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Cooper Duesenberg at auction


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Besides J444 I think the close coupled sedan that the McGowan's had was the nicest looking J I've ever walked around. Wish I could find the photos I took. It looked some what like the one in this photo, but unrestored and blue at the time.  When it first rolled onto the field at the old Ridgefield Meet their mechanic Mike Hart descried it at a two briefcase car, maybe they uses small denominations. If anyone knows the details & history of the car in the photo below I'd be interested in reading them. Bob 

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Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
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Bob, do know anything about the green berline type sedan that was at a lot of CT shows, Southbury and such maybe 20 years ago? Another driven Duesenberg.  Somewhere I have pics of it in a restaurant lot on rte 1, always assumed it was local, and likely your part of the state.  Mentioned earlier, but seeing if that jogs your memory any...

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9 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

What was the total number of J's in the Cline collection, I remember walking by a lot of them? Bob 

 

Richie worked for Ralph Engelstad, owner of the Imperial Palace, who owned a pile of Duesenbergs.   Not sure how many Richie has owned on his own.

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10 hours ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

A local guy had a Tourster as well as a Lebaron bodied barrel side (AJ correct me if I am wrong about second car body style).  The Lebaron was super attractive and driven fairly often a few years ago.  He kind of dropped of the show scene recently though, the Tourster sold, not sure of the status of the Lebaron.  That would be a contender, though, for a favorite bodystyle for me.

 

 

Steve,  here is the tourster owned by the Local Guy's father circa 1971.   Below that is the Barrel Side in the far back circa 1965.

 

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2 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

Richie worked for Ralph Engelstad, owner of the Imperial Palace, who owned a pile of Duesenbergs.   Not sure how many Richie has owned on his own.

Thanks for that bit of info, I've always thought the Imperial Palace was his. Bob 

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A wonderful thread I have enjoyed it very much! (I mean, who can't love a Duesenberg?)  So, I figure maybe I should ask my question. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to get to know Jack Passey. My dad had attended college with Jack's brother Bill. So when I started showing a strong interest in antique automobiles? Of course, one of the first places we went to was Jack's place. My favorite of all the Duesenbergs I have seen (I did tour through the display the Imperial Palace had about twenty some years ago), was Jack's (then) black roadster ( I guess it was actually a convertible coupe?). Does anyone here know whatever became of that car? 

I don't recall ever seeing the "Mae West" car, and although I know Jack really liked the Le Baron Phaeton he had after that, somehow I always preferred the clean lines of that black roadster with the top down.

I understand that the Le Baron Phaeton became part of the Otis Chandler collection (after an incredible restoration!). But what became of the Mae West car and the other convertible coupe I don't know.

 

Me, just wondering. And thank you all for your tales and reminiscences of Duesenbergs past and present!

