition to the marketing appeal of a new “generation” Blackhawk, management was also able to cut costs: Split windshields became one-piece, and bespoke doors were replaced with those of a Pontiac Grand Prix.

All the while, the Blackhawk’s price continued to escalate and doubled by the end of its first decade. It was by far the most expensive American car on sale. We find ourselves in 1977, as Stutz continued with Blackhawk edits after the one-off convertible version named d’Italia was scrapped.

(Read More…)

By on May 9, 2022

The reborn Stutz brand introduced its Blackhawk in 1971. It was a mostly hand-built and Virgil Exner-styled coupe atop a late Sixties Pontiac Grand Prix platform. Despite its rather common underpinnings, the Blackhawk found an immediate clientele among the very wealthy who were of a showbiz variety. After Elvis took delivery of the first Blackhawk sold (prototype two, to be precise), celebrities of various stature placed their orders with Stutz.

This gave the Blackhawk status and immediate luxury credibility, however garish and Extra Super Seventies it all was. Thus, Stutz increased the price of the Blackhawk throughout its debut decade and effectively doubled its profits by the turn of the Eighties. By 1981 the Blackhawk’s base price was $84,500 ($279,242 adj.). But Stutz knew it would have to update its coupe to keep buyers coming back for more, and the majority of updates took the form of trim differentiation and cost-cutting. Let’s talk about the multiple generations of Blackhawk.

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By on April 26, 2022

We pick back up in the Stutz story today, at a time when (once again) all was new and promising at the luxury brand. Under the company’s new ownership, Stutz had the funding for Italian craftsmanship and hand-built goodness. The all-new Stutz Blackhawk entered production in 1971.

Nineteen feet long and full of wood, precious metals, and optional mink upholstery, the Blackhawk asked for a stunning amount of money that was far greater than domestic personal luxury coupes and more than a Rolls-Royce. At a base ask of $22,500 ($162,533 adj.) in 1971 dollars, there were few cars that actually competed with the Blackhawk’s purchasable exclusivity. And said exclusivity attracted some very wealthy people. Let’s talk celebrity status.

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By on April 18, 2022

In our last Stutz entry, we saw the once famed luxury maker resuscitated by an entrepreneurial banker. Still headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, the newly renamed Stutz Motor Car of America, Inc. built a neoclassical coupe to excite lovers of polyester, personal luxury, and a mélange of styling cues from the Twenties and Thirties. The company’s first offering was the new Blackhawk, styled in a baroque Pontiac kind of way by Virgil Exner.

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By on April 12, 2022

We pick up the Stutz story again today, as the super luxurious American brand went off to the automotive graveyard in the sky. Troubled by braking issues, dated product, and management keen to ignore the brand’s racing heritage, Stutz poured its limited development dollars onto delivery trucks and a rather sophisticated DOHC straight-eight engine. Both those developments were finished around the time of the Great Depression.

Unfortunately for Stutz, circa 1930 there was little demand for a new type of delivery truck, and really no demand at all for six-figure (adjusted) luxury cars. The company went bankrupt in 1937 and was liquidated fully in 1939. But the legendary name was not forgotten by certain people in Indianapolis who wore wide lapel suits.

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By on November 17, 2021

Auto-show parties sometimes get out of hand. Most of the shenanigans don’t reach you, the car-buying public, for one reason or another. One major reason is lack of newsworthiness: It’s one thing if a lubricated PR rep confirms some new product that’s supposed to be secret. It’s another if a PR rep sings karaoke poorly.

One thing would make it to the pages of TTAC and maybe a rival site like Jalopnik. The other would not. No matter how bad some PR chief is at warbling “Sweet Caroline.”

Then again, if TMZ is in the house, all bets are off.

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By on March 7, 2019

Today’s Rare Ride hails from a time when American cars were glamorous — and often painted pink and bright green. It was a time when Brougham meant real luxury, and not just a vinyl roof accompanied by the faint glow of an opera lamp. Even with a tame white and brown color scheme, today’s convertible is big and bold, with the added panache of a prior celebrity owner.

