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Another Dusenberg question


HarryJ
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Ed, the Mona Lisa actual painting is a bit disappointing. It is much smaller than it always appears in pictures of it. A “fake” or cobbled together Duesenberg that looks good is still impressive and usually doesn’t disappoint to a non expert. 
dave s 

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6 minutes ago, SC38DLS said:

Ed, the Mona Lisa actual painting is a bit disappointing. It is much smaller than it always appears in pictures of it. A “fake” or cobbled together Duesenberg that looks good is still impressive and usually doesn’t disappoint to a non expert.

 

The Mona Lisa is tiny against the insane crowds. A Duesenberg never has to deal with that.

 

The Scrum Around the Mona Lisa

 

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10 hours ago, Ken_P said:

It's amazing that a 1 word reply resurrected a 10 year old thread! We should start calling these Lazarus threads. 🤣

 

My apologies—for some reason this came up as current as I viewed AACA General.

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with all this talk of J's I got to thinking this might be a good place to put out a part request, I am and have been  restoring a Duesey which was purchased as a project pile of parts from the legendary Bill Hach from Chicago. It is coming along nicely and I am nearing the end of my parts search but I am still in need of a cowl light. If someone knows of one that might be purchased or traded please let me know. I drove the chassis for the first time in March and we are now moving forward with the surface  finish restoration. I have a fairly large inventory of original and some repo parts available for trade.. Please call Allen at 217 778 1425 or email at apacap@comcast.net. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

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Ethical conundrum, enjoy a rebodied Classic for its functional and aesthetic beauty or forego the pleasure to remain faithful to only the purest originals?   The Mona Lisa is "...just a cold and lonely, lovely work of Art" which a Duesenberg can be that too in a museum or much more when experienced being used for its functional purposes.  Every individual has to answer that question to their own satisfaction. 

 

Even as much as I agree with most of what Ed stated, I also view certain specific custom-bodied Classics as works of the highest industrial Art and as the 'rolling sculptures' they were and are.   For those most aesthetically-pleasing one-off custom coach-built Classics that we were deprived of by the ignorance and/or carelessness of prior generations, I feel not one qualm when presented with an accurate recreation on that lost original.  Photo images are fine but experiencing the sculptural forms in three dimensions is the ultimate.  

 

Let the brickbats fly...   

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The Duesenberg world is something that’s really hard to describe until you have lived, worked, and played in it. Surprising fact number one........they really are as good as the legend makes them out to be. Surprising fact number two.............they really aren’t that complicated or difficult to deal with. Expand- while a Model J takes lots of time to get dialed in and driving “as new”, they are easier than a 1934 Packard 12, or a 1930-1931 V-16 Cadillac. There are a lot more parts and finishing details on other cars............there are parts of a Model J that are much easier to deal with...........dash, chassis, suspension, ect. Once restored correctly...........and it would amaze you how many Model J’s are messed up, hacked at, incorrect piles of junk...........once dialed in they tend to stay there......but they do demand lots of attention to keep in tip top shape. If you really drive them, and yes, there a few collectors that do...........every thousand miles of road driven requires 15 hours of hands on upkeep. It’s worth every second. 

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Every year the Duesenberg tour has 30 to 40 million dollars worth of cars traveling 600-1000 miles.   There is nothing you can break that can't be fixed.

 

There are varying degrees of bitsa.  On one extreme is a car that might literally only have an original engine block.  The other extreme  are the original chassis/engine/body cars.

 

For me personally,   I will always want a lesser pure car over a flashy less pure one.

 

Since I worked on them as a teenager, I have a sentimental attachment to Billings Toursters.   I would still rather have a matching ugly sedan for relatively the same money.  