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Duesenbergs are intriguing for several reasons. Disclaimer, I don’t own one, but have tried to in the past, and maybe some day in the future I will attempt to own a “bottom feeder” Model J, even if it’s only for a  relatively short period of time........ it’s probably only a 25 percent chance of happening, but it’s an itch I would like to scratch. Duesenberg collectors have a bit of a different attitude than most collectors of other types of cars. And they all seem to fit in several different catagories amongst themselves. I find the reasons any one particular owner buys a particular car as  fascinating. Overall, In the world of J’s, many cars are perused or are  passed by for reasons that would not necessarily come into play on other makes and models of cars. Let’s take a Murphy clear vision sedan as an example. I’ll guess there are about six of them, I won’t bother too look up the exact number. I have always liked the fit and finish of closed cars, and am a fan of the clear vision sedans. Some J collectors would just pass them by and not even consider owning them, for many assorted reasons........closed car, too many survivors, bad lines, not wanting a Murphy of any sort, ect, ect.  The interesting thing is while many people will pass it over, and not even consider it, others will pursue it for one of any assorted reasons. Let’s assume for a minute a perfectly restored correct numbers matching sedan that is 100 points and been away from the car scene for many years comes on the market. The fact that it hasn’t been on the show circuit or been out in twenty, thirty, or forty years will influence its price and desirability, but some buyers would just not even consider it and look for a car with new coachwork because they want an open J. Personally, I prefer history and provenance over the car with the modern coachwork reguardless of body style, but that is certainly the minority opinion. Then we can look at a Murphy Roadster, of which they built something like thirty or so cars. There are two variants regular and disappearing top. Now I think any true car guy with gasoline in his veins would gladly take either one. But some collectors wouldn’t consider either car as they are “just another Murphy Roadster.” For many it’s rarity or a singularity of style that’s more important, even if the body style is not as desirable and a car of lesser value. Personally I prefer a phaeton over any roadster, regular or disappearing top. That is NOT where the market is heading today. Having been brought up in the hobby relatively early, my taste was influenced by my mentors long ago and hasn’t changed. The Duesenberg collectors are an interesting bunch of people, and I find them fun to watch from afar.........do they drive their cars? Many owners have never taken their car down a public road, just driving them on and off the trailers and show fields.........others go on the reunion tours, and line them up side by side and drag race them like  back in the old days when they were new. I have been fortunate over the years to own a few decent early cars, and I have driven more makes and models of big pre war iron than 99 percent of the people in the hobby. Duesenbergs are simply just fantastic machines, and yes, they deserve the reputation that they have. Adjatives such as light, nimble, and in a certain sense “refined” don’t apply. Powerful, acceleration beyond anything that one would expect in spite of it’s legendary nature, truck like handeling, they are just such and interesting contrasting set of contradictions that make up the mighty “J”. Simply, there is NO other American car that can hold their own against them. They have their faults and affectations, but get behind the wheel and they all go away. Driven as they were meant to be........which ALMOST never occurs today, there is simply nothing like them......nothing. Yes, a 2.9 Alfa can’t be compared to it in my opinion, there’s nothing like pure American horsepower in its raw and unrefined state..........the fact that any survived is rather amazing because when you get behind the wheel logic and rationality tend to want to leave you......the accelerator on a “J” is like a beautiful woman, a great bottle of scotch, or whatever other temptation in life drives you to make poor decisions.........it’s hard not to push the car where it wants to take you. A  “J” just isn’t happy until you really spool it up, thirty five hundred rpm’s and it’s just starting to come alive, forty five hundred on the  tachometer and the world fades away and nothing in the universe exists except you and the road......the vibrations, valve noise, the music of the exhaust........it’s the most intoxicating thing I have ever experienced, and unfortunately have done so only for a few seconds at a time testing and tuning ............. respecting the car and it’s ability along with the fact that when  I drive it’s only as a technician being sure the car will perform correctly for its owner , I can still imagine what it would be like to drive the car to its edge of performance as it was built to do for hours on end.....................I’m just thankful and blessed for having the chance to work on and with such great cars, as it is a privilege. I can only imagine getting behind the wheel of the car that started this thread, a SSJ “Shorty” and the J collectors refer to them. I have never had a chance to drive an original SJ, and have only moved a car around in a parking lot with a reproduction super charger. The short wheelbase Supercharged speedster would be an incredible car to drive, and if offered a chance to take it out for a spin...........well I would just pass on it. The temptation to push the car would be too great for me, and I rather imagine what it would be like than having the actual experience of just driving it around the lot or down the road. But, there is no worry........I don’t think anyone is going to make me that offer. It will remain just a pleasant daydream when I gaze upon the car as it gets hammered down to its new owner.............Here’s to it being a wise man, one who will drive it and share it with others, as any masterpiece of art, sculpture , and design should be shared. Ed

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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When I win the lottery, another 4 $25,000 cars would do, but $20,000,000 for a car would take away that money form my old friends shares.   But I do like that car, just not that much.

(Plan is to win and give each old friend a million @ $50.000 a year for 20 years.  Then they won't have any excuse to not play with old cars and go touring with us in them.  Plus I won't be tempted to find new friends who only like me for my good looks)

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Ed's comments are spot on from whrre I sit. When I started this thread I never dreamed we would get so much information.  I have enjoyed every minute of this discussion.  Personally, I hope the car goes to one of the collectors who intend to drive the wheels off the car. Me? If I had the funds would buy it and drive it daily for a while as one local collector did with all of his Dueseys when he first bought them. He didn't even put collector plates on them. He mounted standard issue plates as nd drove the cars to work. It was a beautiful thing. 

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What I was told was the reason J 242 wasn't delivered with a top was because the guy who ordered it was the same guy who built the disappearing metal convertible top on the one Auburn.  The Auburn was on display at the ACD museum 10 years ago or so.  I believe there was a spare tire behind the seat in the Duesenberg.  I don't think the Duesenberg has a rear deck lid either, again because it was going to get modified to be fitted with the folding hard top.   The modification was never completed.  

 

Image result for auburn hardtop

  Auburn with collapsible folding hard top.   

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I too have seen the car. I will say i commend the people who have a car like this (or the Wolfington Phaeton J 214 for that matter) and leave in it's original configuration.  Yes people will whisper but history, good or bad, has been preserved. 

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13 hours ago, edinmass said:

I was parked next to that Auburn at Amelia Island this year. Interesting car, but people were whispering all sorts of rumors about it. I had never seen it before and didn’t know it existed. It was interesting to look at, and the engineering seemed very advanced. Are there any photos of it new, when it was first built? Not 60’s or 70’s but when it was new? I think that’s the only way some of the people and the whisper campaign can get their answer. I have no information on it at all, and have no opinion, just curious.

 

Ed, I believe the patent with drawing was filed in period. Can’t vouch that the car actually was.

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9 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Ok, I had to Google J 214, unique, one of a kind, and fortunately out of my price range. Bob 


While traveling to an ACD Club reunion with Herb Newport in the '70's he told me that he designed J214, the Wolfington Royale, and wasn't proud of it.  He said he just had to comply with the client's wishes.  This was subsequently noted in Fred Roe's book.

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On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 11:12 PM, ericmac said:

Ed's comments are spot on from whrre I sit. When I started this thread I never dreamed we would get so much information.  I have enjoyed every minute of this discussion.  Personally, I hope the car goes to one of the collectors who intend to drive the wheels off the car. Me? If I had the funds would buy it and drive it daily for a while as one local collector did with all of his Dueseys when he first bought them. He didn't even put collector plates on them. He mounted standard issue plates as nd drove the cars to work. It was a beautiful thing. 

 

I doubt if Fred Duesenberg and E.L.Cord had any other ideas for these cars except to drive them

and if they become a source of worry and angst like so many have then sell them.In 1973 there

was a National Car Show here in Huntington WV and my wife and me and two small boys,Rob and Eric,

our sons.Eric was just starting to walk but was in a stroller.A black Rolls-Royce pulled in and we went

over to look at it. Eric reached over like he was going touch the fender and the driver screamed at him

and said "If that kid touches this car I'll break his arm". I told him in no polite terms he would be the

center of attention in the ER or the feature attraction at a three ring funeral if he harmed that baby or

tried to. THAT was an extreme instance but a word of advice. DON'T threaten an infant,it's dangerous.

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As I sit here going through my desk and couch cushions, gathering up lose change to see if I can bid on this maybe 20 mil duesy. I was just wondering what the insurance payment would be? If a person decided to go month to month. What would you pay to insure a car like that? Just need to make sure I have enough change before I commit.:lol:  

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Xander,  I think you and I both (maybe even togehter) would have trouble covering the insurance payment. 

My kids already scarfed up the loose change.  All I found in my couch cushions were toys,  pieces of toys,  and interesting bits of food I can't quite identify that Mommy told them to eat. ;) (thankfully we have leather furniture, all be it well worn) 

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3 hours ago, C Carl said:

Hey X' : For real ? Please X'plain................   - C'C'. 

