<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555

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Lot 189Ω
1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton
Coachwork by Fran Roxas in the style of Brunn

Sold for US$ 478,000 inc. premium
1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton
Coachwork by Fran Roxas in the style of Brunn

Chassis no. 2579
Engine no. J555

419ci DOHC Inline 8-Cylinder Engine
4 Valves Per Cylinder
265bhp at 4,200rpm
3-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Stylish Fran Roxas open top Phaeton Coachwork
*Powerful Model J excellent for show fields or tours
*Among the most important models ever produced
*Recently serviced


THE MODEL J DUESENBERG

Few names in motoring are as redolent of wealth and power as Duesenberg. The ground-breaking company advertising placed in up-market periodicals for the Model J was one of the first campaigns that deliberately did not show the product. A series of soft charcoal drawings portrayed a man in evening dress, seated in front of the fire in a great hall with a minstrels' gallery dominated by a huge pipe organ, or the silver-haired skipper of an America's Cup-type yacht, above a single line of script: "He drives a Duesenberg". Women drivers were not forgotten: under the portrait of an elegant lady giving directions to her head gardener, "She drives a Duesenberg" said it all, eloquently underscoring a scene where one could perceive an additional four gardeners in the distance, tending the immaculate grounds.

America took the new model to its heart and a new superlative was added to the language: to this day the phrase "It's a Doozy" is a universal term of ultimate approval, just as the Model J has become the ultimate collectors' automobile. Duesenberg unveiled its Model J – the embodiment of company owner E.L. Cord and chief engineer Fred Duesenberg's vision of "The World's Finest Motor Car" – at the New York Auto Salon in December 1928.

Among its remarkable features was a twin-cam race-bred engine – a purpose-built 32-valve Lycoming 6,876 cc straight-eight said to develop 265 bhp. With light bodywork, such as a Murphy roadster, it was possible to achieve 90 mph in second gear with a maximum speed in the region of 110 mph in high gear. Ride and handling were exceptional for the period, matched by 15 inch hydraulic brakes all around. Every chassis built was tested for 500 miles on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before being handed over to a leading coachbuilder for the construction of custom bodywork.

Though they were built during the Great Depression and cost more than a Rolls-Royce or a Hispano-Suiza, the Model J Duesenberg had no problems attracting customers in the beginning. Among the rich and famous who drove Duesenbergs were film stars Greta Garbo, Al Jolson, Gary Cooper, Clark Gable and Dolores del Rio, whose husband Cedric Gibbons, famed film art director and creator of the "Oscar" statuette, was also a keen Duesenberg owner. Millionaires like William Randolph Hearst, Phillip K. Wrigley and Howard Hughes, as well as royalty like King Alfonso XIII of Spain, Queen Marie of Yugoslavia, King Vittorio Emmanuel III of Italy and Prince Nicholas of Romania were all members of the exclusive Duesenberg set: in the end, fewer than 500 Model J's were built.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This 1934 Duesenberg Model J Dual Phaeton J555 was originally dressed in a Willoughby Berline body mounted on chassis number 2579. Early documentation suggests that it was rebodied around 1939 to be a convertible sedan, but at some point during its illustrious career, the 1934 Model J was reconfigured by Duesenberg restoration guru Fran Roxas as a Torpedo Phaeton in the style of Brunn.

This 1934 J555 features the iconic Duesenberg seven-liter straight-eight motor with all eight cylinders feeding into a single exhaust, an avant-garde powerhouse built for speed and reliability, described by the media of the era as the one of the biggest, fastest and most expensive automobiles ever built. This Torpedo Phaeton is robed in stunning midnight blue with contrasting mocha leather upholstery, brown carpet and white wall tires mounted on chrome wire wheels. As was the penchant of the day, this Duesenberg features extravagant chrome detail with two driving lights mounted on the windshield, a large luggage rack on the rear and two spare white wall tires on wire wheels mounted to the front fenders. The chrome slatted running boards are typical of the era and accentuate the ostentatious sweeping lines of the front wheel arches. Built to serve the aristocracy's predilection for luxurious touring, this Torpedo Phaeton features a second windshield to protect the rear passengers from the wind at high speeds and provides a little privacy from the chauffeur.

The interior is accessed through hidden hinged coach doors, also known as suicide doors, and both compartments have heavily padded bench seats dressed in soft brown leather. The front metal dashboard is strewn with chromed dials, gauges and instruments, and passengers in the rear are invited to keep track of the time, speed and general direction of progress through a rear-compartment dashboard with a Jaeger clock, speedometer and compass. The overall demeanor of this 1934 Duesenberg Torpedo Phaeton is one of elegance, opulence and speed, as is underlined by the Duesenberg winged hood mascot, also known as the 'Duesenbird', and the spread-eagle insignia mounted on the radiator.

Extensive research has been executed on this car and it appears to have cruised under the radar for several decades, reemerging around 1982 when it resided in the stewardship of a gentleman in Chicago. Then in 1986 it was featured in Duesenberg: The Pursuit of Perfection, written by Fred Roe, a tome generally recognized as the Holy Book of the Duesenberg marque. Two years later, in 1988, the car was apparently invited to the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance as a participant in the New Coachwork Class, featuring its Torpedo Phaeton body by Roxas.

According to a blog stream on the Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg Club website dated 2006 through 2007, the body for J555 was owned by Bill Bicknel of Ohio in 1991. Mr. Bicknell had intended to mount the Duesenberg body on his Packard/Henny Hearse, but was persuaded instead to sell it. Shortly thereafter, on November 7, 1992, the car was listed in a Las Vegas auction and described as 'a Fran Roxas Torpedo Phaeton built on Frame 2579 in the style of Brunn, complete with dual enclosed side mounts, chrome wires, and a single Pilot Ray trumpet horn'. The car reappeared a year later at the 1993 Barrett Jackson Exposition and then again in 1995 at the Kruse auction in Auburn, featuring its beautiful dark blue paint with sumptuous brown leather interior and tan top. Fast forward to June 2004 and the 1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton was displayed by Coys auction house at the Silverstone Historic Tribute meeting.

Since 2006, this lovely Duesenberg has been in the private collection of a well-known British collector and the long-term owner of the famous 1931 Daimler Double Six Daimler 50 Corsica Drophead Coupe that won Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 2006. The esteemed collector bequeathed the Duesenberg to his daughter in his will and she has made exhaustive attempts to piece together the history of the car. Recently in receipt of a full service by Edwards Motorsport of Bristol, England, the Duesenberg remains today in good running condition, and sports one of the most distinctive body styles of the time and restored to the highest possible standards.

Presented with UK V5 registration documentation, this is quite possibly one of the most stunning and presentable Duesenberg Model J examples available today, this gorgeous Torpedo Phaeton offers its new owner the experience of superb open touring, whilst steeped in a mélange of luxury and history, reminiscent of the Golden Age of motorcars.

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<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
<b>1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton</b><br />Chassis no. 2579<br />Engine no. J555
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