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Cooper Duesenberg at auction


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Bob,  one of my first car memories is Massachusetts to the Reunion in a 812 Cord,  would have been about 1968.  My dad always talks about the first time he saw a tractor trailer pull in to a show in the early 70s.  It was J.B. Nethrecutt.

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On ‎7‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 11:06 AM, edinmass said:

 

 

Hi Bob! I had J-357 out to breakfast last Saturday, and have a V-16 out for coffee now. Come on down and we will take a bunch of cars for a spin! Your choice! Ed Minnie

 

AJ is a good friend......maybe I shouldn’t say that.......

Ed,I sent a couple of pictures years ago to AJ.I THINK they involved something to do with an intake manifold

on J292?,an SJ.

J357 was owned by Melvin Clemens when Jack Irwin and I put a clutch in it in 1951 or 52. Melvin was a DRIVER

and he thought nothing of running the tachometer off the scale.J396 was a scourge on the roads back then.

It had a Packard roadster body installed after the sedan (Derham?) was wrecked by a street car in NYC.(1936)?

Harry VanIderstine told me the frame damage was still evident when it was refinished.Engine J396 was damaged

by a rod coming thru the block years later and the can has had two other engines since then and I don't know the

"J"numbers but J202 MIGHT be one of them.Engine J396 was restored and it was in a pieced together "torpedo

phaeton"the last time I saw it.I keep no track of what's going on with these cars any more but have memories of

personal experiences with them that few living today can remember.

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1 hour ago, Bob Roller said:

Ed,I sent a couple of pictures years ago to AJ.I THINK they involved something to do with an intake manifold

on J292?,an SJ.

 

You have a great memory Bob.  J292 (pictured below when it was in Argentina) was sold new in Paris with a Lebaron swept panel dual cowl body.  It was brought to Argentina where the engine blew and a replacement was ordered from the factory.  The engine was SJ and supposedly the backup to the Mormon Meteor.   It has a funky intake setup as you mentioned.   Ed Jurist sold it to Ted Billing's in the 1960s.   I have pictures of it when it came off the trailer which I attached one of below.

 

In retrospect,  Ted should have restored it to its race configuration.   It had genuine race history in Argentina.

 

 

J292-1965.jpg

Duesenberg-In-S.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, mercer09 said:

your bark is bigger then your bite!

 

My bark is just on the outside. Inside I am all xylem and phloem.

 

With this interest in Duesenberg cars and my effort to reduce my "stuff" maybe will offer up my 1964 edition of Duesenberg/ The Mightiest American by Elbert for $75. It is THE book on these cars, nice condition without a dust jacket. The best reading.

Bernie

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2 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

You have a great memory Bob.  J292 (pictured below when it was in Argentina) was sold new in Paris with a Lebaron swept panel dual cowl body.  It was brought to Argentina where the engine blew and a replacement was ordered from the factory.  The engine was SJ and supposedly the backup to the Mormon Meteor.   It has a funky intake setup as you mentioned.   Ed Jurist sold it to Ted Billing's in the 1960s.   I have pictures of it when it came off the trailer which I attached one of below.

 

In retrospect,  Ted should have restored it to its race configuration.   It had genuine race history in Argentina.

 

 

J292-1965.jpg

Duesenberg-In-S.jpg

 

 

 

I hope the roadster/ speedster body got saved.  Even mounted on a Packard or Cadillac chassis it would make a very nice car. The lines are great.

 

Greg in Canada

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2 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

You have a great memory Bob.  J292 (pictured below when it was in Argentina) was sold new in Paris with a Lebaron swept panel dual cowl body.  It was brought to Argentina where the engine blew and a replacement was ordered from the factory.  The engine was SJ and supposedly the backup to the Mormon Meteor.   It has a funky intake setup as you mentioned.   Ed Jurist sold it to Ted Billing's in the 1960s.   I have pictures of it when it came off the trailer which I attached one of below.

 

In retrospect,  Ted should have restored it to its race configuration.   It had genuine race history in Argentina.

 

 

J292-1965.jpg

Duesenberg-In-S.jpg

 

 

I knew the restored car when I was a kid, wearing a black and gold swept-panel dual-cowl body that was re-created in the mid-80s. Owned by the late Sey Rosenblatt, I believe. 

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25 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

I knew the restored car when I was a kid, wearing a black and gold swept-panel dual-cowl body that was re-created in the mid-80s. Owned by the late Sey Rosenblatt, I believe. 

Matt, the body from the back of the front doors forward was original. The tail had been cut off fir racing as shown in the two pictures. Repairs to the body were done in the 1960s and I have pictures of the work.

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2 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

 

My bark is just on the outside. Inside I am all xylem and phloem.