Just having fun CC, I need things to keep me laughing out here, It has not been a fun five years, you will get to see it on the news. I can X'plain if you like? Give me a call, I will private message you my number, and tell you all about it. Poking fun at the overall value of the car. Breaking it down to a valve stem.:lol::lol::lol: The car is a work of art, and my guess is, it will set a record. Anyone would love to own it. It has moved beyond being a car. We have to be able to point out and laugh about things in our hobby/industry/trade. It is not a perfect place. It has many problems. Some problems can be fixed, some can not. Cars like this Duesenberg are the best of the best in the automotive world. I would fell lucky just to take a few pictures of it..................-X'W'.:D Keep smiling CC, there are still people trying to make this hobby/industry a better place, my shoulders are only so wide. 

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OK. Now I get it. I have always been a bit slow on the uptake. ?ing to keep from ?ing is a well practiced art with me. I have gathered over the time I have had the pleasure to get to know you, that we have something in common other than being fellow Northwesterners. I have a feeling the proverbial "loving company" is about to come knocking on mutual miseries door.  -  Cadillac Carl 

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18 hours ago, Bob Roller said:

 

Eric reached over like he was going touch the fender and the driver screamed at himand said "If that kid touches this car I'll break his arm". I told him in no polite terms he would be the

center of attention in the ER or the feature attraction at a three ring funeral if he harmed that baby or

tried to. THAT was an extreme instance but a word of advice. DON'T threaten an infant,it's dangerous.

A few years ago at a local car show, I had my two-ton Diesel on display, with lots of spectators around.  A younger family with dad carrying a two or three year old, and mom were looking at the vehicles and the young child really wanted to sit in my truck, so I opened the door to let him sit behind the wheel.  The father was visibly upset that I allowed it, and the mom was somewhat embarrassed perhaps thinking the child pulled at my heartstrings by begging to sit in it. (he didn't).  So the father briefly lowered him down onto the seat, while the mom repeatedly told him not to touch anything.  The dad sternly told me that he lectured his kids beforehand about touching vintage cars at shows, and what I did was counteractive to his instructions, and sent a wrong message to the child.  I did commend him for teaching his children that, while at the same time, I clearly stated these young ones his age will be the future of this hobby, and I don't mind being accommodating to younger ones like theirs when they ask nicely and under parental supervision.

 

Craig    

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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Sounds like the dad might be a future Rolls Royce owner! Its too bad as he is beating the joy out of the hobby for his kids. I had someone offer to let my daughter sit in his car at a cruise in last uear. She still talks about the experience. It was only a moment and a very small gesture but as you can see, it made her day.

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Edited by ericmac
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I don't know if I wrote about an experience I had at a tractor show but I'll relate it again anyway.

A youngish father was displaying his newly painted early 30's tractor which was absolutely gorgeous, he was very proud of it and we were having a nice chat.

His 8-10 year old son was with him.

Poor kid made the "mistake" of putting his hand on the fender and WHOA........daddy went ballistic!

That's when I walked away thinking to myself "That's one kid who will never love old tractors"....... :( 

 

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Last week a mid-70's guy stopped while I was out in the garage. He stayed for a while talking and he sat or walked around during the time. He had his paws all over the cars, leaning on them, tapping his fingers, knocking the metal with him knuckles (you know how old guys do that, two quick raps), and generally being an irritant.

 

Many people are uncertain about the accuracy of their senses. The sense of touch is universally favored as most reliable. My newest, what I call, collector car is painted Black Sapphire Metallic. Right in the center of the hood he rubs his greezy finger on the paint, leans close and asks if there are silver flecks or is that overspray from a body shop. 20 minutes with detailer spray and things were fine. I was glad we didn't run up to the convenient store and bring back a couple of the two slice pizza deals for lunch in the garage.

 

I have two overheard doors I bought to put in the side that doesn't show from the road. I am planning to measure up the new headers today. Next time he won't know I am home.

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I have always been fascinated by some old guy who walks up to a car I’m working on or driving and raps his knuckles on the fender to check to see if the seven figure 100 point  cars’ fender is going to dent or fall off. Just once I want to say.......congratulations on your purchase, please hand over the money! I bet the look on their face would be interesting. I’m sure if I went out to the parking lot one Sunday morning and put my hot coffee on his hood, he would blow a gasket. Maybe I’ll just leave a half full beer can on his lawn mower.........that will pxxs him off also!

