Duesenberg J-368

1930 Duesenberg Model J Limousine by Willoughby

Offered by Broad Arrow Auctions | Monterey, California | August 18, 2022

Photo – Broad Arrow Auctions

Fixed-roof Model Js have never been the most sought after. Maybe in their day when they were used by titans of industry or Gilded Age heiresses to be chauffeured around in. But not now. Everyone wants an open car of some kind, disappearing top convertibles or even touring cars.

So, because of this, many sedans and limousines have been rebodied, and those that haven’t are generally less expensive. Well those days are apparently over. This car features a limousine body by Willoughby, a design that was updated in period as updates became available. It was later reverted to more closely resemble how it looked when new. The 6.9-liter inline-eight was rated at 265 horsepower.

This car was purchased new by the co-founder of Esquire magazine. A restoration by a later owner was completed in 1991, and the car was subsequently donated to a museum, who sold it for profit. The current owner bought it in 2018. The estimate is $1,000,000-$1,500,000. You’re gonna have to find a different “cheaper” entry point into the Model J owner’s club. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,000,000.

Alfa 6C Record Car

1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Testa Fissa

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 19, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

Alfa Romeo’s 6C 1750 was a very successful racing car in its day, racking up victories at the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, 24 Hours of Spa, and Grands Prix all over Europe. If it had speed on track with other cars, why wouldn’t it have speed on a track by itself?

This car is believed to have been ordered new by a Brooklands racing driver as a rolling chassis that was test driven at the factory before being returned to the U.K. Once there, it was fitted with an aluminum body co-designed by three-time Land Speed Record holder George Eyston. The Alfa’s supercharged 1.7-liter inline-six made 102 horsepower in Gran Sport “Testa Fissa” form. This one is rated at 140 horsepower with some slight modern modifications.

Eyston set multiple records in the car during 1930 at Brooklands. A later owner removed the body, which had been damaged by that point, so the one it wears today is a recreation. This beastly looking Alfa is a throwback to the days of insanely dangerous speed record chasing. You can read more about it here.

Update: Not sold.

BMW DA-3 Wartburg

1930 BMW 3/15 DA-3 Wartburg

Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | July 2, 2022

Photo – Dorotheum

It’s pretty amazing how many early BMWs this auction house manages to round up for sale. This is a derivative of BMW first car, the 3/15. First sold as the Dixi 3/15, the 3/15 would be sold in a few series under the BMW marque.

The DA-3 Wartburg was sold in 1930 and 1931. It was only offered as a roadster, making it BMW’s first “sports car.” BMW used a front drop axle to lower the frame, and the aluminum body featured boattail styling. Power is from a 747cc inline-four that got increased compression in the Wartburg for a rated output of 17 horsepower.

Only 150 of these were built, with 100 in the first year and 50 in the second. This one was restored about 20 years ago and now has an estimate of $58,000-$79,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $57,229.

Duesenberg J-362

1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by LeBaron

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is what you’d call a stately Model J. While it’s not a traditional limousine, it has that look but with a retractable soft top with landau bars and removable B-pillars. The coachwork is by LeBaron, who were responsible for some great Duesenberg designs back in the day.

Power is from a 6.9-liter inline-eight that made 265 horsepower when new. Model Js had a three-speed manual transmission. But all that power and favorable gearing means that this beast can do almost 90 mph in second gear.

This car was originally owned by an heir to a Chicago department store fortune. Ownership history is more or less known, and the car was restored by RM with work completing around 2000. The current owner bought it in 2010. Price estimates? More than a limo but less than a dual-cowl phaeton. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,061,000.

1930 Ansaldo

1930 Ansaldo 15 GS Berlina by Liotti

Offered by Aguttes | Cassel, France | May 1, 2022

Photo – Aguttes

Gio. Ansaldo & C. was founded in 1853 and became a big player in the Italian railway manufacturing market before branching out into automobiles in 1921. The experiment lasted just 10 years, with production wrapping in 1931.

The Type 15 GS was introduced in 1928 as the company was bleeding money. It was a follow-up to the earlier 15, which was not at all a success. The 15 GS used a double overhead cam inline-four that made 60 horsepower.

This car wears lightweight four-door coachwork by Liotti of Florence that features a skin over a steel frame, whereas many contemporary coachbuilders still utilized wood frames. It was restored in the late 1980s/early 1990s and now carries an estimate of $42,500-$64,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $61,331.

