Quantcast

Was the hand-built Duesenberg the finest American luxury car ever made?

tncdel 2012/10/29 03:11:41
You!
Add Photos & Videos
Pictures don't do Duesenbergs justice. You have to see them in real-life to appreciate their MASSIVE beauty. See, for example, an actual photo of Hollywood's Gary Cooper, who stood 6' 4" tall, noting how he looks almost like a little boy, by size, compared to the size of his Duesenberg J:


jjjen

Reportedly Clark Gable instantly became jealous of Cooper's car, so he had this one specially made for himself:

jdsd


The straight eight model J motor was based on the company's successful racing engines of the 1920s and though designed by Duesenberg they were manufactured by Lycoming,[15] another company owned by Cord. In unsupercharged form, it produced an impressive (for the period) 265 horsepower (198 kW)[8] from a dual overhead camshaft and four valves per cylinder.[16] It was capable of a top speed of 119 mph (192 km/h), and 94 mph (151 km/h) in 2nd gear. Other cars featured a bigger engine but none of them surpassed its power. It was also both the fastest and most expensive American automobile in the market.

As it was custom among the luxury car brands, only the chassis and engine were displayed, since the interior and body of the car would be custom-made by an experienced coachbuilder to the owner's specifications. The chassis on most model J's were the same, as was the styling of such elements as fenders, headlamps, radiator, hood and instrument panel.[17]

The bodyworks for the Duesenbergs came from both the US and Europe, and the finished cars were some of the largest, grandest, most beautiful, and most elegant cars ever created. About half the model Js built by Duesenberg had coachworks devised by the company's chief body designer, Gordon Buehrig,[17] the rest were designed and made by independent coachbuilders from the US such as Derham, Holbrook, Le Baron, Murphy, Rollston (later renamed Rollson), Walker, Weymann, and Willoughby, to name a few; and from Europe: Fernandez et Darrin, Franay, Gurney Nutting, Saoutchik, etc.[14] However, other coachworks were made by Duesenberg branches in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Florida and Denver, as well as by smaller dealers. For the in-house bodies Duesenberg used the name of La Grande.

The chassis cost $8,500 ($9,500 after 1932); the completed base model cost between $13,000 and $19,000 (two of the American-bodied J's reached $25,000[12]), at a time when the average U.S. physician earned less than $3,000 a year. Figures are not available as to the prices charged by deluxe coachbuilders in Europe, but it is reasonable to assume that the final selling price of the products mounted on the costly imported chassis were considerably higher than their all-American-built counterparts.[12]

The J was available in two versions of chassis with a different wheelbase; a long one (153.54 in (3.90 m))[8] and a short one (about 141.73 in (3.60 m)). There were also other special sizes; like the only two SSJs with a wheelbase shortened to 125 in (3.18 m) and a couple of cars with the wheelbase extended to 4 m (160 in) and over.

The dash included lights that reminded the driver the oil needed changing and the battery should be inspected.[18]



Add a comment above

Top Opinion

  • KilrQueen 2012/10/29 03:50:20
    YES [explain why you think so].
    KilrQueen
    +4
    This has been my fantasy car for soooooooooooooo long, I would love to own a 1933 Duesenberg....too bad I will probably never be able to afford one in this lifetime, but they are certainly gorgeous automobiles!!
    1933 Duesenberg

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest
Opinions

  • golem48 2012/12/07 22:33:44
    YES [explain why you think so].
    golem48
    Power, quality and innovation like hydraulic brakes. Other car companies followedtheir lead..
  • sglmom 2012/10/29 05:07:18
    YES [explain why you think so].
    sglmom
    +2
    I've actually had the pleasure of going through SEVERAL Automobile Museums ..
    and seeing a Duesenberg in person ..
    those Vehicles were .. oh, just astonishingly lovely ..
    every bit of it a testament to their CRAFT ..
    (and wow .. they definitely were powerful indeed)

    I've seen the Packards too .. know their History ..
    and have had the pleasure of walking through a HUDSON Motorcar Museum as well ..

    My goodness .. such wonderful memories ..
    (I've never been able to afford one of any of these .. but the ability to even see one .. is to be honored)
  • Cricket 2012/10/29 04:00:37
    YES [explain why you think so].
    Cricket
    +3
    It has a Lycoming engine--the same as Cessna 150s!
  • ikeknight Cricket 2012/10/29 04:07:00
    ikeknight
    +4
    I was just thinking the same thing. I knew Lycoming is a Pennsylvania aircraft engine maker.
  • tncdel ikeknight 2012/10/29 04:13:49
    tncdel
    +1
    A 20 foot long car weighing 3 tons doing 94 mph in second gear! Compare the size of the front wheel of Cooper's car to his 6' 4" height.
  • Cricket ikeknight 2012/10/29 04:14:22
  • KilrQueen 2012/10/29 03:50:20
    YES [explain why you think so].
    KilrQueen
    +4
    This has been my fantasy car for soooooooooooooo long, I would love to own a 1933 Duesenberg....too bad I will probably never be able to afford one in this lifetime, but they are certainly gorgeous automobiles!!
    1933 Duesenberg
  • Flamingolady 2012/10/29 03:24:27
    YES [explain why you think so].
    Flamingolady
    +2
    That's what they say, and that's a dusey is what people said and the origin was from the car.
  • Duke----The Non Racist, Fun... 2012/10/29 03:23:56 (edited)
    YES [explain why you think so].
    Duke----The Non Racist, Funny Duke !
    +4
    They were one beautiful car

    a Duesenberg

    a Duesenberg

    a Duesenberg

    I really love this black one
  • tncdel Duke---... 2012/10/29 03:39:01
    tncdel
    +2
    Me too!
  • Nam Era Vet #1 DNA TLC 2012/10/29 03:17:48
    YES [explain why you think so].
    Nam Era Vet #1 DNA TLC
    +3
    Never saw one. But from what I've hear they were great.
  • tncdel 2012/10/29 03:17:43
    YES [explain why you think so].
    tncdel
    +3
    A 1920's slang word for the phrase "it's awesome" was "it's a duesy!" Lincolns, Cadillacs, and even Rolls-Royces were well below the Duesenberg in prestige. Its closest competitor being the Packard.

    Here is a photo of Clark Gable with his Packard:

    lkky
  • fortyca... tncdel 2012/10/29 03:28:05
    fortycal_sig
    +3
    Cool factoids, man. Did not know that stuff.
  • ikeknight tncdel 2012/10/29 04:08:27
    ikeknight
    +3
    That's where the phrase comes from! Cool, I did not know that.

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.

Entertainment

2014/09/02 00:05:43

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals