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Cooper Duesenberg at auction


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On ‎8‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 12:00 PM, Steve_Mack_CT said:

Wow, $8 to $10k for a custom body, about 3 times what I thought was typical.  One really paid for all that craftsmanship to be sure!!

 

Craftsmanship has never been cheap. If "CHEEP" is wanted get a carton of baby chickens.

There is no record of James Cagney ever owning a Duesenberg of any  kind.

Chassis price on the "J"started at $8500,went to $9500 and the SJ was more by about

$2500 THEN the cost of coach work could be anything.

Earlier I mentioned seeing J214 when it was a derelict and I found a little brochure given to me

by Mr.Aaron,the last owner I know of. Altogether this car had had 20 owners. The original owner,

Mr.Eberson kept it for about 2 years.

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On ‎8‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 1:35 AM, cahartley said:

 

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

wages.jpg

 

At the 1932 $18.18 it would only take 1000 weeks to buy a new Duesenberg.

I remember a friend telling me that in 1932 he bought $5 worth of groceries from

Forrest Burdettes corner store and had to call someone to come and get him with a car.

I can remember if we had $10,000 in the bank we were doing REALLY well.

In 1950 I was 15 and rode a Brahma Bull in a county fair and won a crisp new $100

bill and gave it to my mother who used it wisely for a long time. I resent very much

the great counterfeiting scheme foisted off on all of us by the government and in

closing I will say thos."The last time an industrial nation tried to print "its way out

of debt it got Adolf Hitler and all of his crazy ideas.

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On ‎8‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 8:15 AM, mercer09 said:

I must have gotten some mis information off the net

 

J581 isnt the Cagney Duesenberg- this is the car

 

which J is this and where is it?

 

 

image.png.b218f7049e8ad605b547ecba1ecb83d5.png

 

According to Ray Wolff's notes J581 was new in 1932 as a Dietrich conv.sedan.

After that it's a hodge podge and a scramble and possibly partially burned.

 

 

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On ‎8‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 9:01 AM, Xander Wildeisen said:

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

 Driving on the wrong side of the road was accommodated by putting the steering wheel

on the right side. I did examine closely  J159 at Auburn years ago,a Barker bodied

limo with American influence. It was original.unrestored but still looked and sounded good.

It was a RHD Duesenberg and I think only about 5 were made.

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On ‎8‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 4:38 PM, 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 

 

I think it was in 1979 when German Chancellor Helmut Kohl told Jimmy Carter he didn't understand

any country that would let its money go to hell the way America has and that Carter should pay very

close attention to what happened in Germany when inflation destroyed the currency in Germany.

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Hi Bob. As hinted in my earlier posting, I prefer the pre-hitler (intentional lower case, cousin Marv was killed at Anzio along with the scores of millions the evil genius cost the world), Weimar Republic Mercedes-Benz cars anyway to the later IFS, swing axle, rockerbox third reichmobles which followed the great SS38/250s. Yes, I believe President "Junior" Carter was quite aware of what Chancellor "Cabbage" was putting down.  I recall he was quite concerned about the national debt at the end of his term. He was quite clear in warning about it, as it was a whopping 870 gigabux. The following administration more than quintuppled it to 4.5 terrabux. And awaaaAAAAAAAYYYeeeeeee we go ! Destabilizing the Middle East was the kind of catastrophic blunder which history tells us brings down empires. How many scores of terrabux before it brings us down will be fascinating for our descendants to witness. ( PLEASE, anyone who reads this, particularly censors whose grasp of history might be even more fractured and spotty than my own - this is NOT political, and I am merely and primarily one of a vanishing species of Main Stream REALITY BASED - yes Virginia, there is such thing as objective reality - conservatives, this is just historically based prognostication we are kicking around  here, so PLEASE don't pull what Bob and I are historically spicing our automotive postings with). And  speaking of history, anyone who hasn't read "The Rise and Fall of the third Reich" by William Shirer should do so. I do believe the Allies hung Walter Funk who was the executor of the "Max Heiliger Account". I also believe I was pretty close to the action when Freddie Schwend was yanked out of Chaclacayo and treated to a free flight. Yeah, those guys played with dirty money all right. So anyway to continue the automotive posting we have digressed from,  can anyone answer my question about Gil Duffy's Duesenberg(s) ? Also, anyone know the whereabouts of "my" 1930 SS38/250 factory bodied, somewhat modified tourer ? Oh how fortunate we in our 70s and 80s are. We are the "Luckiest Generation". Best of all times to have lived. We hit the jackpot without even trying !!!!     Old, somewhat befuddled, and  perhaps in the way,   -  Cadillac Carl 

