Duesenberg J-381

1930 Duesenberg Model J LWB Town Car by Murphy

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 15-22, 2012

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Well I said in a previous post that we’d try and feature every Model J Duesenberg that comes up for auction and this is the third of the Arizona Duesenbergs for this season. And it just so happens that all three of them were bodied by Murhpy – the most prolific of all Duesenberg body-builders (now I’m picturing some hulk of a man lifting a Duesenberg with each arm like a barbell).

This car was delivered to its first owner on Halloween of 1930 (cue the sounds of ghosts and ghouls). This is that actual engine (J-381) that was fitted to this long-wheelbase chassis. There are a fair number of Model Js that have swapped engines over the years. And some that have swapped bodies – Freaky Friday-style (hmm, the Halloween theme returns).

This is an attractive Town Car from the Walter M. Murphy Company and it’s a car that would very much appear to be designed for some extravagantly wealthy person to be driven in. I’ve always wondered why “the help” were relegated to riding in the elements, but I guess that’s one of the perks of being wealthy. I’m sure the chauffeur’s union would object to this treatment if this car didn’t have a 265 horsepower straight-eight engine.

Barrett-Jackson doesn’t publish estimates for the cars they’re offering but I’m guessing it should come in right at about $1 million. There are bodystyles that are much more valuable and $1 million is a nice round number and a good starting point for valuating a Duesenberg. Also, this car has been sitting (for sale) at the Blackhawk Collection for quite some time.

There were 481 Model Js built and only 4 Murphy Town Cars. Find out more here and more about Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, here.

Update: Sold $1,045,000.

Update II: Sold, Bonhams Monterey 2016, $1,254,000.

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  1. Pingback: Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Highlights Pt. II | Classic Car Weekly

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