ericmac

Cooper Duesenberg at auction

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There is some discussion on another site about the ex-Gary Cooper Duesenberg SSJ that Gooding is going to sell. Some think it could set a record for the most expensive American car ever sold. What do you folks think? Personally, I've decided if the lottery works out, I am going to buy it!

Edited by ericmac
Typos (see edit history)

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According the the article, it appears Collier owns both Cooper's J-563 and Gable's J-567?

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Great car, and it's going to be interesting to see it sell at PB.  I certainly consider it a top five American car, and on my list it's #2 . Three issues that don't necessarily thrill me. One: It's very possible the car could end up overseas. Two: It's been on public display for over thirty years and would be started and driven from time to time, even attending a few meets and shows, that I am quite sure this will come to an end. Third: And possibly most distressing, it could be bought by a "non car person".  IE it could become a trophy for some one who only want's it as an expensive keepsake with bragging rights, ending up in what some of us call "a deep dark hole" never to be seen or enjoyed by the car public again. Best option, it's bought by a true collector in the US, where it will still be seen and enjoyed by all. Sadly, my best guess it it will forever become out of reach. As for price, what I think it's true value as compared to other cars and recent sales is immaterial, if three people with deep pockets have to have it it could blow way past the 10 million plus estimate............20 wouldn't be out of the question. One thing is for sure, its going to test the temperature of the market........and most of the rules don't apply. (By rules I mean it doesn't matter that it's pre war, needs restoration, ect, it's not really going to be treated or sold as an automobile, it's an object of art and American history, surpassing the fact that it is an automobile.) I chose not to guess publicly on a hammer price............ just hoping it will remain active in the US car hobby. 

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Jay Leno loves Duesenberg’s and probably has the $$.  Then it would stay in Hollywood. I’ll bet $16.5 million. 

Dave S 

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Great comments everyone. I personally hope it winds up here in Michigan and there are several collectors here who can both afford it and may be interested. I agree that I sincerely hope it does not wind up as a trophy and hope it is driven and enjoyed. I was not aware that the Gable car (J567) wound up in the Collier collection. Last I knew Al Fererrar's family still owned it but it may have quietly changed hands.

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

(By rules I mean it doesn't matter that it's pre war, needs restoration, ect, it's not really going to be treated or sold as an automobile, it's an object of art and American history, surpassing the fact that it is an automobile.)

 

That's a great point, Ed, and as you say, in that context it could very well end up with a "non-car" type person who just wants pride of ownership.

 

It wouldn't be the first great car that went behind locked doors for a while, there are little pockets of those kind of cars all over the US (and world for that matter), cars that never see the light of day and no one sees them.....a shame...when was the last time, for example, that you saw a pre-1910 Oldsmobile non-curved dash car?  They're out there, but hidden away.  Same for some of the really big iron in the brass and Classic eras.....

 

It will be interesting to see what happens.....

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I recall the lyric from Puttin' On The Ritz:  "Dressed up like a million dollar trooper, Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper" - sure applies to that beautiful piece of automotive art/history.

 

No clue what it'll bring - like others, I hope it doesn't fall in a black hole.

 

 

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The Clark Gable Dusenberg was at the Blackhawk museum for many years. It had been touched by Bowman & Schwartz. Beautiful automobile. JWL

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I was thinking the other SSJ (which actually never was owned by Gable) that was owned for 40+ years by Al Ferrara in Ohio. Last I saw it his daughter was driving it but that was maybe 7-8 years ago.

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If it really is a $10,000,000-plus car, wouldn't you 

rather have FIFTY $200,000 cars instead?

Or maybe ten $200,000 cars and invest the other $8,000,000?

 

Myself, I think I'd rather have ten $10,000 cars and use

the rest for better purposes!

 

By the way, Leno isn't in Hollywood, and he typically doesn't

buy cars at auction.

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6 hours ago, edinmass said:

Great car, and it's going to be interesting to see it sell at PB.  I certainly consider it a top five American car, and on my list it's #2 . Three issues that don't necessarily thrill me. One: It's very possible the car could end up overseas. Two: It's been on public display for over thirty years and would be started and driven from time to time, even attending a few meets and shows, that I am quite sure this will come to an end. Third: And possibly most distressing, it could be bought by a "non car person".  IE it could become a trophy for some one who only want's it as an expensive keepsake with bragging rights, ending up in what some of us call "a deep dark hole" never to be seen or enjoyed by the car public again. Best option, it's bought by a true collector in the US, where it will still be seen and enjoyed by all. Sadly, my best guess it it will forever become out of reach. As for price, what I think it's true value as compared to other cars and recent sales is immaterial, if three people with deep pockets have to have it it could blow way past the 10 million plus estimate............20 wouldn't be out of the question. One thing is for sure, its going to test the temperature of the market........and most of the rules don't apply. (By rules I mean it doesn't matter that it's pre war, needs restoration, ect, it's not really going to be treated or sold as an automobile, it's an object of art and American history, surpassing the fact that it is an automobile.) I chose not to guess publicly on a hammer price............ just hoping it will remain active in the US car hobby. 

If some of what you say is true, I want everyone to know. That I will step up and offer to drive the car for the new owner. This offer is for every day, if that is what is wanted by the new owner.

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11 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

If it really is a $10,000,000-plus car, wouldn't you 

rather have FIFTY $200,000 cars instead?

Or maybe ten $200,000 cars and invest the other $8,000,000?

 

Myself, I think I'd rather have ten $10,000 cars and use

the rest for better purposes!

 

By the way, Leno isn't in Hollywood, and he typically doesn't

buy cars at auction.

 

I'm inclined to agree with you--I'd rather have one garden-variety Duesenberg and the other $14 million to play with elsewhere. But what you're not seeing is that the rich people in this country are so rich you can't even imagine enough zeros on a bank account (Han Solo: Oh, I can imagine quite a bit). If this car sells for, say, $20 million, the buyer will be a guy to whom that figure is nothing more than play money, not his life savings. It like you or me going and buying a $2000 beater. It is a tiny fraction of his net worth and probably not even real to him. The actual dollars-and-cents price will not be a factor for the people bidding on it, only the value that they place on it for themselves (and it will be purely arbitrary). Part of my reason for thinking that it will be the most valuable American car ever sold at auction is that there will be big players for whom cost is no object vying to be The Guy Who Bought The Cooper SSJ. The only real variable is how much that slice of fame is worth to those individuals, because there will be two or three years of buzz on this car and its new owner and you'll see it very visibly making the rounds of all the big shows once again. Or it will get a fresh restoration (probably in black with a weird interior and blackwall tires) and show up at Pebble in four years. 

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Leno may not be in the actual town of Hollywood but I think most would say he represents that area as opposed to the rest of us. He does like Duesenbergs probably has the $$ and best of all he would most likely drive it. 

Dave S 

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I have no idea what it will sell for.  But I've just loved seeing that car at the Revs Institute the few times I have been down to that area.  The car is just absolutely jaw-dropping.  It's the most memorable, most fantastic, most amazing car I have ever seen.  

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2 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

If it really is a $10,000,000-plus car, wouldn't you 

rather have FIFTY $200,000 cars instead?

Or maybe ten $200,000 cars and invest the other $8,000,000?

 

Myself, I think I'd rather have ten $10,000 cars and use

the rest for better purposes!

 

By the way, Leno isn't in Hollywood, and he typically doesn't

buy cars at auction.

 

That's why it is still a free country. If you have the means why not. Maybe it will go to a multimillionaire with a one car garage.

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