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3 hours ago, C Carl said:

Hi Bob. As hinted in my earlier posting, I prefer the pre-hitler (intentional lower case, cousin Marv was killed at Anzio along with the scores of millions the evil genius cost the world), Weimar Republic Mercedes-Benz cars anyway to the later IFS, swing axle, rockerbox third reichmobles which followed the great SS38/250s. Yes, I believe President "Junior" Carter was quite aware of what Chancellor "Cabbage" was putting down.  I recall he was quite concerned about the national debt at the end of his term. He was quite clear in warning about it, as it was a whopping 870 gigabux. The following administration more than quintuppled it to 4.5 terrabux. And awaaaAAAAAAAYYYeeeeeee we go ! Destabilizing the Middle East was the kind of catastrophic blunder which history tells us brings down empires. How many scores of terrabux before it brings us down will be fascinating for our descendants to witness. ( PLEASE, anyone who reads this, particularly censors whose grasp of history might be even more fractured and spotty than my own - this is NOT political, and I am merely and primarily one of a vanishing species of Main Stream REALITY BASED - yes Virginia, there is such thing as objective reality - conservatives, this is just historically based prognostication we are kicking around  here, so PLEASE don't pull what Bob and I are historically spicing our automotive postings with). And  speaking of history, anyone who hasn't read "The Rise and Fall of the third Reich" by William Shirer should do so. I do believe the Allies hung Walter Funk who was the executor of the "Max Heiliger Account". I also believe I was pretty close to the action when Freddie Schwend was yanked out of Chaclacayo and treated to a free flight. Yeah, those guys played with dirty money all right. So anyway to continue the automotive posting we have digressed from,  can anyone answer my question about Gil Duffy's Duesenberg(s) ? Also, anyone know the whereabouts of "my" 1930 SS38/250 factory bodied, somewhat modified tourer ? Oh how fortunate we in our 70s and 80s are. We are the "Luckiest Generation". Best of all times to have lived. We hit the jackpot without even trying !!!!     Old, somewhat befuddled, and  perhaps in the way,   -  Cadillac Carl 

\

Always a pleasure to read about Duesenbergs.

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On 8/12/2018 at 7:21 PM, mike brady said:

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.

I've seen J214 at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum, the star of their 250-car collection. Chris Summers said that before it was restored it looked like a truck had driven over it, twice. It's a little on the rococo side, but was built for someone who designed opulent theaters.

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7 hours ago, jeff_a said:

I've seen J214 at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum, the star of their 250-car collection. Chris Summers said that before it was restored it looked like a truck had driven over it, twice. It's a little on the rococo side, but was built for someone who designed opulent theaters.

 Doesn't Mr.Aaron still have a Duesenberg with a repro body and the engine from Jim Hoe's old hot rod,(J183)?

That Wolfington Tourer was a fine representation of one man's idea as to what he wanted in a handcrafted automobile.

When I saw it in 1953 I thought it should have been a parts car and because we got it started there was a rebuildable engine.

I am glad it wasn't pieced away like so many others.

