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Duesenberg in movie


kuhner
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Was watching an old horror movie on TCM last week, Spider Baby.  
The biggest star in it was Lon Chaney, but he was driving a Duesenberg limo.  
Anyone else catch that, lots of shots of it even on gravel roads.   I have to believe someone on the forum would recognize it.

Here is a link to the trailer shows it a little.

 

Edited by kuhner
Misspelled title (see edit history)
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  • kuhner changed the title to Duesenberg in movie

Found it. Yes, it is the same car.... sort of. The late Fred Weber bought the car and had a reproduction phaeton body put on the chassis. The original and low-mileage Judkins body (having starred in more than a dozen very well-known movies), was passed about for a while, until AACA Forum's own George Albright bought the body, and was able to find enough original Duesenberg chassis pieces, including engine, to put it back together. So, while it's now got a shady history (perhaps to go along with some of the shady movies it was in), it has survived. George deserves a huge applause for this one.

 

https://www.oldcarsweekly.com/features/judkins-duesenberg

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One, that looks like a candidate for worst movie ever made.


And two, it had to be extremely racy for its time given how frequently and thoroughly that lady strips off her clothes in the trailer...

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Lon Chaney Junior. Movie was made in 1967(?). I have never seen it, and likely won't, although I am a big fan of old sci-fi and horror movies.

Lon Chaney Jr was a star in his own right, and I have enjoyed most of the movies of his that I have seen. But if you want to see a really incredible character actor that was able to morph himself into bizarre personages? You really need to watch some of his father's silent movies!

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And another great big thanks to George Albright ! I particularly love closed cars from the short-lived Classic Period. That also goes for the shoulder periods, the Late Pre-Classics, and the Early Post-Classic. In fact, I can honestly say, that I love the elegant closed cars produced in this 10 or 12 year period equally just as much as the open cars. Greatest respect to the talented folk who bring another long neglected old car back to life. And a couple extra gold stripes, and a platinum star for those who bring back another 4-door closed one. All Hail, George Albright, and the other members of the esteemed restoration "fraternity".     -    Carl 

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Thanks guys for all the nice comments. When I got the body the leather top and interior were restored by my friend the late Russell Yordy. The paint was original but unfortunately not good enough to save. I did it in the exact original colors. Car has original body, rear fenders and hood panels. I sourced everything else  mostly from the late Dee Howard. I am extremely proud of saving the car. Thanks to Fran Roxs who restored it,Randy Ema’s superb guidance and Brian Joseph’s mechanical expertise. The car currently resides in the garage of the late author Clive Cussler. Sincerely George Albright gnalbright@gmail.com 

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The car was rented for “Spider Baby” for $100 per day - more than the actors were paid.  Chaney, as the nominal star, reportedly did the film for a flat $2500.  It’s also the car in ‘Some Like It Hot” that pulls into the garage and unloads George Raft and his hoods before they machine gun the opposing gangster faction.

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On 10/23/2020 at 8:10 PM, George Albright said:

mostly from the late Dee Howard

If my memory is correct at one time Dee owned one of the four prototype Duesenberg V-16 aircraft motors developed around 1916-1918.  Dee was an important innovator in the business jet industry and invented and developed the thrust reverser used to slow down jet aircraft during landing.  Early business jets used drag chutes for emergency landings.  Bill Lear was one of his earliest employees and the original mock up of the Lear Jet was produced by Dee Howard. He also had an extensive car collection in San Antonio.  So much for trivia!!

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  • 3 months later...
On 10/23/2020 at 9:10 PM, George Albright said:

Thanks guys for all the nice comments. When I got the body the leather top and interior were restored by my friend the late Russell Yordy. The paint was original but unfortunately not good enough to save. I did it in the exact original colors. Car has original body, rear fenders and hood panels. I sourced everything else  mostly from the late Dee Howard. I am extremely proud of saving the car. Thanks to Fran Roxs who restored it,Randy Ema’s superb guidance and Brian Joseph’s mechanical expertise. The car currently resides in the garage of the late author Clive Cussler. Sincerely George Albright gnalbright@gmail.com 

I have had a bit of experience with the Model "J" in years long gone and I well

remember being diverted by high water in the hills of West Virginia and we were

in J540,another Judkins sedan.We found the last open gas station after making 

it to Marietta,Ohio and finally in West Virginia again at 5AM.This powerful old car

did a great job and I can think of nothing else from that time that could have done

any better.The Show Car called the 20 Grand IMHO is one of the best looking 4 door

sedans ever made and I do like roll up windows and working heaters.Recently got

a call from the current owner of "J"540 and told him of this long ago night and the

drive shaft failing as it was being backed into the garage.The drive line from :J"155

was installed and may still be under this car.

 

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On 10/23/2020 at 9:19 PM, padgett said:

Been looking but unfortunately TCM does not repeat things soon. Maybe should suggest to Svengoolie.

 

ps is apparently included with Amazon Prime.

It's on YouTube but yeah, I'd love to see Svengoolie do it!  😁

Edited by CHuDWah
(Oops, just noticed the post is 3+ months old - oh well, thread has been resurrected. 🤣) (see edit history)
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Dee Howard also owned and restored a one-of Model J phaeton, I think with a Rollston body. He later sold the restored car to Otis Chandler. During his later years Dee invented some sort of steering stabilizing system for 18-wheelers. He told me about it once. I don't know if the system made it into commercial production.  

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James.......Dee’s steering system did make it into production............how successful it was, I do not know.

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