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Thread: What haapened to the Seattle Dusenberg?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy What haapened to the Seattle Dusenberg?

    In 1970 I made trip from Seattle to Mass. in the quest of Lozier parts. To defray costs I hauled some parts from Seattle to Al Ferrara in Ohio. Al was kind enough to show me his collection and had four Dusenbergs. After getting back to Seattle my dad and I heard of a Dusenberg for sale in the Seattle area. The asking price was $25,000. It was owned by a guy who sold trailers in the South Seattle area, near the airport. Even before I looked at it, I called Al and offered him the lead. At that time he wasn't interested. I tried to talk my dad into buying it, but he liked Model A Fords, ( they were fun and a lot cheaper!). I kept after him to at least go and look at it and finally after a few months of my hounding, he called the guy to check up on the Duesy.
    By a very odd coincidence the owner told my dad that the car had been sold, the day before! He said it had been offered to several local collectors but no one was interested. He did say we could come over and look at it before it was to be shipped to Albequerqe? We went and looked at it. It was modified with additional metal on the front fenders making skirts on them. I also remember the grill had been modified with more metal. The owner said these changes were made before he got the car because supposedly this car was involved in a wreck with one of the Dusenberg brothers at the wheel. It was a convertible coupe with rumble seat. The front fenders and grill were the only modifications I remember. I think it was painted green.
    The owner told us he had told everyone he wanted $25K, but had no takers. Then he got a call from a guy in NM who wanted to come up a see it. He did and when he asked how much, the owner said $30K on a whim and the guy said, "Okay". The owner was shocked and happy. The new buyer said he was sending a truck to get it the following week. We got to see it just in time.
    I told my dad several times we should have bought it! Oh well!
    There is a little more to the story...the owner had taken the Dusenberg in on trade for a new trailer in about 1958. He also took on trade toward the same trailer, a 1930 Pierce Arrow four door sedan, and a Pierce Arrow travel trailer. He allowed $500.00 for each item in trade!!!! I never saw the PA travel trailer, but he did end up storing the PA sedan in my dad's large garage for about 15 years.
    I know this isn't much info regarding the Dusenberg, but I am wondering if it is enough for anyone to figure out what happened to it and where it is now? I failed to take any pictures of it. I often remind dad of the value of a Dusey today verses the Model A's we had back then, even though we had several roadsters, sedans and a touring.
    Michael L. Turner

  2. #2
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    Re: What haapened to the Seattle Dusenberg?

    I am sure that Chris Summers the Duesenberg historian or Randy Ema noted Deusey expert & restorer know all about this car!
    They have tracked all known autos and know their history.
    You may wish to post your question on the Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club's web forum~
    Chris Summers the Duesenberg historian checks-in on this site from time to time also !
    You can reach Chris at:
    cordhaven@hotmail.com
    Last edited by Silverghost; December 11th, 2010 at 03:39.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ChrisSummers's Avatar
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    Re: What haapened to the Seattle Dusenberg?

    Michael,

    The car you remember was Murphy Convertible Coupe J-298 / 2530, and the gentleman offering it for sale was named Harold Wynn.

    This car was originally built as J-298 / 2386, and Wynn was right - it was the car wrecked by Fred Duesenberg, after which he died of double pneumonia in the hospital some time later. It was one of the first Duesenbergs converted to SJ specifications, as the car's owner, Robert Allen, was a friend of the brothers and allowed them to use his car for testing.

    After the wreck the body and engine were moved to new chassis 2530. A later owner had the body modifications you mention made by Bohman & Schwartz.

    Bob Friggens of New Mexico purchased the car from Wynn in 1972 and restored it to original appearance. He owned it until recently. It was, last I heard, in Germany.

    There is a photo of the car as you likely remember it on p. 227 of Fred Roe's "Duesenberg: The Pursuit of Perfection."

    Best,
    Chris
    Chris Summers
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    Out of the wrack of war comes the ultimate car; the car you have dreamed of -- and its motor is The Power of the Hour.

  4. #4
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    Re: What haapened to the Seattle Dusenberg?

    Chris,

    Thanks for your comments. Sorry for my spelling errors in my posting, especially the spelling of "Duesenberg". Your posting jogged my memory and of course you are right. It was Harold Wynn who owned this car here in Seattle.
    In your opinion, was the price he received a good buy in 1972 for his car? I would like to let my dad know.

    By the way, I also knew of 3 other Duesenbergs here in the Seattle area around this time. A sedan owned by Dean Spencer; another sedan, and a convertible coupe, but I don't remember the names of those owners. Do you have any records on those cars and where they are now?

    Thanks again.
    Michael L. Turner

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    Re: What haapened to the Seattle Dusenberg?

    Chris Summers & Rady Ema know the complete owner history, and current location of most, if not all Duesenbergs !
    Very little slips by these Duesey guys !

  6. #6
    Senior Member ChrisSummers's Avatar
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    Re: What haapened to the Seattle Dusenberg?

    Michael,

    I don't as a rule release prices paid, but suffice to say that Friggens paid an arm and a leg, as they say, for the car.

    Murphy Clear-Vision Sedan J-308 / 2337 is the car which Dean Spencer owned. It was recently for sale by its longtime owner in WA State but I do not know if he currently owns it.

    I think the other sedan you mentioned was likely Willoughby Berline J-350 / 2370, a car our faithful editor will recognize as his father's old car. It is in Indiana.

    Murphy Convertible Coupe J-108 / 2134 was in WA State last I checked.
    Last edited by ChrisSummers; January 1st, 2011 at 21:23.
    Chris Summers
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    Out of the wrack of war comes the ultimate car; the car you have dreamed of -- and its motor is The Power of the Hour.

  7. #7
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    Re: What haapened to the Seattle Dusenberg?

    Chris,

    Wow! I am impressed withn your knowledge on Dusenbergs. I probably have a similar knowledge on the surviving known Loziers.
    Anyway, I forgot to mention another local, WA state, Dusenberg and wonder what happened to it. I am referring to the convertible sedan owned by our local guy, Gil Duffy. Gil lived in South Seattle, Burien and had owned it for more than 50 years as best I remember.
    Thanks in advance for your next response.
    Michael L. Turner

  8. #8

    Re: What haapened to the Seattle Dusenberg?

    I think this Dusenberg was recently featured on 'Chasing Classic Cars.' Velocity channel.

  9. #9
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    Re: What haapened to the Seattle Dusenberg?

    Steve,

    You are correct. I also watched that espisode this past weekend and was pleased to find out what happened to Mr. Duffey's car.
    Michael L. Turner

  10. #10

    Re: What haapened to the Seattle Dusenberg?

    and so where are all of the European Duesies? Some still missing I bet....

  11. #11

    Re: What haapened to the Seattle Dusenberg?

    If anyone is interested, I have 11 photos of this car from about 1976 or so. I was working as a news photographer in Albuquerque, and was sent to cover a car show. I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Ray Dietrich and his wife Marian, seeing one of his Packards on display, and also meeting Bob Friggins and seeing this SJ. I subsequently was able to meet Bob again for the express purpose of photographing the car. Sadly, I was unable to get it into a studio (and at that point in my career would not have known what to do if I had!), but I got to shoot it with a medium format Rolliecord in direct sun. I still have the negatives, am planning to have them professionally scanned, and I have scans of the original 5x5 proofs.

    Feel free to email me at cdopr8r@gmail.com

    Cheers,

    Clint
    Last edited by cdluni; June 8th, 2013 at 14:07.

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