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53 minutes ago, V16 said:

with all this talk of J's I got to thinking this might be a good place to put out a part request, I am and have been  restoring a Duesey which was purchased as a project pile of parts from the legendary Bill Hach from Chicago. It is coming along nicely and I am nearing the end of my parts search but I am still in need of a cowl light. If someone knows of one that might be purchased or traded please let me know. I drove the chassis for the first time in March and we are now moving forward with the surface  finish restoration. I have a fairly large inventory of original and some repo parts available for trade.. Please call Allen at 217 778 1425 or email at apacap@comcast.net. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

image0.jpeg

IMG_0194.JPG

 

I'm with Ed,  I love the early radiator style.  

 

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I have another myth about Duesenbergs to burst, all their histories are not known. One of my great uncles was a chauffeur for a man who had two. This man wintered in Pinehurst NC and was instrumental in the development of the golf course built there by the Tufts, but he also summered in Pennsylvania and built his own golf course and country club there. His archives are housed at the golf course in Pennsylvania and I would think they have pictures of the cars but I can't find any documentation. If his cars still exist, nobody knows anything about them. His name was Fones I believe.

 

I would love to verify the stories told to me by my family and the stories told by the town of Pinehurst if anybody can add anything.

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15 hours ago, J3Studio said:

 

My apologies—for some reason this came up as current as I viewed AACA General.


No apologies needed! I just thought it was interesting. I’ve learned some things for sure.

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3 hours ago, AHa said:

I have another myth about Duesenbergs to burst, all their histories are not known. One of my great uncles was a chauffeur for a man who had two. This man wintered in Pinehurst NC and was instrumental in the development of the golf course built there by the Tufts, but he also summered in Pennsylvania and built his own golf course and country club there. His archives are housed at the golf course in Pennsylvania and I would think they have pictures of the cars but I can't find any documentation. If his cars still exist, nobody knows anything about them. His name was Fones I believe.

 

I would love to verify the stories told to me by my family and the stories told by the town of Pinehurst if anybody can add anything.


 

I sent your info off to those people who know all.......we shall see. Remember, he could have owned the Model A and not the Model J...........photos would make things easy.

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Posted (edited)

I know it is splitting hairs, but to me the Model A was always more "pure Duesenberg " than the Model J. And the race cars even more " hard core " Duesenberg magic. Just the opinion of a life long fan that will probably never even touch one again let alone drive or own one.

 

 I was always supposed to get a chance to drive my friends fathers J 149. But it never happened.  A big disappointment, but when my friends father died everything surrounding the car changed. Just the way things sometimes work out.

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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Fred Roe said in the 30’s and 40’s they were ONLY intrested in factory race cars and Model A’s. They considered the J too big. Obviously, later on, they changed their minds.

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2 hours ago, edinmass said:

Fred Roe said in the 30’s and 40’s they were ONLY intrested in factory race cars and Model A’s. They considered the J too big. Obviously, later on, they changed their minds.

Ed, Is there a keeper of Duesenberg RACE CAR records? I would guess there may be six RAEL ones, and a few made from parts as time went on. 

 

Bob 

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I’m certain Randy has records of existing cars.........probably also walking beam and boat engines. Most of the factory race cars are in Big Boy Collections and race car museums. I have seen two of them run over the years. Some are floor sweepings as opposed to “intact“ originals. They bring lots of money........

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18 hours ago, Ken_P said:


No apologies needed! I just thought it was interesting. I’ve learned some things for sure.

 

I have no issues with old threads being brought up.   The forum is a database to me.   Some people view it as a chat forum which is short sighted in my view.

 

The reason it came back to the top is somebody "liked" a post I made 10 years - probably because my posts are so flipping smart that makes sense for you guys to go back and read them again.  😉

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On 6/5/2021 at 8:34 AM, AHa said:

I have another myth about Duesenbergs to burst, all their histories are not known. One of my great uncles was a chauffeur for a man who had two. This man wintered in Pinehurst NC and was instrumental in the development of the golf course built there by the Tufts, but he also summered in Pennsylvania and built his own golf course and country club there. His archives are housed at the golf course in Pennsylvania and I would think they have pictures of the cars but I can't find any documentation. If his cars still exist, nobody knows anything about them. His name was Fones I believe.

