Duesenberg J-546

1932 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Berline by Rollston

Offered by Mecum | Las Vegas, Nevada | November 15-17, 2018

Photo – Mecum

Rollston was a coachbuilder based in New York City between 1921 and 1938. It was founded by Harry Lonschein, Sam Blotkin, and Julius Veghso. So what’s with the name? Well Lonschein was a former Brewster employee, a company strongly associated with Rolls-Royce of America. So he named his new company after Rolls-Royce. Fun fact.

This Model J is powered by a 6.9-liter straight-eight engine that makes 265 horsepower. A 3-speed manual transmission sends power rearward, and this car wears a one-off convertible sedan body by Rollston. It was restored in the 1990s.

This car has known ownership history from new, as it was purchased new by a member of the Vanderbilt family. Other owners included Dean Kruse from 1998 to 2007, John O’Quinn from 2007 until 2010, and the Academy of Art University Collection since 2010. It’s an immaculately-clean example and should bring about a million bucks. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Voisin Lumineuse

1927 Voisin C11 Berline Lumineuse

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Gabriel Voisin’s cars are usually a little on the wild side, this one being no exception. Dubbed “Lumineuse,” or light, you can see from just the lone picture above how strange this car appears. The greenhouse bows inward as it rises and the use of glass on this car is one of the most original I’ve ever seen. The front windscreen folds outward, the windows retract inside the car (but not inside the door). It makes it look like the top just lifts right off (but it doesn’t).

The engine is a 2.3-liter Knight sleeve-valve straight-six. The interior is, of course, some strange pattern that suits the car perfectly. The exterior is done in an almost-military-brown and it’s quite understated as well. The wheels sit at the four corners of this car, with practically no overhang from the body, which is all aluminium, making it very light. And I love the weird forward-facing spotlight hanging off the rear of the car.

It sounds as if there has been ongoing work on this car since 1973. It certainly isn’t fresh but it does look quite nice and is evidently quite usable. The C11 was the most-produced Voisin product but only three Lumineuse-bodied examples are known to exist. It’s quite creative and very cool. It should bring between $305,000-$425,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $365,050.

Duesenberg J-259

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by Murphy

Offered by Auctions America | Santa Monica, California | June 24, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

To the knowing eye, it seems like this 1929 Model J is actually a little newer than it’s listed as being. Most 1929 Model Js are a little boxier and this one seems… well-rounded and a little smoother. That’s because the coachwork was updated in period by Bohman & Schwartz, the coachbuilder who did a lot of Duesenberg updating in the mid-1930s.

The Model J was built between 1929 and 1937… though the last engines and chassis were all built prior to then as it was difficult to sell the most glamorous automobile in American history at the height of the Great Depression. All Model Js were speedy, powered by a 265 horsepower Lycoming 6.9-liter straight-eight.

This numbers matching car was ordered new by an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. Bodied by Murphy with some one-off features, the coachwork was updated by Bohman & Schwartz in 1934 at the owner’s request. The second owner acquired the car in 1959 when it showed an impressive 66,000 miles. Well cared for its entire life, this car should bring between $800,000-$950,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $880,000.

Bugatti 44 Berline

1930 Bugatti Type 44 Berline by Alin & Liautard

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 18, 2017

Photo – Osenat

Most of Bugatti models are all part of a line of cars that trace back to an earlier model. In this case, the Type 44 can trace its heritage back to the Type 30 of 1922. The Type 44 was built between 1927 and 1930 and was the most popular series of all of the “8-cylinder line” of 1922-1934.

It’s powered by a 3.0-liter straight-eight making 80 horsepower. This car was sold new in Paris and was sent to Alin & Liautard to be bodied as a sedan, a body style not many Bugattis still exist as. The large roof has a big piece of fabric that can be rolled back like a giant cloth sunroof.

Ownership is known back to the 1950s, but it is known that the car was registered in Pairs up until that point. Any restoration this car has ever underwent is extremely old and predates the current owner who acquired the car some time ago. The Type 44 was one of the most popular Bugattis sold, with production totaling 1,095 cars. This one should sell for between $200,000-$260,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $321,130.

