ericmac

Cooper Duesenberg at auction

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On ‎7‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 7:21 AM, Matt Harwood said:

Duesenberg didn't make any bodies, just chassis. If a buyer had wanted a roadster, he would have had any of the body companies build one on the Duesenberg chassis. Why nobody did, I can't say, but I suppose this car is an inventive way of getting what he wanted without the expense (or wait) for a custom body to be built. Perhaps the original buyer already owned a Packard and wanted to use the body? Maybe it was just expedient? I doubt it was a financial concern.

 

It probably wasn't a Duesenberg policy to not build roadsters, just a coincidence that nobody wanted one. Perhaps if you were buying such a massive, expensive car, you didn't want one that would only be comfortable a few months per year?

Once the chassis left the factory, Duesenberg would have no control over what body style was mounted on it, or its appearance.  Even Rolls Royce was not immune to bizarre personal taste:  http://www.bentleyspotting.com/2012/03/1947-revisited.html

 

Craig

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I thought I read somewhere where Duesenberg did exercise some level of control with coachbuilders, requiring the grille on most units with the exception of a couple of cars near the end of the run, but our experts here could perhaps confirm that.  That said, not all coachwork is attractive for sure, even on the best Classics.

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39 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

Once the chassis left the factory, Duesenberg would have no control over what body style was mounted on it, or its appearance.  Even Rolls Royce was not immune to bizarre personal taste:  http://www.bentleyspotting.com/2012/03/1947-revisited.html

 

Craig

 

Roadsters are sporty looking and in some areas unusable in the winter.

We had a wonderful mechanic on old cars here in Huntington WV

whose name was Paul Hamilton. We had some great conversations

about cars of all types. He asked me during one of these,this question,

"What do YOU think are two of the developments that were a big benefit

to the automobile owner in America? My reply was hydraulic brakes and

pressurized oiling systems. Paul said,"Those are very creditable ideas but in

my opinion it's roll up windows and heaters that work":D

I think that runs the list up to four things useful to car owners.

He passed from this life in 2009 at age 86 and is much missed by his

widow and a lot of others.

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The same can be said today with some cars which cannot be classed as 'year-rounders' in certain parts of the country where they may only serve as a second car.  Some Lamborghinis, Ferraris, etc., are very unpractical, and unsafe to be used in heavy snow areas.  (If Duesenberg were still around today, they would be selling in that price class.)    One can surmise those who owned a roadster had another car to drive, especially if they were raising a family.

 

Craig

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1 hour ago, 8E45E said:

Once the chassis left the factory, Duesenberg would have no control over what body style was mounted on it, or its appearance.  Even Rolls Royce was not immune to bizarre personal taste:  http://www.bentleyspotting.com/2012/03/1947-revisited.html

 

Craig

 

 

Craig,

I THINK there was a body builder owned by  the Cord Corporation called in reality "Auburn Central"

and used the upscale name of LaGrande for Duesenberg bodies.If I am wrong,please post a correction.

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8 minutes ago, Bob Roller said:

 

 

Craig,

I THINK there was a body builder owned by  the Cord Corporation called in reality "Auburn Central"

and used the upscale name of LaGrande for Duesenberg bodies.If I am wrong,please post a correction.

The LaGrande name and the body designs were owned by them, but the bodies themselves were still contracted out to different coachbuilders:  http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/l/lagrande/lagrande.htm

 

Of course, a buyer of a Duesenberg chassis was not obligated to using a LaGrande body.  The 'Father Divine' Duesenberg is an example.

 

Craig

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I have had my copy of Rolling Sculpture since it was released and get it out often. That is a good one.

Somewhere is a copy of The Custom Body Era by Hugo Pfau. That one is OK. I have a friend (ask him Grimy) who thinks Hugo spent most of his time pushing a wheelbarrow around a factory. I tend to agree. There are some good books on the custom body topic. Most are vintage now.

 

AACA Judging Guidelines mention "recognized body builders". I don't really connect those scavengers swapping bodies in that class. But the "recognized" part keeps bringing me back to the excellent examples of dogma we find in these hobby related discussions. Who recognized the builder? I am not no to put a ton of credibility into the group who eventually figured out "maybe a sedan is OK to keep".

 

One of my cars has extensive modifications performed by a company that fits the description of a coachbuilder. They were recognized by the US government at tax time. That's pretty verifiable recognition, good enough for a miracle on 42nd Street. But not good enough, at this point in time, for the evolution of the hobby leadership dogma. Maybe 20 years from now.