 

With this interest in Duesenberg cars and my effort to reduce my "stuff" maybe will offer up my 1964 edition of Duesenberg/ The Mightiest American by Elbert for $75. It is THE book on these cars, nice condition without a dust jacket. The best reading.

Bernie

Bernie, with all due respect, Fred Roe’s book “Persuit of Perfection” is generally considered the Model J bible.  Fred was a wonderful man and a great car historian.  However, everyone should also own Elbert’s book too.

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8 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

You could drive it out here and strap down your free Hudson hood.:lol::lol::lol:

That would be a good first road trip for it wouldn't it?  Do I have to buy the clothesline and packing blankets or are you going to provide them if I let you take her for a spin around the block? Do you think strapped to the roof?  Easier to tie down or strapped on the decklid will work better? 

If all else fails, We could weld a trailer hitch on it and I could tow it home on one of those small Uhaul open deck trailers.   That would look pretty classic headed down the interstate at 70 MPH.  I'll have to let Keiser know in advance so he can be there for the photos,  though I'm pretty sure he would smell it all going down and be there anyways. ;)

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No I'll just leave the family at home and come out solo.  That would be a real vacation.  Especially if I had a few mil in the back pocket.  We could have alot of fun.  Maybe cruise over and get that 34  Hudson so we can make it look right while we are at it.  Probably better buy it before we get there though.  Won't be able to pull the poor farmer routine if they see us pull up in that Duessy. 

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Intetesting stats on collectibles as an investment, which makes me wonder a bit more about the data source for the 288% appreciation.  Most likely value guides, but again, the data source for all categories would need more context, I think.  Air cooled Porsches come  to mind and while not rare, perhaps enough sales to move the needle a bit, if the auction results are part of the data set.  It would be interesting to see what other vehicles make up that number.

 

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On ‎7‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 2:26 PM, JWLawrence said:

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

I think the real Gable Duesenberg was offered a while back for 10 million and 7 was offered and refused.Al Ferrera was here in Huntington WV at a

national car show but brought no car(s).He told me he bought that car from D.Cameron Peck for $2500.I asked about the paint scheme and he said

it was his idea and the original was what he called "coffee with cream" and looked like hell.This was in 1973 when I had this conversation.First prize

went to a beautiful 1934 Packard 12 with a LeBaron phaeton body.

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3 hours ago, alsancle said:

Bernie, with all due respect, Fred Roe’s book “Persuit of Perfection” is generally considered the Model J bible.  Fred was a wonderful man and a great car historian.  However, everyone should also own Elbert’s book too.

In the mid 1980.s I told Fred Roe about a man who bought a Duesenberg Limo and rebodied it with a Lincoln roadster

body and drove it like that.Fred contacted the man who living in Florida and he furnished Fred with pictures of the car

with the Rollston limo body and the Lincoln body. Fred said until I uncovered this man there were no known pictures of the

limo.I THINK it may have been J402 but don't take that as firm fact.I had a 1935 Packard convertible coupe with rumble seat

he tried to buy but I didn't want it parted out to get the body for his Duesenberg..

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I'm really enjoying this Duesenberg information chat. It was well over 35 years ago that Dad and I had the pleasure of sitting at an AACA Annual Awards dinner table with Al Ferrera and his wife, what a great guy. The McGowan brothers always brought a Duesenberg to the Ridgefield Meet, my favorite was J-444, with blackwalls. They had a very nice unrestored close coupled 4 passenger sedan, I wonder if it was the same car I saw restored in a Pebble Beach video? Bob 

 

 

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10 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

I'm really enjoying this Duesenberg information chat. It was well over 35 years ago that Dad and I had the pleasure of sitting at an AACA Annual Awards dinner table with Al Ferrera and his wife, what a great guy. The McGowan brothers always brought a Duesenberg to the Ridgefield Meet, my favorite was J-444, with blackwalls. They had a very nice unrestored close coupled 4 passenger sedan, I wonder if it was the sane car I saw restored in a Pebble Beach video? Bob 

.It WAS the McGowan brothers.The sedan was a Derham and I THINK was new sold to the Egyptian embassy in Paris. It had differently styled rear fenders

and was black.It was original,unrestored and I may have a picture if it.I did sit in the back seat and took a picture looking forward over the hood. It had a replacement

instrument in the dash and it may have been the altimeter.It had Marchal head lights which is not surprising.

I saw it again,later and it had been restored and was painted a deep maroon or burgundy and I THINK the owner's last name was Vick and he was from Texas.

The McGowan brothers had another "J" along with the sedan. It was a fire survivor and was rebodied with a Derham roadster body styled like J199.I think one

of the brothers told me it was really for a Lincoln  It was carrying engine J160 and was painted green.

I do have the Ray Wolfe notes on these cars.Ray was the one.or so I've been told that started the "J"engine number ID system.I had a lot of my info published

in the ACD Newsletter back when it was more like a magazine in the early 1990's.

