Duesenberg J-239

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Murphy

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 1-3, 2022

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Another week, another great Model J. This one is not a sedan, but instead is a very desirable convertible coupe by the Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena, California. About 25 such bodies were applied to Model J chassis by Murphy.

The car features a naturally aspirated 6.9-liter inline-eight that was rated at 265 horsepower. The most interesting aspect of this car is one of its previous owners: Maurice Schwartz, of Bohman & Schwartz, a coachbuilder that had their fair share of Model Js come through their studios. Prior to his own company, Schwartz worked for Murphy. He owned it in the 1950s while working for Bill Harrah.

This particular chassis remained with a single owner for almost five decades. It was restored after he sold it in 2014 and went on to win various awards. Read more about it here.

Update: Sold $3,305,000.

Duesenberg J-189

1929 Duesenberg Model J Brougham by LaGrande

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022

Photo – Mecum

There are a fair number of Model Js up for grabs in Monterey this year. We’ve featured a few of them in the last few weeks, and there are still more that we’ve featured in years past. More recently we talked about how closed cars are usually on the cheaper end of the entry into Model J ownership. But once again, this car doesn’t quite fit that bill.

It was originally bodied as a Weymann sedan but was sent back to Duesenberg in 1933 to get a factory (LaGrande) “blind quarter brougham” body put on. Still a sedan with a cloth roof, but no rear 3/4 windows at the back. The engine is a 6.9-liter inline-eight that was rated at 265 horsepower when new.

This car has known ownership history back to new and was restored in 1994. It has been in German ownership since 2007 and is now up for auction in California. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,100,000.

Ruxton Model A

1929 Ruxton Model A Sedan

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The front-wheel-drive Ruxton was designed by William Muller at Budd. A board member of Budd, a coachbuilding company, was also on the Hupmobile board. But no one else at Hupp wanted any part of the car. So that board member, Archie Andrews, set up New Era Motors, which traded the rights to the design for a controlling interest in Moon. Then Muller was installed as Moon chairman.

Moon then went out business, and next came down Kissel. And before long, the Ruxton was gone. The cars were powered by a 4.4-liter Continental inline-eight that made 100 horsepower. This example is said to be the first sedan built by the company and was used as a promo car. It features the well-known graduated/rainbow paint scheme. It also has Woodlite headlights. So major bonus points there.

Most Ruxtons are known as Model Cs. Why this one is a Model A is not laid out in the catalog, but maybe because it was the first one. It’s got an estimate of $200,000-$275,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $313,000.

Diamond T Tanker

1929 Diamond T Model T4D 1.5-Ton Tanker

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 13, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Diamond T built some beautiful trucks in the 1930s and ’40s. But the company was actually founded by C.A. Tilt in 1905, back when things were more… functional. This is the earliest Diamond T we’ve featured.

At the end of the 1920s, trucks were big, heavy, slow, and purposeful. Styling hadn’t entered the arena yet. This tanker truck is powered by a Hercules 4.1-liter inline-four paired with a four-speed transmission. In thinking about why this truck survived scrap drives during WWII, I’d guess it was used as a water truck on a farm or something where it was relied upon.

This truck was part of the Hays Antique Truck Museum, which Mecum liquidated earlier this year. So why is it back at auction (and with the same pics)? Either it didn’t sell, it got pulled from the catalog at the last second, or the winning bidder flaked. In any event, glad it’s back so we could feature it this time around. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold, Mecum East Moline 2022, $22,000.

Duesenberg J-394

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Victoria by Rollston

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 3, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

Well this is awkward. We’ve already featured a Model J Duesenberg with an engine carrying number J-394. Apparently that J-394 featured a re-stamped engine, making this the actual J-394. Or who knows. All of these old cars are just a pile of parts put together over the last ~100 years.

J-394, of course, is a 265-horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight. And it’s fitted to a short-wheelbase Model J, which are not tiny by any means, but the Henry Ford Museum has one very similar to this parked next to a Bugatti Royale and it looks downright tiny.

The Rollston body was originally fitted to this chassis but was previously removed and mounted to a different chassis. The body itself was later restored before being reunited with this chassis in the 1970s. It’s been in the same family for 17 years and now has an estimate of $900,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,066,500.

