Fred and August Duesenberg designed a twin-cylinder car in 1906 in Des Moines, Iowa. The two brothers named the creation, the Mason, after its backer, a local attorney. The car proved to be rather fast and reliable, winning many races and hillclimbs. After a disastrous change of ownership in 1913, the Duesenbergs left to form their own company in St. Paul, Minnesota.
In 1916, the Duesenberg Motors Corporation moved into a new factory in Elizabeth, New Jersey. They had built a solid reputation for creating highly successful board track racers which had enabled them to begin series production. Plans changed, and instead of entering production, they built aero engines in support of the war effort.
Production of the Duesenberg automobiles resumed in 1922. By this time, the brothers had given the company a new name, the Duesenberg Automobile and Motors Corporation, of Indianapolis. The Model A had been shown in prototype form in 1920 and powered by a horizontal-valve, straight-eight engine and hydraulic brakes. When it emerged a few years later in production guise, it had an overhead-camshaft engine.
The Model A did well in racing, but in the market place it fared less well. By 1927, less than 700 examples had been constructed. In 1926, Errett Lobban Cord purchased the Duesenberg Company. A short time later, the most powerful American car made appeared, the Duesenberg Model J. It was powered by a twin-overhead-camshaft, 32-valve, straight-eight engine capable of producing 265 horsepower.
The Duesenberg Mode J was introduced in December 1928 to universal applause. It was proclaimed 'the world's finest motor car.' The Duesenberg chassis sold for $8,500, and depending on the coachwork selected, as in this example, a LeBaron Dual Cowl Phaeton, could cost up to $25,000, a stupendous sum for this period.
There were a total of only 470 chassis and 480 engines built between 1929 and 1936.
Body: by Lebaron
Engine: 420 Cu. In. DOHC In-line 8
Horsepower: 265 @ 4200 RPM
Transmission: 3-Speed Manual
Documented: ACD # D-147 Category One Certified
Chassis # 2149 Engine # J-126
Weight: Over 5000 Pounds
Price in 1929: $17,950.00 Chassis alone was $8,500.00
Awards: 1929 New York Salon Car,
CCCA First Place Senior,
AACA National First Place,
2013 Pebble Beach Most Elegant Open Car
and 3rd In Class Award
2014 Amelia Island Councours Award Winner
2014 San Marino Concours 1st in Class - Best in Show
Ownership: First Owner, S.D. Locke, Bridgeport, CT,
with continuous documented ownership
of notable owners, the last owner being
John O’Quinn, Houston