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Duesenberg powered automobiles


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The Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg Club wants to have a display of automobiles that used the Duesenberg built engines at their Auburn show on Labor Day. The problem is trying to locate these cars. We have found a few Masons but there were others like: Biddle, Meteor, Revere, Roamer, and others.

If anyone knows of any of these please contact the chairman of the ACD meet: John Baeke jbaeke@parkplaceusa.net

Thank you, Mason owner R.H. Lichtfeld

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Guest Trunk Rack

You are correct. Duesenberg was an "assembled" car. Engines from Lycoming. I am not clear how much of the design originated with the Duesenberg brothers, and how much was created and/or improved by Lycoming engineers. Frames from AO Smith. Not sure who built their transmissions. Lockheed brakes.

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No,No. Lycoming built the J Duesenberg engines to Duesenberg design, and Duesenberg recieved them in batches. As they were used they were tuned for the power output that was required or desired. Duesenberg themselves made the A and the handfull of interim X, and of course all the prototypes before that, of which Marshall Merkes reported that Augie told him there were 4, 6, and 8cylinder ones. Only the high camshaft horizontal valve 8 the same bore and stroke as the A was at Shows and recorded in photos which are known. There is a photo available in copy of the Duesenberg shop interior in NY before the move to Indianapolis, which shows parts of walking beam eights, and one assembled frame plus components of another four which led some to suppose that there may have been five of those built. However the engine mountings and the two front crossmembers close together can only have meant that the four was one of the engines (or similar) of the designs sold to the Rochester company. Rochester had made components for aero engines during the war, but that work ended; and manufacture of Duesenberg design engines provided them with product. Surviving cars may now be few, but the total production of cars with Rochester Duesenberg engines in the early 1920's most certainly far exceeded the total number of A, X,and J model Duesenbergs. Roamer and Revere were Rochester's best customers, with a few other makers contributing perhaps several or maybe up to a hundred cars.

Fred and Augie were part of the large corporation bearing their name in Elizabeth NJ engaged in aircraft engine work, including their own designs. The two crankshaft, 16 cylinder (double straight 8 Bugatti engine was allocated work, and apparently there were problems that had to be overcome in this. Duesenberg's own V16 walking beam engine, which was almost the same mass but double the power output of the Bugatti, obviously had greater cross-section than any military aircraft at the end of the war. Probably neither the planes nor propellers were capable of the 800 bhp. The factory made some numbers of 6 and 8 cylinder Duesenberg marine engines, including for the Russian Navy. These were derived from the straight 12 cylinder engines that were built for Commodore Pugh for the Harmsworth Trophy race. The boat was not unloaded becase the war started at the time it arrived. With 2400 horsepower and 24 vertical exhaust stacks directly in front of them, crew of this boat must have had an awesome experience.

The diversity of the engines designed/produced by Duesenbergs from their beginnings in Iowa and Minnesota is astonishing as the time frame in which they were produced.

I will ask my son Stirling to post selected images of my Roamer Duesenberg in 1923 and now, and copy of the AAA record certificate for the 1921 Roamer stock record at Daytona Beach.

And I will give some explanation of them then.

(My brown kelpie computer dog is now making it very difficult for me to type when she is watching the screen. That is a clear message that there are other things I need to do today.) Ivan Saxton

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Thank you TG. The photo shows a 6-54 in the foreground. These had a fixed head Continental 9N engine of 3 1/2"bore and 5 1/4" stroke, which is 5litres or 300 cubic inch displacement in round figures. It had three main bearings with oil pump feed, and splash fed big ends. The double cantilever rear springs are fairly clear. When Paul Bryant, former ACD Club President visited a few years ago, he was extatic about this springing with its low unsprung weight. The car handles particularly well for cart-sprung axles. Paul is emeritus professor of physics in Kansas City. I have the basics of a 6-54 Roamer, and some remains of a 1917.

Ivan Saxton

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You're welcome Ivan,

Here's something you may find even more interesting. <span style="font-style: italic">The Power of the Hour</span> is a 48-page tribute to Duesenberg's WWI machine tool suppliers, which appeared in the January 16, 1919 issue of <span style="font-style: italic">Automotive Industries</span>. Auto magazines at the time were full of wartime technical derring-do, featuring much content on aviation, marine, and trucks.

When I found this insert, I made a color copy (better reproduction quality than B&W) and sent it to Jon Bill at the ACD Museum; they were unaware of its existence. It appears that the Duesenberg factory was short-lived, according to this NYT story from Nov., 1921. Purchased nearly new by Willys, then razed, the site is now an Interbake Foods cookie factory, according to a local historian in nearby Linden, NJ.

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Larger, click once after opening.

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It continues below,

TG

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Power_Hour_9.jpg

Larger, a Fellows Gear Shaper, shown on the line below.

Power_Hour_10.jpg

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Larger, a battery of Gould & Eberhardt Gear Shapers make propellor shaft gears.

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Larger, a Duesenberg automobile engine.

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Even the factory's fence company was eager to get into the act...

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This letter from Fred Duesenberg sums up the company's efforts quite well...

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I'm sure the ACD Museum would be happy to supply copies of the entire

piece to interested parties.

Enjoy,

TG

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