1930 Duesenberg Model J Limousine by Willoughby
Offered by Mecum Auctions | Monterey, California | August 18, 2012
Duesenberg Fridays continue. This one is being sold at Mecum’s Monterey sale and it looks great. This is a rare numbers-matching Duesenberg that doesn’t have its original engine. Many of these cars swapped engines (and bodies) over the years, and the factory records of what chassis was fitted with which engine and who coachbuilt what for it, never seems to match reality. But this car has a slightly different story.
It was born with J-383, which was considered “defective” and replaced by Duesenberg with J-306. The 7-passenger limousine body was added by the Willoughby Company of Utica, New York – and this is the original body. Willoughby was founded in 1893 as a carriage manufacturer. After a fire in their Rome, New York, factory, they relocated to Utica and it was here that they received the first order for automobile bodies in 1899 from Columbia Electric.
In addition to Columbia Electric, Willoughby built bodies (both one-off/custom and large orders placed by automobile manufacturers) for the likes of Studebaker, Cadillac, Marmon, Packard, Franklin, and the American arm of Rolls-Royce. Though, there are, perhaps, few more regal than this large, enclosed Duesenberg in stunning dark green. Willoughby bodied its last cars, mostly Lincolns, in 1938 before shutting down for good in 1939.
Update: Not sold (after reaching a high bid of $350,000).
Update II: Sold, $370,000 (at Mecum Auctions in Anaheim, California, 2012).