 

I would love to verify the stories told to me by my family and the stories told by the town of Pinehurst if anybody can add anything.

 

Hi (and thanks to Ed for pointing out this post to me as I'm almost never on the forums anymore),

 

Henry C. Fownes was the original owner of LeBaron Convertible Sedan J-522 / 2546 and Murphy Convertible Sedan J-518 / 2544. I believe the LeBaron is pictured in Fred Roe's book.

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All you need to find out anything Duesenberg is ask one of about five people. Thanks Chris.

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Problem is was it a real chassis, or floor sweepings? Whatever it was, it’s still around. Today, the name of the game is all numbers matching. Lots of cars are being unscrambled now.........including some big boy toys that got bastardized back in the 50’s and 60’s.

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No, it was an un-molested chassis as far as I could tell.  It was sitting outside and Art fired it up for us.  He had it about the same time he had his limo which came out of a machine shop about 5 miles from our shop.

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I happen to have some friends who build and restore antique airplanes, let's just say from the very beginning up until WWII.  An interesting thing in the airplane world, if you have a few pieces of the original airplane and a serial number tag (the last the most important), one can build a plane using those things in construction, and even if 99.9% of the plane is not the original, it's still considered a period airplane.

 

I know of, worked on, and flew in, a Ryan from the late 1920's, beautiful plane.  Fellow who "restored" it built it from a landing strut, a few fuselage pieces, and a serial number tag.  It's now in a museum as an original airplane.

 

Funny story about that plane, the fellow who bought it from my friend has a LOT of stuff, including dozens of early airplanes, and his wife had told him no more.  They were sitting at the airport at a picnic table (his collection is housed at an airport) when my friend flew the Ryan in.  As it was landing, the wife asked Hey, that's Andrew, what's he doing here?  The fellow sort of hung his head and said well, I bought the Ryan.  His wife looked at the plane as it taxied in, looked at here husband, and said "Well, I hope you love that airplane, because in few minutes it's going to be stuck where the sun doesn't shine"......

 

As to Duesenbergs, there was a fellow named Tom Trail in Boyce, Virginia, who had a Duesenberg sedan.  I have no pictures nor numbers but from all the people I've talked to who DID see it, I'm positive it existed, yet his name has been searched and no record.  I know, I know, some of you will come back and say no way, all are known, but it's a big world out there...story from him was that he bought it from the original owners, put it in his garage and never took it out.

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1 minute ago, Restorer32 said:

For years I heard tales of an "undiscovered" Dues in Virginia. 

 

Every time since the Maharajah SJ in the late 50s an "undiscovered" car shows up,  it was well known to at least 6 or more guys.    Just unknown to the public.

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3 hours ago, Chris Summers said:

 

Hi (and thanks to Ed for pointing out this post to me as I'm almost never on the forums anymore),

 

Henry C. Fownes was the original owner of LeBaron Convertible Sedan J-522 / 2546 and Murphy Convertible Sedan J-518 / 2544. I believe the LeBaron is pictured in Fred Roe's book.

 

Look at you hiding behind an anonymous forum handle.

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54 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

Every time since the Maharajah SJ in the late 50s an "undiscovered" car shows up,  it was well known to at least 6 or more guys.    Just unknown to the public.

Ok, is one of those guys on the forum?  A number of years ago, Tom Trail told me he’d sold the car back to the original family.  A little while later, talking to one of his friends, the friend laughed and said that’s just the story he tells so people won’t bug him about car, it’s still in his garage.  This was all a decade or more ago, not even sure the man is still alive.  Maybe it’s a tall tale, but when you here the same story from numerous people it sure gets legs.

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Posted (edited)

Dave......when do you think the last time a Duesenberg was pulled out of a barn where it had been hiding for decades? Sounds like an urban legend. ...........too good to be true!🥸

 

 

Im just surprised it wasn’t a open car........😛

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Dave......when do you think the last time a Duesenberg was pulled out of a barn where it had been hiding for decades? Sounds like an urban legend. ...........too good to be true!🥸

 

Eddy,  you are not paying attention.   I told you in my previous post.  

Holkar Duesenberg Period 3Q Rear cropped.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Could anybody provide me with pictures of the two Fownes Duesenbergs. The story goes that Mr Fownes had the factory install a second speedometer in the back seat of one of the cars so he could monitor how fast my great uncle was driving. It would be interesting to see if that speedometer is still there.

 

And thanks again Ed.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, edinmass said:

Problem is was it a real chassis, or floor sweepings? Whatever it was, it’s still around. Today, the name of the game is all numbers matching. Lots of cars are being unscrambled now.........including some big boy toys that got bastardized back in the 50’s and 60’s.

I have a friend with a J. Recently he was contacted to check the crankshaft number on it. Another J owner is trying to unscramble his car and thought the crankshafts might have been swapped back in the day between the 2 engines. 

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Sigh....In about 1970 a Dues was bought out of a machine shop here locally.  The buyer seldom had money because every cent he got went to big Classic cars.  Price on the Dues was $10k. He tried to borrow the money from my Dad but Dad thought $10k for an antique car was ridiculous.  Coulda, shoulda, woulda.

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29 minutes ago, AHa said:

Could anybody provide me with pictures of the two Fownes Duesenbergs. The story goes that Mr Fownes had the factory install a second speedometer in the back seat of one of the cars so he could monitor how fast my great uncle was driving. It would be interesting to see if that speedometer is still there.

 

And thanks again Ed.


http://www.duesey186.com/Datasheets/Model_J_Index/frm2544.htm

 

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2 hours ago, edinmass said:

Dave......when do you think the last time a Duesenberg was pulled out of a barn where it had been hiding for decades? Sounds like an urban legend. ...........too good to be true!🥸

 

 

Im just surprised it wasn’t a open car........😛

Yeah, that does sound pretty crazy....although it sure seems to be that may have happened not long ago!

 

You know, if I was going to lie about have a Duesenberg stashed away, it'd sure be a sexy open car and not a sedan!

 

The story continues, when I was talking to the presumed owner, he said he came home from lunch one day, there was a wrecker pulling out of his driveway with the Duesenberg!  He said he never hesitated, he ran his car into the wrecker to stop it.  The wrecker driver had apparently been hired by someone to move the car, and claimed he thought the fellow who hired him was the owner.  Didn't take the guy to court because, well, the car was supposed to be a secret.

 

Some very elaborate stories if he was making it up.

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For years this guy in Fitchburg Massachusetts would whisper to car guys about a “Duesenberg” he owned.  Very hush hush and nobody was allowed to ever see it. This went on for almost 50 years until he passed.  9/10 times the car ends up being a Buick.  This time it was a Stutz.  Still had the key fob from the used car lot in 1951 which said “Duisenberg”.

B28CC4DF-3314-4FFD-8625-FF289A5185C5.jpeg

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Dave if you know the owners name why not just go to his place and look in the garage? 
It can’t be that hard to check it out no matter how secret it’s supposed to be if you know the owner and can talk with him. 
 

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3 hours ago, trimacar said:

The story continues, when I was talking to the presumed owner, he said he came home from lunch one day, there was a wrecker pulling out of his driveway with the Duesenberg!

 

Something similar actually happened to a friend's Corvette. It was at a shop and a guy shows up one day with a wrecker and says he's here to move the Corvette. The shop owner says sure and proceeds to mover some other cars around so the guy can hook the wrecker up and away it goes. When my friend stops by to check on his car, that's when he finds out he's been robbed. This actually is a true story. They never found the car or the guy who towed it off.

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1 hour ago, SC38DLS said:

Dave if you know the owners name why not just go to his place and look in the garage? 
It can’t be that hard to check it out no matter how secret it’s supposed to be if you know the owner and can talk with him. 
 

Well, guess it could be that simple.  Just never been that motivated.  I don’t know where his house is, met him at his business.  Could be an excellent adventure.....

 

 

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