 

I recently sold a 1948 Packard that I enjoyed for  few years. I had seen pictures of Derham conversions on these cars. Had I kept it I might have added a leather top per the Derham style faithfully. Derhan also did some continental style trunk treatments. At the time I had a parts '48 Lincoln Continental. I considered the full Derham treatment for it. It was certainly not a Duesenberg, but it would have carried a lot of the intent and concept these mulled over Duesenbergs have. And I probably would have used a lot less lead... and no wood!

 

I like to think and write about this kind of thing. The antics of the serious aficionados entertain me, even my own make me laugh.

 

Well enough of this. I'm going out to the garage and measure up my V12 BMW that cost $125,000 in 2003 and see if I can graft on a 6 Series coupe rear body. Those old sedans aren't worth much these days, but I might be able to sell a coupe when I'm done using it.

Bernie

Dogma- I chose that word intentionally.

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22 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

I have a friend (ask him Grimy) who thinks Hugo spent most of his time pushing a wheelbarrow around a factory. I tend to agree.

Our friend the Godfather did not attend the recent Pierce-Arrow Society Annual Meet in Northern California, and I miss him and his wisdom.  I, too, tend to agree; there are those who speak a bit too authoritatively on matters beyond their scope, when you consider their ages at the time about which they wrote.

 

I am so pleased, Bernie, that you think and write (in that order, I hope) about such matters.  It has been claimed that there are more open 1938-40 Cadillac V-16s today than were built, as a result of transplanting open Cadillac 75 (V-8) Fleetwood bodies onto V-16 chasses.  And I know of at least one FrankenPierce which started life as a LWB 7-p sedan, had one digit of an engine number changed, and is now a convertible sedan.

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3 hours ago, 8E45E said:

The LaGrande name and the body designs were owned by them, but the bodies themselves were still contracted out to different coachbuilders:  http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/l/lagrande/lagrande.htm

 

Of course, a buyer of a Duesenberg chassis was not obligated to using a LaGrande body.  The 'Father Divine' Duesenberg is an example.

 

Craig

 

The "father"Divine Duesenberg did represent the absurd and nothing more.

Wasn't it a Bohman&Schwarz full custom? I have only seen pictures of it.

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5 hours ago, RansomEli said:

The Wrigley family owned Catalina Island at one time. In fact, the Chicago Cubs used to have their spring training there. Must have been hell for all the ballplayers, being stranded on a small island with no fun.

 

The official color for most of the island was Wrigley Green (as in Wrigley's Spearmint gum). I talked to an old-timer there who remembered  that Wrigley had a used to travel around the island in a Duesenberg - don't know if it was painted green, too. 

 

Wonder if the green Wrigley Duesengerg mentioned earlier was that particular color, too.

 

This has nothing to do with the car but Max Haviland, just south of Stevens Point, WI, was a major supplier of mint and spearmint to the Wrigleys.

Max was on a first name basis with the owners.

 

An innovation in Portage County farming, known as
"muck farming," was introduced on the Buena Vista
marsh in the 1940s by Max Haviland who in 1958 had
some 500 acres planted to the growing of spearmint and
peppermint which is distilled in a plant on the
farm.

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1 hour ago, Bob Roller said:

 

The "father"Divine Duesenberg did represent the absurd and nothing more.

Wasn't it a Bohman&Schwarz full custom? I have only seen pictures of it.

It was over-the-top, in size and weight, to the point of structural integrity issues with it, such as breaking rear axles and the body overhung the frame at each end.  If it the chassis was constructed to allow a 7000 pound payload, it would have given a 770K Grosser Mercedes a run for its money for its sheer size.  I saw it when it was in the Imperial Palace Museum in 1989. http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?49448-Orphan-of-the-Day-03-10-1937-Duesenberg-Model-J&highlight=DUESENBERG+ORPHAN

 

Craig

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2 hours ago, 8E45E said:

It was over-the-top, in size and weight, to the point of structural integrity issues with it, such as breaking rear axles and the body overhung the frame at each end.  If it the chassis was constructed to allow a 7000 pound payload, it would have given a 770K Grosser Mercedes a run for its money for its sheer size.  I saw it when it was in the Imperial Palace Museum in 1989. http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?49448-Orphan-of-the-Day-03-10-1937-Duesenberg-Model-J&highlight=DUESENBERG+ORPHAN

 

Craig

 

IMHO the Grosser Mercedes is a lot better looking car than the "Throne Car"

Those used by Hitler and his entourage were good looking in spite of the

absolutely wretched ownership.