I am now 82 and I am going back over 65 years to dredge this informantion up so if someone has a better slant it won't make me mad at all.

 

 

 

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Art Brummer's Duesenberg,the one I am familiar with was,I think J561 a fine Rollston sedan also called

the "6 fender car" by some.It was mostly original except for the installation of a Packard transmission

for easier shifting and an overall better unit.It was 1986 and me and my wife and two young sons were

walking into Eckhart Park and Art pulled up beside of us.The car was running so quietly that I saw it

before any of us heard it. It may still be owned by a family in the South but I won't give the name unless

they tell me I can. They got it after ownership by Dick Gold from Minnesota,now deceased. I hope this

helps.

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22 minutes ago, Bob Roller said:

 

Mr. Roller. The Close coupled J that the McGowans had was old maybe original  blue, had a unique badge on the head light bar may have had to do with Texas law enforcement, padded top came down over the rear window. Of all the Duesenbergs I've ever seen it was the one I wanted to have. The J they had with the roof rack was pulled out of Harlem, New York, they went every were looking for cars. Bob 

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I am going to see if I can find a lot of pictures taken at Auburn in years past.

The Derham sedan I saw went to Texas after the McGowan ownership.

It was black and the paint was chipped in places.

I am having visual problems now,cataracts,left eye repaired,right eye not

repaired and glasses that are totally useless for either eye.It may be

a while before I try to look for the pictures.The joys of becoming a fossil?:D

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Art discovered his Dues in a machine shop about 3 miles from our shop. Those of us who know (knew?) Art remember him as a unique individual.  It was visits to his salvage yard here in York, PA in the early 1970's that helped fan the flames of my interest in antique cars. My '32 900 Coupe Roadster came from Art's. Not being a "real" Packard at the time it was not given space in the garage but rather was sitting forlornly in the lines of old and newer cars in the yard. I also wonder what ever happened to the stripped down Dues chassis Art had. It ran but had no body whatsoever. He offered it to Dad for $3500.

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For a while,J561 was driven as a chassis by a man in Delaware listed in Elbert's book as Sumner Francis.

I remember Melvin Clemens talking about it many years ago.Melvin had a complete chassis in a garage

and it apparently was parted out over the years. It was a VERY low mileage former limo,Rollston if I remember

right and had under 15,000 miles on it. Wolff notes indicate it was J155 and had more than one body on it.

Harry VanIderstine got the head from that low mileage engine and called me to see if I had any information

on the engine and I told him about the extremely low miles. The short block sold later after Melvin passed away

and I have no knowledge of any of the rest of it.

Here is something else that may be of interest to some people.As may be fully known,Jim Schneck of Manitowoc

Wisconsin undertook the stunning task of reproducing the head for the Model "J",ready to install once the

cams,valves and other components were properly in place.Sadly,Jim died in a tragic,freak accident a while back.

He was trying to get his dog off the ice of a frozen pond,fell thru and drowned.

During a conversation with Jim at Auburn a few years ago he mentioned the fact he neeced a head that could

be cut in half to help establish water passages in the head he wanted to produce.Harry VanIderstine had such

 a head which was nothing but trouble from SJ551.It was constantly cracking and the head from J155 was the

answer.I pointed Harry out to Jim and the new heads got made and I think Harry got the first one for furnishing

the pattern head. I am glad I was there and able to help in a small way with this project that made some of these

cars driveable again.

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Jim Schneck was a great guy and I got to know him for just a short time before he passed. A true gentelman and terriffic engineer. We were his guests his home and got to see his fine collection of cars.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Ed,

MANY thanks for the invite to Florida to help in wearing "Melvin"out.What became of the red seat covers

that were on the seats?I am glad this car is in use as it should be.My biggest concern with driving this

very valuable relic would be getting side swiped or worse yet,having tweedledee the Wonder Dummy

run a stop light/sign and roll it like happened to J175. Tweedle is out there and his numbers are legion.

Do you happen to know who has J540 now? Melvin owned it for years and in the winter of 1952/53

Jack Irwin and I brought it to Huntington and were chased all over the state by cold rains and flooding.

I am glad we had that powerful,heavy old car because a lesser car would have failed to get us back in

one piece.I was backing it into the garage and a drive line coupling failed and completely immobiized

the car. In the Summer of 1953 I helped Don Thompson remove the ENTIRE drive line assembly

including the springs and then Bill Evans and I loaded it into a Dodge pickup truck and took it to

Melvin and then we removed the Entire drive line assembly from J155,the chassis with low miles

I mentioned earlier.Later,in the Fall Don and I installed it under the old Judkins and took it back to

Melvin running strong.