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On ‎8‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 9:24 PM, 1937hd45 said:

If the Jim Hoe "Sports Car" was bought today would it be restored or preserved as a race car? Bob 

 

Possibly it MIGHT be saved as a hot rod based on the "J" engine. There are at least

two of these,one called Geronimo and another that I recently saw in a video with Jay Leno

as a passenger.I think at one time J113 was made into some kind of a hot rod by a man

with the name of Hoyle but I can't be positive about this one.Does anyone know how much

a complete and running "J" engine is selling for today? I have heard of $100,000 rebuilds

which seems preposterous. That's $12,000+per cylinder or someone proving Barnum was right.

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Cadillac Carl,

I owned a 1937 Series 85 V12 sedan and drove it for a couple of years. Back then 1956 and 57 I could

go to the Cadillac dealer and get parts for it.I think I did buy a water pump and a radiator hose with a

thermostat built into it.Also had a beautiful 1956 sedan,bought it in 1968 for $325 from the Dodge

dealer and used it for about a year.It was not as comfortable  as the 1955 Packard Patrician I bought

in 1959 but had a transmission that worked.That Ultramatic sullied Packard's reputation for quality

in a big way. Ford's Lincoln cars at one time used GM Hydramatics with no loss of prestige and did

so until they developed their own self shifters.

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YES! Just like 2016 our oldest daughter out in LA got tickets, room 15 minutes away as a Fathers Day/Christmas gift. She had a great time in '16, hope to catch the Tour, lunch in Carmel, pit tour at Laguna Seka, some auctions, few nice dinners and the Sunday show. It is the next best thing to the Hershey swap meet IMO. Bob 

20160818_091349_003.jpg

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Two coffees and two breakfast sandwiches cost me $18.00 out there in 2016. Looked around for a table, and spotted a stand at bar type with an opening. I asked one fellow if we could join him. After introductions we found out we lived in opposite towns, the other guy lived across the CT/NY line in another adjacent town. Three total strangers from three towns that bordered each other 3,000 miles away, small world. Bob 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
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The food prices seem absurd but then it's a short term thing and if I were coming to this event I wouldn't

grumble too much.I went to Hershey in the Fall of 1989 and it was a captive market as far as food vendors were

concerned. I think they were all one outfit scattered over the ground and  identical prices says I'm right.

Here in Huntington WV we have a family owned eatery close by and they have what many think are expensive

sandwiches but the quality is always there and these prices keep it from becoming a "hangout" for low life

types that are plaguing parking lots now.We were once threatened by two of these punks and I asked them if they had

a pre-need burial plan and I told them I was armed.I always am with either a 45 Colt or a 38 Super and have no

patience with those who won't learn to work or are on drugs.

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11 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

I never knew I had a drinking problem until I read this.:o

 

I had an uncle years ago who said he had NO drinking problems because he drank,got drunk,

fell down,passed out.............NO problem. The real story was he was a brilliant man who had a

sense of humor that could make a dog laugh and could build furniture,paint a house or fix

a car. In 1953 when I was immersed in the Duesenbergs and servicing English cars, I pulled

up in front of our house in J528 and the uncle,Chandler Taylor was on the porch and he came

off the porch and saw that little gold eagle on the radiator shell and asked me where it came

from. It was then owned by Harry Schulzinger of Cincinnati,Ohio.

I told him we were going to rebuild the engine and he told me of a race he got into with what

could have been an SJ coming out of Chicago in 1938. He was on an Indian motorcycle and

the car passed him and he saw the pipes coming out of the hood and the car started winding up

and Chandler was running behind it and at 100 MPH he decided to pass it and pulled out to

do so. The driver of the car then hit high gear and the run was over.I remember telling him that

the 100MPH in second indicated to me it WAS a supercharged Duesenberg.

The alcoholism killed him at age 66 in 1978.

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Xander,

My alcohol consumption is about 2 beers per year at the Spring and Fall

events of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Assn. at Friendship,Ind.

The uncle I mentioned earlier stayed drunk so he wouldn't have to get drunk.

I am addicted to life and life alone.Never needed a crutch or an accelerator

to get thru the day.Now 82 an NO medications which makes me a pariah

with the local medical community.I told my doc's receptionist if she knew

of a cure for old age that didn't involve my 45 or cyanide I'd be interested.