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On ‎7‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 7:56 AM, Steve_Mack_CT said:

I thought I read somewhere where Duesenberg did exercise some level of control with coachbuilders, requiring the grille on most units with the exception of a couple of cars near the end of the run, but our experts here could perhaps confirm that.  That said, not all coachwork is attractive for sure, even on the best Classics.

 

From the one photo I have seen of the one that went to Japan when new the control

of what the body was to look like didn't make it.

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On ‎7‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 7:56 AM, Steve_Mack_CT said:

I thought I read somewhere where Duesenberg did exercise some level of control with coachbuilders, requiring the grille on most units with the exception of a couple of cars near the end of the run, but our experts here could perhaps confirm that.  That said, not all coachwork is attractive for sure, even on the best Classics.

 

Fred Roe's book shows J315 when new, a Rollston Limo and I believe I could

walk thru bothe rea doors while wearing a hat. The Next Rollston this lady bought

was good looking and I think it may have been an SJ. I think J315 was rebodied later

with something from a Chrysler,maybe a coupe.

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J315 was rebodied by the Chicago Duesenberg factory branch in 1935 with a Dietrich coupe body from a Lincoln. That body stayed on it until the 1970s when it was removed and reinstalled on a Lincoln. Meanwhile a new dual-cowl phaeton in the style of a Murphey vee-rear-windshield was built for the Duesenberg by a couple of Harrah's craftsmen, or so I've been told. I've owned the car since 2011. See photo, which is from 2014 or '15. A couple other of these bodies were also built in recent decades. Originally there was only one such body on the long-wheelbase chassis, and several on short-wheelbase chassis. My car is the long wheelbase.

591bbc4f61e50_2013AuburnGliddenPenn213.JPG.69b170c15d492ac9973579218bb0f0a8.JPG

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1 hour ago, jrbartlett said:

J315 was rebodied by the Chicago Duesenberg factory branch in 1935 with a Dietrich coupe body from a Lincoln. That body stayed on it until the 1970s when it was removed and reinstalled on a Lincoln. Meanwhile a new dual-cowl phaeton in the style of a Murphey vee-rear-windshield was built for the Duesenberg by a couple of Harrah's craftsmen, or so I've been told. I've owned the car since 2011. See photo, which is from 2014 or '15. A couple other of these bodies were also built in recent decades. Originally there was only one such body on the long-wheelbase chassis, and several on short-wheelbase chassis. My car is the long wheelbase.

591bbc4f61e50_2013AuburnGliddenPenn213.JPG.69b170c15d492ac9973579218bb0f0a8.JPG

 

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Mr.Bartlett,

That is a beautiful car and certainly a major upgrade over what is has been in the past.

 

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This thread just gets better and better with every post. I find it fascinating that so many people freely discuss cars by their factory number, and share information on body & engine upgrades and swaps. I get the feeling that if one wanted to buy a Duesenberg J today there aren't too many without a fully known past.

 

Bob 

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7 hours ago, Bob Roller said:

 

From the one photo I have seen of the one that went to Japan when new the control

of what the body was to look like didn't make it.

An uglier car has never been built.  Makes Father Devine's look like the 20 grande.

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2 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

This thread just gets better and better with every post. I find it fascinating that so many people freely discuss cars by their factory number, and share information on body & engine upgrades and swaps. I get the feeling that if one wanted to buy a Duesenberg J today there aren't too many without a fully known past.

 

Bob 

 

Bob here are no secrets with the Model J.  Whenever anyone wistfully dreams of finding an unknown J,  I point out that hasn't happened in 50 years.

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8 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

Bob here are no secrets with the Model J.  Whenever anyone wistfully dreams of finding an unknown J,  I point out that hasn't happened in 50 years.

 

I would surely think this is true.

 

However, since I moved to Virginia in about 1990, I've been trying to solve a mystery, and so far none of the records or experts can help me.  Maybe now someone knows the story and can help.

 

There was a man in Boyce, Virginia, which is about 10 miles from Winchester, who owned a Duesenberg sedan, when I met him in about 1990.  He was very secretive about the car, although the old timers in the area car club had seen and knew about the car.

 

The reason he was so secretive, he had the car stored in a garage at his farm, one day he was coming home from lunch and a flatbed was coming out of his driveway with the car on the back.  He told me he didn't hesitate, he ran his car into the tow truck to stop it.  The tow truck driver was irate, said he'd been hired to move the car.

 

I asked the owner about the car again about five years ago, and he said he'd sold it back to the original family that sold it to him.  I later heard from a friend of his that this was a ruse, he just didn't want anyone to know he still owned it.

 

So, if one of the Duesenberg experts could please tell me which car this is, I'd appreciate it.  I know the man's name but won't post it publicly.

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