I share the same opinion of Jim Schneck as you. I met him ONCE but he made a really GOOD first impression and

we all know there is NO second chance to do that.I called him off and on and he was always cordial and when

Igot the notice from Chris Summers of that terrible accident I was sick about it.People like Jim are as rare as a football

bat and should never be taken for granted.

Thanks again for contacting me and as far as I know I may be the only one still alive (82)that had experience with the

car now known,fittingly, as "Melvin"

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It seems depending on the body style of the car and the position of the dash, determines weather or not it’s easy to find gears, or if you hit you hand when shifting. The hand brake location is fine for the driver, much less so for the passenger. When driving I use it often, as that is why it’s there. Each J I have driven seems to have a slightly different shifter position in first and third, and sometimes it can be difficult to tell what gear you in just by looking at the shifter. I think the most important observation is no matter how finicky the shifter is, your still driving a J, just go with the flow!

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A fine view over the hood of a MAJOR classic car from a time we hope will never be repeated.

Open cowl vent,air conditioner from 1930 and doesn't burden the battery:D.

My inlaws once lived where Harry VanIderstine lived in New Symerna but I don't recall where.

If you are going :rolleyes:to travel in England you might find and buy J159.It was made for driving

on the wrong side of the road. RHD and I think a Barker body of American style.

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10 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Here is a question for everyone that has driven a J Duesenberg, are the shift lever and brake lever comfortable, or do you smash your fist into the dash? Bob 

 

You don't just put it in high at the end of the driveway and go? Huh, whoda thought.

Bernie

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13 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Here is a question for everyone that has driven a J Duesenberg, are the shift lever and brake lever comfortable, or do you smash your fist into the dash? Bob 

I have only driven 7-8 Js but all of them were a delight. The best was a Rolston bodied Convertible Coupe, supercharged.  It was mostly original and drove better than my modern car. No problems with hitting the dashboard while shifting for me.

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5 hours ago, ericmac said:

No problems with hitting the dashboard while shifting for me.

I'll deal with it if it were mine. I would have bruises on my knuckles and the best bragging rights of how they got there.  "Oh I did that while out shifting my Duessy last night" ;)

 

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65 years ago I was directly involved with Don Thompson and at the request of Harry Schulzinger

we made extensive alterations to SJ 528,After a major engine failure while coming off Bridgeport hill

in Clarksburg.Sj 528 was replaced by J467,bored out to 3.875 and fitted with Jahn's high compression

pistons and a Clark 5 speed transmission with the 5th gear being an overdrive.That definetly  put that

car on the road as a major contender in cross country traveling. I think Harry used it for a bit over

20 years and finally sold it. At the time of the engine SJ 528 failure I was unaware we were in a car

being used with NO authorization by Mr. Schulzinger and I don't know if there were legal repercussions

or not. I am now the only one left alive that knows about that episode as far as I know and I am now 82.

Also,I have never come close to hitting the dash with my knuckles on any Duesenbeg.The transmission

was a relic when it was new and Art Brummer's idea of a Packard transmission is a good one as was the

5 speed Clark.

 

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The above story with the blowing up of SJ 528 is the reason I always turned down driving any vintage car of value. In retrospect it may have been a mistake, all the cars are now locked away in collections. Fixing broken ones was a lot of fun back in the 1970's. Bob 

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The failure of SJ528 was not from over revving,it was while the car was decelerating coming

down Bridgeport Hill (US50)that the flat section coiled spring that kept the cam driving timing

chain tight broke and the timing was thrown out of sync and when a piston and valves came together

it broke the piston into pieces and rod broke thru the cylinder wall.I think it was on #2 but too

many years have passed.to be certain.Either way,it ruined the engine.I wonder if that engine

was ever repaired.The car was one of the 3 Brunn Riviera convertible sedans that were built

and was bought new by Jacob Schick of electric razor fame. Jim Schneck had the one that had

belonged to B.C.Hartline and is still a fine low mileage car with original supercharger.

I saw the 3rd one at Auburn after restoration  by Brian Joseph. It was painted orange

and black and was a good looking car.SJ528 now J467 supercharged was for a time

in the O'Quinn collection in Texas and restored to new or better.

J467 was originally in a sedan that was mentioned in Elbert's book as belonging to a man

that owned an eatery in Chicago named Ernie Henderson. I parted this car out and helped

pull the engine which was in good condition.

We also stored another sedan that was new as SJ551 with a modernized front end and

bullet headlights and heavily skirted fenders.That engine now powers a phaeton that

belonged to the late Harry VanIderstine and replaced J435.

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The red convertible sedan pictured above actually started out life as a Rollston convertible victoria and then Bohman & Schwartz got a hold of it in the mid 1930's and ruined it.   If you see a side view of that car the proportions are off in the back & it doesn't look right.   Some cars Bohman & Schwartz improved, and others they made look worse.   

 

 

 

Edited by K8096 (see edit history)
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