1950panhead

1932 Duesenberg J490X, Coachwork in the Style of Derham

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This car recently sold for $522k

 

   The vehicles from the Samuel Vaughan have not been driven in many years
    Please note that coolant is leaking into the engine and the cylinder head might need to be replaced
    Coachwork in the style of a Derham Tourster by Ted Billings
    420 CI Straight 8 engine
    3-speed manual transmission
    Red exterior
    Tan convertible top
    Tan leather interior
    Stewart Warner tachometer
    Jaeger in-dash clock
    Altimeter
    150 MPH speedometer
    In-dash brake adjustment lever with dry, rain, snow and ice settings
    Duesenberg Straight 8 Indianapolis firewall badge
    Polished side engine pipes
    Dual horns
    Duesenberg Model J decorative hood ornament
    Chrome wire wheels
    Wide Whitewall tires

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If the head is leaking and it can't be fixed, its going to be a 700K car very quickly. Coachwork was well done. Ted built nice stuff, and copied an original car side by side........fun ride if it gets sorted correctly. 

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1 hour ago, Brass is Best said:

Coachwork in the style of = rebody.

So what style body would have been original to this chassis?

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The engine number, if correct, implies a factory replacement engine, and NEVER assume the chassis under ANY Duesenberg is in fact a factory unit, they made frames, axles, and everything else, so if you have an engine, you have a “car” by some definition. The gentleman who built these series of bodies used factory correct chassis with numbers matching components as well as all new chassis, so one must be a detective to determine what any particular car is.......or is not. Part of the fun of Model J Duesenbergs!

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Hmmmm?

So these are recreations rather than original cars Ed? If this is the case is there a negative impact on price desirability or does it simply come down to the fact that Duesenberg's are so rare buyers just don't care if the car is orig. or a recreation?

I don't really get the whole re-body thing.

Greg

 

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Even at $522,000, that red Duesenberg has about a $1 million discount on it. Most of that is because of the rebody, correct as it is (meaning it is a body made long after production ended but which accurately replicates an original body). I wouldn't characterize this car as a re-creation, simply because it uses mostly real Duesenberg parts; there are no fake Duesenberg engines, transmissions, or rear ends, for example. But it could be a "bitsa" (bits of this, bits of that) where it was assembled from several different cars, or a car that uses some reproduction parts like frame rails, bell housing, and bodywork.

 

This is similar to a body swap where, say, a frumpy limousine body is ditched in favor of a sporty roadster body, either newly created or removed from a different but similar car. I have a client who bought a Duesenberg with the wrong body on it. He found another Duesenberg wearing the first car's original body so he bought that and intends to reunite the original body and chassis and then have a second "bitsa" car instead of two bitsa cars. I believe he also found a Duesenberg that needed the engine out of that second car, so he'll ultimately have two correct Duesenbergs and one bitsa. Apparently there was a great deal of Duesenberg engine/chassis/body swapping going on in the '50s and '60s. Why, I don't know, other than guys were trying to get good base stock for their restorations and "matching numbers" wasn't yet a thing so they just grabbed running engines from frumpy cars to use in their sporty cars rather than face an expensive rebuild.


On the other hand, something like a Duesenberg II can safely be considered a re-creation, as it was a wholly new creation using no original parts but fairly accurately replicates the original look (although it's all modern running gear underneath).

 

Perhaps think of this particular red Duesenberg more as a non-numbers-matching Corvette with a warranty replacement engine, but which has also been painted the wrong color and filled with options, but not options that came with that car. It obviously has an effect on values to serious collectors but doesn't change what the car essentially is.

 

Ultimately, a Duesenberg like this is one I'd be happy to own (well, maybe one that doesn't need $150,000 worth of engine work, but if you can afford the $500,000 buy-in, that's probably something you can swing as well). It IS a Duesenberg just like a my blue 1966 Corvette is still a Corvette, just not one with a pedigree. That separates the good from the great, both in Corvettes and Duesenbergs.

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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So what style body would have been original to this chassis?

 

any style your pocket would have chosen. Probably 2/3s of all Duesenbergs have had body swaps or replacements done. If you were wealthy, after 5 years you might have had  another body installed.

all Duesenberg sold were the chassis. So nobody can tell you your body is "wrong" or the color isnt original.

It is whatever you want it to be. Yes, the body may be new, but so are the bodies on many many brass cars that didnt hold up. Does that make them trash?

no........... but yes, it can affect value or perceived value.

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The Duesenberg market is much more complicated than most people can imagine.........and EVERY component makes a huge difference. Recently a restored Murphy roadster sold for 1.5, it was all factory parts, all correct Murphy body, but it was a scramble of five or six different cars.......a unmolested identical car sold for 3.5 so it’s more than just a few little items, or opinions. Within the small circle of a Duesenberg collectors, more than half the cars aren’t considered desirable or collectible..........the pinnacle of the market is strange and interesting.........example, closed cars very often sell for more money than open cars.

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55 minutes ago, mercer09 said:

So what style body would have been original to this chassis?

 

In one of Jay Leno's videos he mentions that a lot of them were originally sedans or limos that were chopped down

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Does anyone recall the sale price for the Pascucci Tourster?  Older restoration, color maybe not the best, but deep history and I believe the "buck" for the Billings cars.  Seems like it sold for not too much more than this one, 5 or 6 years back.

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24 minutes ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

Does anyone recall the sale price for the Pascucci Tourster?  Older restoration, color maybe not the best, but deep history and I believe the "buck" for the Billings cars.  Seems like it sold for not too much more than this one, 5 or 6 years back.


I think it was hammer around 1,175,000.  You are correct Steve (and Ed), the Billings bodies were copied from this car.

 

there were around 10 cars built but not all are created equal.  The best were a body swap on a good car and the worst only had a motor that came from Duesenberg originally.

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1932 Duesenberg J-490 is heading to auction in March at Amelia Island.

1932 Duesenberg J-490X recently sold at auction for $522k

This is one pair of four known pairs of cars with very close serial numbers.

Some messages on the ACD board seem to indicative the "X" engine were replacement or rebuilt with the original engine surviving.

Seems pretty strange now, if you knew the history of both engines perhaps it would be more clear what happened.

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Thanks for the info guys. Some of this Duesenberg mystique is just beyond me. I would have expected an all original sedan would be worth preserving and worth more $$$ than a re-bodied open car, even though more people would probably prefer to own an open car today.

Matt, your Corvette analogy makes perfect sense. 

I think Ed got it right; you really need to be a detective when searching this particular marque.

Greg 

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The tourster replica bodies were done 40 years ago.  Nobody would do that to a nice car now.  However, if you read my previous post carefully, you will note I said a few of them were body swaps and some were conjured for almost nothing.   Visions of a nice sedan being chopped up did not really happen, or maybe accounted for a couple of the 10.  One car was built entirely from an engine rescued from a boat.

 

Anybody buying any expensive car, Duesenberg or any other that doesn’t know what they are doing is a fool.

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some of those "sedans" were chopped down into pickups and used on pig farms...........

 

so the question is, would you prefer a pig farm truck or the phaeton above? doubt the pu would be worth more then the 522k hammer.

 

at 522k, dont see much downside, so not sure what all the fuss is about it being original.

 

Many Mercers became raceabouts in the 30s and 40s. Guess they arent worth a dime today.........................lol!

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8 hours ago, alsancle said:


I think it was hammer around 1,175,000.  You are correct Steve (and Ed), the Billings bodies were copied from this car.

 

Thanks AJ.  On Billings cars, some old guy gave me the history a long time ago.  I thought the price on the Pascucci car was pretty low.  Old restoration but it was not ratty at least last time I saw it.  That said, it was shown locally in not running condition at that time.  It was pushed into place and back into its trailer.   It later got put into running shape on Chasing Classic cars, he did a few more shows prior to auction.  Undertaking a resto on it would be $$$, I wonder what new owner did with it.

 

I would think their is a big value difference between a rebodied complete car otherwise and a bitsa as we like to say in the Model A world! 🙂

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

Thanks AJ.  On Billings cars, some old guy gave me the history a long time ago.  I thought the price on the Pascucci car was pretty low.  Old restoration but it was not ratty at least last time I saw it.  That said, it was shown locally in not running condition at that time.  It was pushed into place and back into its trailer.   It later got put into running shape on Chasing Classic cars, he did a few more shows prior to auction.  Undertaking a resto on it would be $$$, I wonder what new owner did with it.

 

I would think their is a big value difference between a rebodied complete car otherwise and a bitsa as we like to say in the Model A world! 🙂

 

Old is a relative term Steve.  I thought it was a smoking deal,  but then then the green one sold a few years ago in similar condition for about the same money at Monterrey

 

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14 hours ago, GregLaR said:

Hmmmm?

So these are recreations rather than original cars...? 

I don't really get the whole re-body thing.

 

I agree, Greg.  Collectors tend to be forgiving when a Classic car

is rebodied by the restorer, creating something that the vehicle

was NOT when first produced.  To me, it's much the same as

sawing the roof off a Mustang GT coupe and making a Mustang GT

convertible with correct Mustang parts.

 

The fact that Duesenberg bodies were produced by coachwork

companies doesn't change the fact that history is being distorted.

Such a restoration customer probably wanted a sportier body

and figured that he would get more money in the end.  Today,

wouldn't we rather see the wide range of bodies--dignified sedans,

stylish coupes, opulent town cars--that originally came with

those Duesenbergs?

 

 

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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Re two Tourster sales, That would seem to set market lower than some more common  ody styles, thinking roadsters here.  This is  pretty complex market for sure. 

 

Not sure about a random rebody but a Roxas or Billings car seems respected.  I would love the subject car but would be much more concerned about the head than the rebody.

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

I agree, Greg.  Collectors tend to be forgiving when a Classic car

is rebodied by the restorer, creating something that the vehicle

was NOT when first produced.  To me, it's much the same as

sawing the roof off a Mustang GT coupe and making a Mustang GT

convertible with correct Mustang parts.

 

The fact that Duesenberg bodies were produced by coachwork

companies doesn't change the fact that history is being distorted.

Such a restoration customer probably wanted a sportier body

and figured that he would get more money in the end.  Today,

wouldn't we rather see the wide range of bodies--dignified sedans,

stylish coupes, opulent town cars--that originally came with

those Duesenbergs?

 

Collectors are really not that forgiving for Duesenbergs.   There is still a 50% discount,  just not the usual 60 to 75% that you see across the board for a dead nuts rebody.   I think that is because a Model J is all about the engine.   You get the king of the prewar hill with a Model J.

 

1.   Both real toursters brought around 1.2 million in older restoration shape.

2.   The car we are talking about brought under 1/2 that in older restoration shape.

3.   The Gooding tourster (also a Billings body)  was bid to 550,  and has been for sale for years.

 

Btw,   I think the 50% number is for a "good" Billing's tourster,   the real bitsa cars have sold for 350k or less.

 

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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