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I have never had an old guy tap on a car. I have had one say "it's about time you know what is going on" I had another person say " it will be interesting to see what you do" And another one said "you just keep going don't you"  and another one said "nobody wants to see you go through this". Some not so old guys said " if you want to build cars for our kids, then things can happen" I had a retired police officer stand in my shop and say " their going to make a star out of you, you just need to find an angle"  That was a strange thing to say at the time. One would think that a person would receive recognition for what they did, and uncovered. My guess is, it was said so a person would go off and think up some dumb a*s idea as to why you should be special. Side track a person, so others can take credit for what was done. I heard a law suit might becoming, I would think when people go on a fact finding mission, to find answers to what happened. Some interesting things might start to surface. I had a retired elected sheriff tell me I should call the FBI and the ACLU for my own safety. The ACLU in Idaho is a P.O. Box. That one made me laugh, there is no calling the ACLU in Idaho. Maybe enough time will go by, where statute of limitations will pass, and an honest story will be told. That seems to be the reason some people get away with crap. They get saved from what should happen to them, because of who they are. Well if there is no penalty hanging over their head, maybe the truth can come out. No pizza eating to this story Bernie, but there are some greasy fingers. Speaking of fingers, maybe we can have a conservation about pointing fingers. Looks like a nice day to go for a drive in the Hudson.

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2 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

I have never had an old guy tap on a car. I have had one say "it's about time you know what is going on" I had another person say " it will be interesting to see what you do" And another one said "you just keep going don't you"  and another one said "nobody wants to see you go through this". Some not so old guys said " if you want to build cars for our kids, then things can happen" I had a retired police officer stand in my shop and say " their going to make a star out of you, you just need to find an angle"  That was a strange thing to say at the time. One would think that a person would receive recognition for what they did, and uncovered. My guess is, it was said so a person would go off and think up some dumb a*s idea as to why you should be special. Side track a person, so others can take credit for what was done. I heard a law suit might becoming, I would think when people go on a fact finding mission, to find answers to what happened. Some interesting things might start to surface. I had a retired elected sheriff tell me I should call the FBI and the ACLU for my own safety. The ACLU in Idaho is a P.O. Box. That one made me laugh, there is no calling the ACLU in Idaho. Maybe enough time will go by, where statute of limitations will pass, and an honest story will be told. That seems to be the reason some people get away with crap. They get saved from what should happen to them, because of who they are. Well if there is no penalty hanging over their head, maybe the truth can come out. No pizza eating to this story Bernie, but there are some greasy fingers. Speaking of fingers, maybe we can have a conservation about pointing fingers. Looks like a nice day to go for a drive in the Hudson.

 

If I point ONE finger at you or anyone, I will still have THREE pointing back at me.

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3 hours ago, edinmass said:

I have always been fascinated by some old guy who walks up to a car I’m working on or driving and raps his knuckles on the fender to check to see if the seven figure 100 point  cars’ fender is going to dent or fall off. Just once I want to say.......congratulations on your purchase, please hand over the money! I bet the look on their face would be interesting. I’m sure if I went out to the parking lot one Sunday morning and put my hot coffee on his hood, he would blow a gasket. Maybe I’ll just leave a half full beer can on his lawn mower.........that will pxxs him off also!

 

Edinmass,

MANY years ago I saw a cartoon in Road&Track that showed an old woman in Paris France that

had set up a fish market on the hood of a Bentley and she was drawing back her hand with a large fish like a bat

to wallop the chauffer who was obviously irate about the whole situation.

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The old man's knuckle rap on a car appears to be ceremonial or a passing of powers. Each rap is firm and deliberate, with a proper, timed cadence. It has always impressed me as an affirmation that they accept the car, for whatever authority they imagine themselves to have. It may be the automotive version of the gnarly, palsied fingers pinching the forearm of preteen boys.

 

To the important stuff, sure is a big buildup to that Duesenberg sale. Anyone on the Forum plan to bid?

Bernie

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