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Cooper Duesenberg at auction


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My search of the couch cushions has not raised enough funds for me to bid. I keep going back and looking, like going to the fridge every hour, thinking that some new tasty food had appeared, that was not there last time. It is hot out here right now, and I have to pull weeds and mow the grass, that's my duesy.  

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Would be nice but a good friend once said you can have as much fun with a Model A as a Model J so I guess I will pass.  I will say I still enjoy the clean lines of my 30 roadster in the garage while admiring the J from a distance.  That said, the Duesy SWB is definately high on my top 5 best in the world list! ?

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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No. Can't afford it. Anymore. I think if I still could, though, I would rather make the present owner of "my" 1930 Mercedes-Benz SS38/250 an offer he couldn't refuse. (By the way : do any of you know where it is now ? Back in Europe ? Have any of you actually  seen this car ? Ed ?). I would put it back as I remember it almost 60 years ago. M-B racing white with red leather. That is how it came out of Sindelfingen. The wheels were not chromed. And I would put the trunk back on where the dual rear spares are now carried. Originally there was a single sidemount, L.H. side. Oh well, its only money, right ? If I seem unusually bitter tonight, yup ; I am. I avoid looking at stock values anymore. It's just that I couldn't miss noting yesterday that Amazon is positioned to break the $2000 level soon. My "on board" point with the proceeds from the quick killing I had made on Intel in the "Tech bubble" was Amazon at $6, yes, that's six bucks, following its bouncing off the basement floor at $5.71 after the tech collapse. Enough of that. I have explained more of this in the past, and the obscene treachery which wiped out the gains of a lifetime of hard work. I used to be able to  figure things out if I thought about the subject long enough. I haven't been able to do that for quite some time anymore. So I will not be in competition for any more cars. It's O.K. I just put my 1924 Cadillac back on the road after not being able to drive it for almost 3 years ! VERY happy !

 

I have enjoyed eavesdropping on you knowledgeable guys here on the forum. I am amazed by so much collective experience. The night I finished preparation for initial shakedown of the old Cadillac after it had patiently awaited my touch, was Seattle 's "Night out against crime". The neighborhood where I rent the garage for the car, held its gathering just East of the sloping driveway. Neighbors did enjoy seeing the ancient thing emerge to the street. One of them, a lady almost my age, took a particular interest. Turns out she had met Gil Duffy and his SSJ long ago, and rented a little beach cottage from him for many years ! I had the pleasure of meeting them (Gil and his Duesenberg), at a car show when I was 15 years old. My favorite cars at that show were the American Underslung, the Doble, and Duffy's Duesy. Well, of course I got my money's worth by staying until the end of the show. I got to see the cars start up and  pull out. I talked to Gil, and when he found out I had taken the bus, he drove me downtown to save me the transfer. I was sitting next to him in the 1933(?) Murphy DCP !!!! My first Duesenberg ride ! He said it had been found in, and was re-patriated from, the Argentine Republic. 

 

So this is my chance. Where is that SSJ now ? Did Gil Duffy ever have any other Duesenbergs  ?  Thanks,  and good luck in your bidding.   -  Carl 

 

 

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That Mercedes looks mean enough to eat barbed wire. There was a 500K here in Huntington WV in the early

1960's that was said to belong to some Third Reich big shot that skipped to Switzerland to evade the very

angry Russians.The guy that owned it got into trouble on some Federal complaint and I was never able to

find out which of Nazis the original owner was.I hope the Russians did catch up with him no matter who he was.

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On ‎8‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 8:45 PM, 1937hd45 said:

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

 

I saw J214 early in 1953 right after Melvin Clemens bought it. Half the body was gone,

the fenders were said to be from a Sayer&Scoville ambulance and a rear wheel was welded to the brake

drum and was said to be from a Stutz. We did get it to start and it smoked like a volcano with a lot

of main bearing rumble at first. It had been used to power a water drilling outfit years ago.

A Canadian I think it was had the restoration done or had it completed and once the odd moulding was

taken into consideration I  thought it was a fine car with beautiful oak wood work.I THINK the Canadian

donated it to a Museum in Canada.

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Correction to my post on J214. Another man had started the restoration in 1974 I think. He contacted me

after I talked to Ray Wolff about it and Ray told him I had some information on it.The Canadian did finish

the restoration.This car has had a number of owners and according to the Wolff notes it may have been sold new to

a woman and bodied as a limo. It survives today as a very interesting example of one man's idea of a custom made car.

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while discussing Duesenbergs- does anyone know where Cagneys J581 is?

 

about 25 years ago, bought my 07 Maxwell DR from a Canadian fella at Hershey. His father had one of the largest collections of cars in Canada and he told me that his Dad owned Cagneys Duesenberg.

His Dad sold it at the top of the mkt and afterwards, kicked himself everyday for the rest of his life for letting it go-because he didnt need the $.

Just wondering where it is?

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J 581 was restored about 20 years ago and is still in near mint condition.  I believe the person who had it restored still owns it in Colorado.  Rollston built 2 of these convertible sedans on the Duesenberg J chassis.   The other one was destroyed in a file in the 1950's.  I heard a rumor some bits of it remain, and someone may be trying to build a car around the remaining bits.   Rollston also built one formal sedan body with the same lines and it was placed on a Packard Twelve chassis.   

 

Duesenberg J Rollston Convertible Berline - Chassis: 2311 J-586   - 2004 Canadian Concours d'Elegance

 

Duesenberg J Rollston Convertible Berline - Chassis: 2311 J-586   - 2004 Canadian Concours d'Elegance

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Some time in the late 1970's Dad and I got to sit at an AACA Annual Awards dinner table with Al Fererrara and his wife, what a great guy. When we told him we were from Ridgefield he said he had a Duesenberg that belonged to Bill Oexle at one time, and showed me a photo. It was back in the late 1970's but I remember it looking some what like the Nethercutt 20 Grand. Bill Oexle  traded it even on a new Cadillac in 1949 or 1950, guess that was a good deal at the time. If this description sounds familiar to anyone please post a photo and history on the car. Bob 

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I had the privilege to be able to take apart, and oversee the restoration on this Duesenberg when I worked for Mike Fennel in the mid 1980's. I do not recall the number, but am sure I have it in the pile of photos I took during the disassembly of the car. I know it was re restored to Maroon and Black and sold a few years ago for over two million if I recall correctly. I will never own one, but I had the opportunity to take one apart and restore it, and drive it.

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I missed the sale. I was born 1 month later.

 

My Uncle Sylvester offered my Mother $100 to name me after him, helps get a feel for the $2200. I imagine life would have been different nicknamed Slick.

image.thumb.png.300d43476c1060488b4d9d2005abc992.png

1937 Duesenberg convertible sedan, body by Rollston, Model J 153.5 in. wheelbase.

(This car was for sale in 1948 for $2200. it had 94000 on odometer) Contraption under runnign board was radio antenna. This was 1937 NY Auto Show Car. Photo dated 8-20-1948 for sale by A.J. Hoe

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^^^^^^^ We'll never know but that may have one of the two J's that came out of the basement storage area of the Branchville Shell station after WWII. Jim Hoe paid $750.00 for the pair, the seller told me that story back when I was in High School. Bob 

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The only Duesenberg sedan Ferrara owned was a Rollston Beverly sedan.   Looks just like the Murphy Beverly, but the body is a little wider in the back.  I believe his was owned by the Wrigley family new and it was light green originally, just like the gum wrapper.   It's now kind of a purple color.  I can't find any pictures of it online to post.       

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12 hours ago, Bob Roller said:

 

I saw J214 early in 1953 right after Melvin Clemens bought it. Half the body was gone,

the fenders were said to be from a Sayer&Scoville ambulance and a rear wheel was welded to the brake

drum and was said to be from a Stutz. We did get it to start and it smoked like a volcano with a lot

of main bearing rumble at first. It had been used to power a water drilling outfit years ago.

A Canadian I think it was had the restoration done or had it completed and once the odd moulding was

taken into consideration I  thought it was a fine car with beautiful oak wood work.I THINK the Canadian

donated it to a Museum in Canada.

Bob, I agree.  Bernie Aaron deserves a lot of credit for restoring J214 back to its original form.  As you likely know, it was for sale for many years and Bernie was the only one to step forward.  There were certainly many other J's available then and many which would have been easier restorations.  J214 has been in the Reynolds museum in Alberta since 1993.

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6 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

I missed the sale. I was born 1 month later.

 

My Uncle Sylvester offered my Mother $100 to name me after him, helps get a feel for the $2200. I imagine life would have been different nicknamed Slick.

image.thumb.png.300d43476c1060488b4d9d2005abc992.png

1937 Duesenberg convertible sedan, body by Rollston, Model J 153.5 in. wheelbase.

(This car was for sale in 1948 for $2200. it had 94000 on odometer) Contraption under runnign board was radio antenna. This was 1937 NY Auto Show Car. Photo dated 8-20-1948 for sale by A.J. Hoe

So what would have this car have sold for brand new in 1937? If it was for sale in 1948 for $2,200, What is the % of drop in value? Just wondering if cars today are dropping at the same % rate?

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47 minutes ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

So what would have this car have sold for brand new in 1937? If it was for sale in 1948 for $2,200, What is the % of drop in value? Just wondering if cars today are dropping at the same % rate?

 

Standard price for a Duesenberg chassis was 8500.  Although by 1937 you were dealing with left overs so who knows what the price was then.   Bodies were anywhere from an additional 4 or 5k for a Murphy Convertible Sedan,  up to 12k for the 20 Grand.

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Most likely somewhere between $15000 - $20000.  In 1929/30 a Duesenberg chassis was $8500, I'm not sure what they went for in the mid 1930's.   Rollston probably charged around $8000 - $10,000 for the body.   That's a pretty complicated top mechanism on that car, and all 4 of those fenders are pure custom.   

 

Edited by K8096 (see edit history)
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Hello everyone, in the mid to late 60 s there was a gentleman named charlie zero in Pomona calif,he was a body shop manager at a local Chevy dealer,an older gentleman that was my mentor so to speak, more like a second dad,he was a good friend of charlie’s mr hoe took me to charlie’s one Saturday,in this old garage on an alley they showed me charlie’s cars,he had a cut down 34 Chevy that looked like an m.g, t.d. A black 48 Lincoln Continental with an olds engine,then charlie pulled the cover back an I saw black Duesenberg,this car as I remember was a mid to late 30 s I guess you would call it a town car,I remember charlie saying he payed 2500 for it after World War Two,he said he spent a lot of time putting a hand rubbed nitrocellulose lacquer paint job of about 40 coats,some time early to mid 70 s charlie got sick and mr hoe brokered a deal for 151.000    At that time,if this sounds familiar to anyone I would like to see pics of the car today

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13 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

Just wondering if cars today are dropping at the same % rate?

 

They always have and continue to. In called the dealership that sold my most recent car new. They told me it went out the door for just under $130,000 in 2003. I paid $7200 and the taxes brought it up to $8,000 even.

 

That was a lot of technology and expensive repair risk in 1948, as was the 2018 sale. Back then my Dad would have said "Who wants that big ark?"

 

For the American GI just getting started the extra garage space wasn't allotted for in the Levittown site plans.

Bernie

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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Body prices varied by large amounts, figure anywhere from 2500 for a small factory batch semi custom to well over ten grand.  I was working on a Rolls PII a while back that was 28.5 k out the door tax not included. That was Dec of 1933. 

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Makes you wonder how a custom coachwork shop ran in the 1920's,1930's, there had to be custom wood framework guys, panel rollers and final fit people. Wonder if it got specialized to the point there was a left rear door expert etc.? Bob 

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I think on slow days they shod horses and built barns, from the work I have seen. If they had MIG welders like a hobbyist has today a lot of those inner wood frames would have gone up in flame. Molten lead oozing all over won't start a fire. At least that was going for them.

 

In the 1920's there were teams of panel formers who made a circuit of the plants building the curved rear sections for sedans. That was the hardest part so the skilled guys were welcome on their rounds.

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8 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

$10,000 for a custom body, and all the workers/suppliers/factory all made money/earned a living. And you can drop $10,000 now at the chrome shop for your 1948 Windsor 

 

Here's part (most?) of the reason why.

wages.jpg

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15 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Makes you wonder how a custom coachwork shop ran in the 1920's,1930's, there had to be custom wood framework guys, panel rollers and final fit people. Wonder if it got specialized to the point there was a left rear door expert etc.? Bob 

 

Bentley in the 1940's hired left handed upholsterers to  work with right handed ones to make it easier to install interiors. 

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27 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

 

Bentley in the 1940's hired left handed upholsterers to  work with right handed ones to make it easier to install interiors. 

Is that how the steering wheels got on the other side on some cars?

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I am still amazed that James Young, custom body builder, still built fully wood framed bodies in 1949. And I mean a lot of wood. I have pics of the James Young shop taken in 1949. You can see a worker beating out a new inner fender well with nothing but a hammer and dolly.

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