Presenting the Hudson Commodore Brougham, from 1950.

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By on June 19, 2018

John Cena

Professional wrestler John Cena has settled a lawsuit filed by Ford Motor Company over the sale of his Ford GT for an undisclosed amount. If you’ll recall, the automaker affixed a clause to the purchasing agreement that forbade buyers from reselling the vehicle for 24 months.

However, after the automaker filed its lawsuit, Cena’s legal team alleged there was a legal loophole that allowed for the flip. Since the agreement was not included in the final dealer documents, it speculated there was some wiggle room. Regardless, it doesn’t appear to have been enough to squirm away from Ford’s contract entirely.  (Read More…)

By on February 15, 2018

John Cena

Late last year, Ford Motor Company decided to sue professional wrestler and actor John Cena after he decided to sell his GT supercar. Hoping to keep ownership of the vehicle exclusive, the automaker included a clause in the ownership contract that expressly forbade anyone from selling it within two years of taking delivery. Cena decided to flip the vehicle early, causing Ford to go after him in the courts on breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.

His position appeared to be indefensible. Ford’s lawsuit even alleges that John apologized after the automaker took him to task, saying, “I completely understand and as stated am willing to work with you and Ford to make it right.”

However, the winds may have shifted in his favor. Cena is reportedly asking the judge in the case to throw out the lawsuit on the grounds that his contract never included the clause that forbid resale within the first 24 months of ownership.  (Read More…)

By on December 1, 2017

Ford GT

Ford wasn’t kidding about wanting to keep ownership of the GT as exclusive as possible. In addition to setting production numbers incredibly low, the company also carefully vetted prospective supercar buyers and made them promise not to resell the vehicle for at least two years.

While atypical of Ford-branded vehicles, clauses like that aren’t uncommon among high-end manufacturers selling an ultra-rare model. But what happens when a customer decides to ignore the contract and flip the vehicle prematurely?

Well, as wrestling-icon John Cena found out, the automaker takes you to court. On Thursday, Ford Motor Company filed suit against Cena in the U.S. District Court in Michigan over breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment. (Read More…)

By on June 28, 2017

INFINITI and Stephen Curry announce global partnership - Image: InfinitiIn the world of celebrity pitchmen, there’s a big leap between, oh, Jared Fogle at Subway, for example, and Andy Murray at Jaguar.

In the world of basketball’s best, there’s less of a gap between LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

Now combine the world of celebrity pitchmen with the world of NBA superstars. LeBron James quite famously falls under the Kia umbrella.

But what automaker wouldn’t want the best player on the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors? Steph Curry, Nissan’s premium division announced today, is the new global ambassador at Infiniti. (Read More…)

By on May 12, 2017

bentley continental gtc

If I’ve learned anything from Steph Willems, its that choosing the correct subject matter is half the battle in setting-up a solid Freaky Friday post. This one checks all the important boxes: young love, restraining orders, celebrity involvement, grand theft auto, gambling, expensive automobiles, and a curse-laden freakout ending in arrest.

Conrad Hilton, the 23-year-old brother of professional … uh, celebrity (I guess) … Paris Hilton, was charged with felony auto theft this week after allegedly stealing a Bentley Continental over the weekend. He was picked up by police in front of the Hollywood Hills home of his ex-girlfriend, Hunter Salomon, who had previously issued a restraining order against him.

The stolen Bentley belonged to Hunter’s father, Rick Salomon. If that name sounds familiar, he’s the man that won $2.8 million in the World Series of Poker in 2014, made a sex-tape with Paris in 2003, sued the Hilton family for deformation, and then began distributing the video himself a year later.  (Read More…)

By on July 22, 2014

Actor Chris Pratt To Drive Chevrolet SS Pace Car At Brickyard

Monday, we alerted you that the 2015 Chevrolet SS will come with a manual transmission and Magnetic Ride. Today, the current SS has thrown on some red and silver pace-car clothing to lead its tube-frame brethren over the strip of bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 20th running of the Brickyard 400.

(Read More…)

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