The King of Iraq’s 770K

1930 Mercedes-Benz 770K Four-Door Three-Position Cabriolet by Voll & Ruhrbeck

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | January/February 2022

Photo – Bring a Trailer Auctions

The first comment on this auction was to the effect of “This is BaT at a completely different level.” And they ain’t kidding. The 770K was not only extremely exclusive when new, but also ultra rare. And they trade hands (at least publicly) very infrequently. The W07, which was the first generation of the 770 range, went on sale in 1930, making this an early example, in terms of timing. It would be replaced by the W150 in 1938.

They were very expensive cars, intended for high-ranking government officials. The (second-generation) 770K is largely remembered for being the choice cars of Nazi officials. But this car was produced before the Nazis were even in power. And it was sold new to the King of Iraq, remaining in his family until the 1950s.

Power is from a supercharged 7.7-liter inline-eight that made 200 horsepower with the supercharger engaged. Mercedes built 205 examples of the 770 in total, with 117 being the first-gen style. This one was bodied by Voll & Ruhrbeck of Berlin as an imposing, intimidating car. Which was probably the desired effect considering the type of people who owned them.

The car has about 10 days left at auction by the time this posts, and bidding was up to $600,000 at the time of this writing. The cheaper of the two 770Ks we’ve featured in the past sold for $2.5 million, with the other one not selling at a bid of $7 million. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $2,555,555.

Duesenberg J-269

1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 5, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Another great Duesenberg. RM calls this “one of the finest restored examples.” We recently featured another Murphy Convertible Sedan, and this one is finished in classic black. Approximately 45 such cars were bodied by Murphy.

This one was delivered new in New York City, and RM traces the ownership through quite a few owners of the years. Work is also noted, including a mechanical overhaul in 1957 and a 20-year restoration that started in 1985. Power is from a 6.9-liter inline-eight capable of 265 horsepower.

It won its class at Pebble Beach and is offered with a second set of wire wheels mounted with whitewall tires. The catalog does not yet list a pre-sale estimate, but this is quite a good car, so it should bring quite the sum. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $3,525,000.

Mercedes 260 Stuttgart

1930 Mercedes-Benz 260 Stuttgart Cabriolet C

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 6-16, 2022

Photo – Mecum

So, no, this is not a Ford Model A. It’s a Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes’ W11 was produced as a few different model names between 1929 and 1934. The Stuttgart was offered in a variety of factory bodies as well as a bare chassis for coachbuilders.

This car features “factory” Cabriolet C coachwork that was actually built by Reutter. The 2.6-liter inline-six made about 49 horsepower when new. Top speed was 56 mph.

During production, the factory churned out 6,757 standard-wheelbase units. This one was brought to the U.S. by a servicemember in the 1950s. It’s being offered from 70 years of family ownership. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $90,000.

Duesenberg J-360

1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy

For Sale by Hyman Ltd | St. Louis, Missouri

Photo – Hyman Ltd.

As far as Model Js go – especially four-door examples – this is a pretty great one. The two-tone burgundy paintwork and non-supercharged (internal) exhaust makes for a very clean, elegant look. A body by the Walter M. Murphy Company on a long-wheelbase chassis certainly doesn’t hurt.

Power is from a 6.9-liter Lycoming inline-eight that made 265 horsepower when new. The car was purchased new by Lew Wallace Jr., grandson of the author of Ben-Hur. Interestingly, Hyman refers to this as the “Ben-Hur Duesenberg.” Imagine being defined by a book your grandfather wrote. Apparently such extravagances were not doing the Wallace family any favors, as they had to sell the Duesenberg for a ’32 Ford sedan during the Depression.

This chassis retains its original engine, body, and firewall. The engine was rebuilt in the late 1990s, and the paintwork dates to the 1950s. The car is for sale in St. Louis with a listed price between $1.4 and $1.5 million. Click here for more info.

Duesenberg J-235

1930 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing-Top Convertible Coupe by Murphy

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 13-14, 2021

Photo – Gooding & Company

Here’s another Model J up for grabs in Monterey this year. This one is bodied by Murphy, the most prolific of all Model J coachbuilders. Their work resided on 140 of the ~481 Model Js built when new. Some of them have been rebodied or lost over the years, but this car retains its original body.

Only two Murphy Disappearing-Top Convertible Coupes features dual spare wheels mounted at the rear instead of on the front fenders. The car is powered by a 265-horsepower 6.9-liter inline-eight.

This car was delivered new to an heir of a department store fortune (were they all delivered to heirs of some fortune?) and remained with her until 1934. It was acquired by Duesenberg historian Randy Ema in 2016 and restored. No pre-sale estimate is available, but this is probably one of the more desirable Duesenberg body styles with one of the freshest restorations around. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $3,965,000.