Sign in to follow this  
ericmac

Cooper Duesenberg SSJ at auction

Recommended Posts

I see some speculation on another site that this car when it is auctioned may set a record for the most expensive American car ever sold. While I tend to agree I can't help wondering what the rest of you think and how much it may fetch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, right now the auction record for an American car is 13.75 million, for a 1962 Shelby Cobra.

 

i believe the Duesenberg offered is a much more significant car than that, but there are a lot of factors which will influence this particular sale.  I won't go into details, but think about who would buy such a car, ones with combination of means and desire, and time left to enjoy the pride of ownership.  It's a very, very short list.

 

My belief is that it will not be bid to anywhere near the Shelby number, and will not set a record.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not many folks frequent these pages.  This topic will get a lot more action if posted in General Discussion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Curti said:

Not many folks frequent these pages.  This topic will get a lot more action if posted in General Discussion. 

Good thinking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll politely disagree with my friend David. A few years ago, the Whittell Duesenberg coupe (not convertible) with an aluminum roof sold for $10 million and was, for a period, the most expensive American car ever--probably until that Shelby. While it was unusual and had an interesting story (including a lion named Bill), it was still a standard Duesenberg and not even supercharged. 

 

The Gable SSJ has everything that a top Full Classic should offer: rarity, history, performance, and a bit of celebrity ownership to make it sparkle. A shorter wheelbase, lighter bodywork, and more power are tough to ignore on a car that was already the most powerful of its era. And while you may think there are not a lot of guys with means, motive, and opportunity to own such a thing, I must disagree. There are A LOT of crazy wealthy people in this hobby and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own the ultimate version of the ultimate American pre-war car. It also carries a more recent restoration than the Gable SSJ, which is owned by a friend of mine, and presents in a more contemporary fashion (subdued colors with blackwall tires). It is a shoo-in for all the big events and the owner of this car will likely become a bit of a celebrity himself for a short while. Hell, these days, $13 million isn't even that much money for a Tier 1 car. At Monterey, you'll see a dozen cars blow through that figure pretty easily.

 

I don't want to speculate on the ultimate result, but I believe it will comfortably surpass the Cobra and we might be very surprised indeed by the final price. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking 12-14 million.    Everyone here knows cars and understands the SSJ.   But the one counterpoint I would say is that the Whittell coupe on the long wheelbase has a stunning presence that might overwhelm the 125 inch wheelbase SSJ side by side to a more casual observer.l

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What?  But, but, I've never been wrong before, have I??

 

Wonder if somewhere an oddsmaker is doing an over/under betting on this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎7‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 11:34 PM, Matt Harwood said:

I'll politely disagree with my friend David. A few years ago, the Whittell Duesenberg coupe (not convertible) with an aluminum roof sold for $10 million and was, for a period, the most expensive American car ever--probably until that Shelby. While it was unusual and had an interesting story (including a lion named Bill), it was still a standard Duesenberg and not even supercharged. 

 

The Gable SSJ has everything that a top Full Classic should offer: rarity, history, performance, and a bit of celebrity ownership to make it sparkle. A shorter wheelbase, lighter bodywork, and more power are tough to ignore on a car that was already the most powerful of its era. And while you may think there are not a lot of guys with means, motive, and opportunity to own such a thing, I must disagree. There are A LOT of crazy wealthy people in this hobby and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own the ultimate version of the ultimate American pre-war car. It also carries a more recent restoration than the Gable SSJ, which is owned by a friend of mine, and presents in a more contemporary fashion (subdued colors with blackwall tires). It is a shoo-in for all the big events and the owner of this car will likely become a bit of a celebrity himself for a short while. Hell, these days, $13 million isn't even that much money for a Tier 1 car. At Monterey, you'll see a dozen cars blow through that figure pretty easily.

 

I don't want to speculate on the ultimate result, but I believe it will comfortably surpass the Cobra and we might be very surprised indeed by the final price. 

 

That SSJ was never owned by Clark Gable. He was seen driving it,didn't like it and said,according to an old ACD Newsletter

that he had a good Duesenberg and they wanted too much for that one.Al Ferrara told me in 1973 that he paid D Cameron

Peck $2500 for it in 1950. I asked Al about the paint scheme and he said it was he and his wife that came up with what it

is now. When he bought it he said it was "coffee with cream" tan and looked awful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Bob Roller said:

 

That SSJ was never owned by Clark Gable. He was seen driving it,didn't like it and said,according to an old ACD Newsletter

that he had a good Duesenberg and they wanted too much for that one.Al Ferrara told me in 1973 that he paid D Cameron

Peck $2500 for it in 1950. I asked Al about the paint scheme and he said it was he and his wife that came up with what it

is now. When he bought it he said it was "coffee with cream" tan and looked awful.

 

That's true, although that doesn't really change the fact that it's still known as the "Gable" SSJ because he was the high-profile guy driving it. Duesenberg loaned the car to Gable for PR purposes and it took several tries to repossess it.

 

Al told me that factoid himself when he was standing in my driveway a few years ago (I guess it's quite a bit more than a few now). Time flies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt,

I also read in some auto magazine years ago that Gable's wife Carole Lombard?? drove it,didn't like it and left it at a sports car garage in LA.Maybe true,maybe not

but it adds a bit of spice to the story. You are SOOOOO right about time flying.When I was young it staggered by on 3 broken legs now it travels in a Ferrari or

maybe even an SSJ. I am now 82 and hope to share as much as I can remember with a degree of accuracy with any who might want to know about whatever

subject I can help with.I am "retired" machinist and sometimes tool maker and over the years I accumulated some machinery,lathes,mill,drill presses and saws

for hobby purposes and I am still active in that little shop.About 25 years ago I met Ted and Gerry McPhail from Canada and Ted was restoring a "J"that had

engine J452 when new and Ted managed to get J105 to install in it and found the bell housing for J452 in Maine.I made shackle bolts,bushings and most if

not all the acorn head nuts and bolts found on a "J" engine.Quite a task but he was happy with the work I did.Sadly to say,he was stricken with a vicious form

of Leukemia called Multiple Myaloma  and it took him out of this life.His first wife,Gerry had passed from stomach cancer earlier and I suppose his second

wife sold the Duesenbergs (2). J452 was said to be the only Willoughby body on the "short"142.5 inch chassis.It had beautiful wood work as I recall.I don't

know anything about the 2nd "J" but Ted told me some knucklehead removed the roof and all 4 doors fell off of it.That had to be a hoot and giggle of the

first magnitude.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this