Duesenberg J-142

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Murphy

Offered by Mecum | Glendale, California | March 16-19, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Great colors! In the sea of Model Js that have been featured on this site, sometimes it’s something as simple as a great paint job that will set one of them apart. It also doesn’t hurt that this car wears sporty convertible coupe coachwork by Murphy, the most prolific of Model J body constructors. In all, 60 were fitted with this style by Murphy.

The 6.9-liter Lycoming inline-eight developed 265 horsepower when new. No word if this engine is original to this chassis, but honestly who cares. The car is ACD Club certified, and its first owner is known.

This car previously resided in the Blackhawk Collection and the Imperial Palace Collection. It’s also an AACA and CCCA award winner. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,365,000.

Lagonda 2-Litre

1929 Lagonda 2-Litre Low-Chassis Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 18, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

Lagonda was acquired by Aston Martin in 1947. But prior to that, the company produced some fairly sporty cars, starting with 1925’s 2-Litre model. A Lagonda won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1935.

The 2-Litre was updated in 1927 and could later be had with a supercharger. Yes, this green tourer looks pretty much just like a period Bentley, but it is in fact a Lagonda. Shockingly, Bonhams has four nearly identical cars all up for auction the same day. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four that was tweaked in period for racing use.

This particular car is one of the four prepped by Fox & Nicholl for the 1929 endurance racing season. The competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1929 Brooklands Double 12 – 18th (with Frank King and Howard Wolfe)
  • 1929 24 Hours of Le Mans – 18th, DNF (with Tim Rose-Richard and Brian Lewis)

It’s been part of the same collection since 1960, and it has the highest pre-sale estimate of the four Fox & Nicholl-prepped Lagondas in this sale at $410,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Duesenberg J-403

1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton by Murphy

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 12-14, 2021

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

There are a lot of Duesenbergs coming out of the woodwork for Monterey this year. This is the third Wednesday in a row we’ve featured one. The dual-cowl phaeton is the best Model J body style, and this is a rare variant of the breed.

Murphy’s designer decided to cut the rear cowl (the folding windshield between the two rows of seats) down the middle, so either side could flip up independently, allowing passengers from either side to enter without having to heave the entire cowl upward. It was dubbed the “butterfly” dual cowl, and only three were built.

Power is, of course, from a 265-horsepower, 6.9-liter inline-eight. This car lacks exterior door handles from the factory and rides on the shorter of the two main Model J wheelbases. This chassis originally had engine J-145 in it, but it was replaced early on with J-403. The body was originally fitted to the car with engine J-336. By the 1950s, the car as you see it had come together.

The most recent restoration was completed in 2009, and the car has been used on several long-distance tours since. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $3,305,000.

Duesenberg J-225

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 12-14, 2021

Photo – Mecum

The Convertible Sedan produced by the Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena, California, seems like one of the most common Duesenberg Model J body styles. But they only actually made 31 of them. Although… I guess that is a lot, considering the limited production of the Model J.

The Model J, of course, is powered by a 6.9-liter Lycoming inline-eight that made 265 horsepower when new. This example was delivered new to the president of Hammermill Paper in Pennsylvania, and it was next owned by a Sears executive. The car was on museum display as early as 1973.

Although the pictures don’t really show it, the car is finished in dark green, and it is excellent. You can read more about this seven-figure car here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $2,365,000.

Antony Bergamot Race Car

1929 Antony Bergamot Race Car

Offered by Aguttes | Neuilly, France | June 20, 2021

Photo – Aguttes

Automobiles Antony was founded by Louis-Auguste Antony and was based in Douai, France, between 1921 and 1932. Antony’s money came from a family cycle-dealing business, and he was an avid racing driver after the turn of the century.

The company’s road cars were not very popular, but they did find some success on the track. This one-off race car features a lowered chassis, front-wheel-only brakes, and a chain-driven rear end. The original engine was changed based on race regulations and rotated between one (or two) Harrisard 350cc two-stroke twins or a 500cc JAP single. It now has a 500cc Triumph twin.

The Bol d’Or is an endurance race that was open to cars in the 1920s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. This car competed there in 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1947, and 1948, usually with Mr. Antony himself (in his 60s by ’48) behind the wheel. It had four class victories among those entries. Antony only built about 60 cars, three of which were pretty competitive race cars that he kept hidden away for long after his death. This one is expected to bring between $42,000-$66,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $49,429.