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4 hours ago, Bob Roller said:

The food prices seem absurd but then it's a short term thing

 

"They" never seem to get that do they.

 

Reminds me of a time when I flew to Ontario, Ca. and back from New York, spent 5 days in a hotel, and rented a car to ride around in. I told an older friend that I had called home from the plane while we we over the Rockies when I knew the kids were at the supper table. He asked how much the call cost, about six bucks. I think he is still stuttering over that. What I spent for the trip didn't matter. It was that outrageous phone call.

 

I get accused of getting too much entertainment out of people. Well...... maybe that is not an exact quote.

Bernie

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Bernie,

It was YOUR $6 so whose business is it and I am sure your family was glad to get the call..

I find a lot of people entertaining by their worrying over a small amount of money.

I will never hold onto something that I can never keep or worry about what I can never

have. I have a number of interests including pre WW2 cars, seaplanes of all kinds,

BIG steam locomotives, Fine single shot rifles both muzzle loading and breech loading.

I have a small machine shop and do small jobs when I want to and am making up an

English style Flintlock rifle now to use in competition.Proves I am 1/2 a bubble from level

but that's just me and I enjoy my world.

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 Was looking at the SSJ this morning.  I was looking at it three months ago at the revs institute it looked rather long in the tooth.  It’s been really cleaned up and looks very nice.  It’s got a big following and expect the hammer price will indicate that.  

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Pluto,

 

I have known of Gil Duffy's dual cowl since I was about 15 years old, now 75. Gil was a good friend of my fathers, hence I was around in the early years of car collecting. He actually had 2. The dual cowl and the other a rebodied convertible sedan made by a body shop in Seattle when it was "modernized"

 

I have ridden in the dual cowl car a number of times and around 1965 when I was 18 Gil let me drive the car. It was an interesting and fun ride, damn the hood was long!. I think Nethercut "freshened up the dual cowl in trade for the convertible sedan. Gil was not at his best at the time and they convinced him to let them have the supercharger, which was very very sad.

 

This car was one of Waynes' big finds. The whole show was hokey, the story went that he was going to find this long hidden car that no one knew about, wrong!! Most older locals classic car guys all  knew exactly where it was on 3 tree point on Puget Sound where Gil lived for over 50 years. As he was being filmed on his way to south Seattle and letting out the long hidden secret, he actually was going the wrong direction heading north on the Seattle waterfront. The rest of the story was it had not been seen for many many years, which was also more b/s as when Wayne "found it" it had recently been returned from Nethercut's. If you watch the program he lead Gils daughter to believe the car would fetch just at  mil.  Wayne apparently did not notice that the supercharger was missing until the real experts looked under the hood at Pebble, and it brought far less than his estimate I think around $650,000. The daughter was more than pissed if you watch the show. At least the big secret and story sold tickets and in Hollywood that's what counts. These are memories of a guy that's been around the block many times and I might have a fact or 2 off a bit but that's the jist of the story.

 

just sayin'

 

brasscarguy

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19 minutes ago, brasscarguy said:

Pluto,

 

I have known of Gil Duffy's dual cowl since I was about 15 years old, now 75. Gil was a good friend of my fathers, hence I was around in the early years of car collecting. He actually had 2. The dual cowl and the other a rebodied convertible sedan made by a body shop in Seattle when it was "modernized"

 

I have ridden in the dual cowl car a number of times and around 1965 when I was 18 Gil let me drive the car. It was an interesting and fun ride, damn the hood was long!. I think Nethercut "freshened up the dual cowl in trade for the convertible sedan. Gil was not at his best at the time and they convinced him to let them have the supercharger, which was very very sad.

 

This car was one of Waynes' big finds. The whole show was hokey, the story went that he was going to find this long hidden car that no one knew about, wrong!! Most older locals classic car guys all  knew exactly where it was on 3 tree point on Puget Sound where Gil lived for over 50 years. As he was being filmed on his way to south Seattle and letting out the long hidden secret, he actually was going the wrong direction heading north on the Seattle waterfront. The rest of the story was it had not been seen for many many years, which was also more b/s as when Wayne "found it" it had recently been returned from Nethercut's. If you watch the program he lead Gils daughter to believe the car would fetch just at  mil.  Wayne apparently did not notice that the supercharger was missing until the real experts looked under the hood at Pebble, and it brought far less than his estimate I think around $650,000. The daughter was more than pissed if you watch the show. At least the big secret and story sold tickets and in Hollywood that's what counts. These are memories of a guy that's been around the block many times and I might have a fact or 2 off a bit but that's the jist of the story.

 

just sayin'

 

brasscarguy

 

Gil Duffy owned J-425 which was the Murphy Convertible Berline that was sold for 650k (not running).  J-425 car was not rebodied and is generally considered one of the original SJ's.

 

Are you talking about this one instead?

 

image.jpeg.52ff2bdcd80932bace50ccb224b937da.jpeg

 

 

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10 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

Gil Duffy owned J-425 which was the Murphy Convertible Berline that was sold for 650k (not running).  J-425 car was not rebodied and is generally considered one of the original SJ's.

 

Are you talking about this one instead?

 

image.jpeg.52ff2bdcd80932bace50ccb224b937da.jpeg

 

 

 

The Wolff notes on J425 indicate a scrambled and abused car with all kinds of things

done to it such as 16" wheels welded to it,I am assuming welded to the brake drums.

Crankshaft cracked and replaced. Notes indicate that Mr.Nethercutt had the blower and

traded it for restoration work on another car.Car when new had spares at the rear probably

because the owner,a South American had it sent to Paris,France from New York Factory Branch.

I wonder how a crankshaft can crack.Maybe stresses not relieved during manufacture???

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On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 8:29 AM, edinmass said:

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

 

Edinmass,

5 Murphy Clear visions made,one running and scrapped in a burst if misguided patriotism

during WW2 according to Fred Roe.4 still extant. I also like the sedans and my favorite was

J540 when Melvin Clemens owned it. We also stored another one that had SJ551 under the

hood when new but I have no idea what it had when I drove it. I remember it handled really well

on a curvy road.

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This thread will be going away soon as I’m guessing the Auction is approaching quickly. Although I am not (unfortunately) a Duesenberg owner I have always appreciated them and viewed them when I could. I remember back in the early 60’s while a student at ISU in Ames I would see adds occasionally for a Duesenberg for sale either in the paper or the small early editions of Hemming’s for $2500/$3500. Out of my league then just as they are today! (I was buying Model A roadsters and early V8 fords for $50/$100!).

 

So here is my question. In the early 80’s I moved to South Bend, IN. In the late 80’s Kruse Auctions sold a large collection of cars owned by Homer Fitterling. I remember that prior to the sale I had visited the ACD Museum and a major portion of the Duesenberg display was made up of cars owned buy Homer. I did not attend the Auction (did preview the cars to be sold at his farm prior to the sale) but I do not believe that any of the Duesenbergs were to be auctioned. The story that I heard back then was that most of the cars located in the ACD Museum had been sold to someone in Georgia. The next time I visited the Museum the Duesenberg exhibit was smaller.

 

Simce this thread has generated so much input by very knowledgeable Duesenberg people, could someone shed some light on how this collection was amassed by Homer in the first place and what happened to all the cars?

 

Just an old car guy looking for a little history! Thank you for the input on this thread! Really appreciated!

 

Thanks,

 

Gary

 

 

 

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I have a recollection, although I'm unclear on the dates and years.  I've been doing this for over 50 years and, while I remember some details, some other things are cloudy.

 

A collection came up for sale in Georgia, and there were a LOT of Duesenbergs in the listing, relatively speaking.  I don't remember exactly, but maybe 10 or 12, maybe more.  Also, the owner of the collection wasn't a big name in cars at the time, if that makes sense.

 

I was flush and buying cars, this would have been mid to late 1980's I believe.  My banker was a car guy too, and when I told him about the auction, he asked what it would take to buy a car.  I told him that, with the number of Duesenbergs there, surely there'd be one or two that would go "cheap", say 150K or so.  He said wait a minute, asked me to step outside his office, made a call...when I came back, he said OK, you're approved for $250K to go try to buy one.  Whew, heady stuff, when I was buying high point open Full Classics for $35K...

 

So, I got on the horn (to you young'uns, that means phone in old people talk) and started talking to some people I knew.  I told them I planned to go to the auction and try to buy a Big D.  Through that grapevine, I found out that everyone thought I'd be wasting my time.  The big guys, Clyne and so forth, were going to be there, and NO WAY were they going to let Duesy's go "cheap".....and after more research, I didn't go to auction.

 

Turns out my network told me the truth.  I don't know this for fact, but what I was told and seemed to be true, the big boys were so alarmed that the sale of so many Big D cars at reduced prices would deflate the market, that two or three main guys ended up buying all of them.

 

I'm sure that the true trackers of D cars might have comments about what I'm saying, but I'm just passing on what I went through back then.

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1 hour ago, g-g-g0 said:

This thread will be going away soon as I’m guessing the Auction is approaching quickly. Although I am not (unfortunately) a Duesenberg owner I have always appreciated them and viewed them when I could. I remember back in the early 60’s while a student at ISU in Ames I would see adds occasionally for a Duesenberg for sale either in the paper or the small early editions of Hemming’s for $2500/$3500. Out of my league then just as they are today! (I was buying Model A roadsters and early V8 fords for $50/$100!).

 

So here is my question. In the early 80’s I moved to South Bend, IN. In the late 80’s Kruse Auctions sold a large collection of cars owned by Homer Fitterling. I remember that prior to the sale I had visited the ACD Museum and a major portion of the Duesenberg display was made up of cars owned buy Homer. I did not attend the Auction (did preview the cars to be sold at his farm prior to the sale) but I do not believe that any of the Duesenbergs were to be auctioned. The story that I heard back then was that most of the cars located in the ACD Museum had been sold to someone in Georgia. The next time I visited the Museum the Duesenberg exhibit was smaller.

 

Simce this thread has generated so much input by very knowledgeable Duesenberg people, could someone shed some light on how this collection was amassed by Homer in the first place and what happened to all the cars?

 

Just an old car guy looking for a little history! Thank you for the input on this thread! Really appreciated!

 

Thanks,

 

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

Gary,

I met Homer Fitterling only one time but was told he had 20+ Duesenbergs. A man in Georgia did get a number of Duesenbergs in one sale

and I think his name was either Weber or Weaver. I think he passed away and after that I have no idea what became of these cars.

I have no real idea as to how Mr.Fitterling got these cars whether or not is was an enmass purchase or one or two at a time.

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I THINK the first million dollar Duesenberg I heard of was the one bought by Mr.Monahan,owner of a pizza business

that sold franchises,Domino's maybe. I also think the man that sold it was named Dick Gold from Minnesota. I met

him at Auburn years ago and then he was driving J561,the "Six Fender Rollston"sedan. He had another one as well,a Murphy

convertible four door with a wide body and Zeiss headlights that were hooked to the steering rods and turned with the

steering wheel. I don't know the "J" number on it. I think the Domino's car was J107,a phaeton.....maybe.

Back in my time with these cars we paid no attention to "J"numbers.That came about by the efforts of Ray Wolff in

Wisconsin and I have them,a gift from a Canadian when he found out he was terminally ill with a vicious cancer.

He was restoring  one "J"that originally had engine J452 in it and I think he was using J105 and had bought the bell housing

from j452 from a man in Maine.He had another "J" that was a ruined car because someone had cut the roof off to make it

into an open car and the body fell apart. I do not know the "J"number of it.His widow sold both cars after he passed away and

I have no idea as to who got them.If anyone has any more information on these cars feel free to make any corrections needed.

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On ‎8‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 3:33 PM, Bob Roller said:

 

Edinmass,

5 Murphy Clear visions made,one running and scrapped in a burst if misguided patriotism

during WW2 according to Fred Roe.4 still extant. I also like the sedans and my favorite was

J540 when Melvin Clemens owned it. We also stored another one that had SJ551 under the

hood when new but I have no idea what it had when I drove it. I remember it handled really well

on a curvy road.

 

Edinmass,

At 4500 RPM the driver had better be looking straight ahead if the car has a decent road gear ratio.

I know of one "J",a sedan that will 35MPH per 1000RPM due to a real good road ratio and the 19"

wheels and tires. 2000RPM and 70 is there.

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17 hours ago, Bob Roller said:

I THINK the first million dollar Duesenberg I heard of was the one bought by Mr.Monahan,owner of a pizza business

that sold franchises,Domino's maybe. I also think the man that sold it was named Dick Gold from Minnesota. I met

him at Auburn years ago and then he was driving J561,the "Six Fender Rollston"sedan. He had another one as well,a Murphy

convertible four door with a wide body and Zeiss headlights that were hooked to the steering rods and turned with the

steering wheel. I don't know the "J" number on it. I think the Domino's car was J107,a phaeton.....maybe.

Back in my time with these cars we paid no attention to "J"numbers.That came about by the efforts of Ray Wolff in

Wisconsin and I have them,a gift from a Canadian when he found out he was terminally ill with a vicious cancer.

He was restoring  one "J"that originally had engine J452 in it and I think he was using J105 and had bought the bell housing

from j452 from a man in Maine.He had another "J" that was a ruined car because someone had cut the roof off to make it

into an open car and the body fell apart. I do not know the "J"number of it.His widow sold both cars after he passed away and

I have no idea as to who got them.If anyone has any more information on these cars feel free to make any corrections needed.

 

You are correct that Dick Gold owned all three of those cars.

The "million dollar" phaeton (J107) also had the twin-carbureted supercharger. William Lyon now owns the car.

The six-fender sedan is owned by Chip Cofer.

 

I'm not sure where the 1929 Murphy convertible sedan ended up, but it has since been restored... or, partially restored.

Unfortunately, they retained the skirted fenders and shuttered grille. It was J-259. The period close-up photo apparently was taken in 1931, when it had already been upgraded with the shuttered grille. It's very possible the headlights were added at the same time.

 

Duesy.jpg

29JMurphyConvertibleSedan13steer-1.jpg

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 10.31.37 AM.png

J-259.jpg

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West Peterson,

Many thanks for the verification of my musings and speculations.When I saw J107 it

was at Auburn in 1986,our first trip there.It was a different paint scheme then and I

like the one in this picture much better.Wasn't this car when new involved with the Heinz family?

Heinz as in 57 varieties? I wish we had used the "J" number idea back in the day when I was

actually involved with these cars on a daily basis. The Wolff notes are the best idea yet and

I can't imagine the work Mr.Wolff had to do to compile them.

I heard from Chris Summers that J542 is now resupercharged and I thought that the Cofer's

had j561 but I didn't really inquire. J542 wouldn't restart at a gas station across from Eckhart

Park in Auburn about 20 years ago and I got in it and turned the key and heard NO fuel pumps

clicking.The hot side of the battery connection hadn't been properly tightened and after making sure the

external exhaust pipes were cooled of I snugged it down and put a 12 volt hot shot on it from my

car,got in,turned the key and all kinds of fuel pump reaction accured. Pulled out the starter engagement

and it fired up instantly.My wife and I rode in the parade in that car and we have some pictures from

the late Ted McPhail of Canada here some place taken as we were coming around a  corner.

Mr.McPhail was restoring J452 but passed away from Multiple Myaloma before he could finish it.

I made a number of small  parts for him,mostly acorn style nuts and bolts and shackle bolts and bronze

bushings.

Thanks again for the back up on the 3 cars.

 

 

 

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