Voisin C14

1930 Voisin C14 Berline

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2014

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Make sure to head over to Gooding & Co.’s site and check out the interior on this car. Like many other Voisin automobiles, it’s wild. If you take a quick glance at this car, it looks like an old, boring, upright sedan. But then you look closer and start to notice all the quirky little details: the weird positioning of the doors, the fender-to-radiator connectors, the strange proportions. And that’s just the exterior.

Under the hood is a 2.3-liter straight-six sleeve-valve engine making 66 horsepower. This certainly isn’t the most intensely Art Deco Voisin ever built but it’s still super rare. This car was discovered in the 1990s in France and the restoration was finished before 2007.

Like most Voisin’s, the body is lightweight aluminium. Only 1,795 C14s were built between 1927 and 1932 – making it one of the company’s most popular models. This one should sell for between $250,000-$300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company in Amelia Island.

Update: Not sold.

Métallurgique Berline

1921 Métallurgique 12/15HP Berline

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 6, 2014

1921 Metallurgique 12-15HP Berline

Métallurgique was a Belgian automobile manufacturer that existed in its automotive form between 1898 and 1928 (they made locomotives prior to cars). They would become known for their sports cars much like Mercer in the U.S. and they had 100 horsepower cars prior to WWI.

But they also built bigger cars that became very popular in the U.K. after WWI. This model uses a 2.0-liter straight-four making 15 horsepower. All four-door cars built by the company were bodied by Vanden Plas, including this one.

The company was acquired by Belgian rival Minerva in 1927 and phased out the following year. Not a ton of them still exist and the ones that do tend to reside in long-term ownership. This is a rare opportunity to grab one for between $27,000-$34,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Paris lineup.

Update: Sold $35,903.

Duesenbeg J-391

1930 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Berline Convertible by Murphy

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 24, 2014

1930 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Berline Convertible by Murphy

Duesenbergs were cars for the rich – and famous. This is one of many Duesenbergs that had famous owners. It was sold new to the undersecretary of the Navy, Gene Markey (he isn’t the celebrity I was thinking of, however).

It passed through a number of owners in the 1940s and by the end of the decade it had been acquired by James Talmadge – son of Buster Keaton. In 1952, he traded the car straight up for an MG to famous actor Tyrone Power. Power owned it until his death, at which point it ended up in the hands of J.B. Nethercutt. From his collection it found its way into Bill Harrah’s.

The restoration was carried out in 1986 by a private owner in Indianapolis. He sold it to the Imperial Palace Collection in 1991. The engine is the standard Duesenberg straight-eight making 265 horsepower and 374 lb-ft of torque. The convertible sedan body is by Murphy. This car can be yours for over a million dollars. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Kissimmee.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,400,000.

Update: Sold, Mecum Monterey 2014: $1,425,000.

Duesenberg SJ-512

1933 Duesenberg Model SJ Beverly Berline by Murphy

Offered by RM Auctions | New York, New York | November 21, 2013

1933 Duesenberg Model SJ-512 Beverly Berline by Murphy

This is one beautiful Duesey. The SJ variant of the Model J was first available in 1932. It offered a factory supercharger for the Lycoming straight-eight. Horsepower jumped to a whopping 320. There was nothing else like it.

There have been a number of normal Model Js that have been upgraded over the years to SJ specification. But this is the real deal. This is one of just 36 factory SJs built and one of only five that has an enclosed body on it. The body in this case is from Murphy and it’s a stunner.

This car was delivered new to Powell Crosley, Jr. in Cincinnati. He would later build his own cars – but they were no match in size or power. More recently, this car was restored by RM and is being sold from the ownership by Joseph Cassini (who has won top honors at Pebble Beach twice). This will be a very pricey car. You can check out more here and see more from this impressive sale here.

Update: Pre-sale estimate $2,000,000-$2,500,000.

Update II: Sold $1,760,000.

Duesenberg JN-500

1935 Duesenberg Model JN LWB Berline by Rollston (and Bohman & Schwartz)

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2013

1935 Duesenberg Model JN (500) LWB Berline by Rollston (and Bohman & Schwartz)

This Duesenberg is a Model JN – that is, it is one of 10 Rollston-bodied cars produced in 1935 with modern updates to the front of the car along with smaller wheels. They were among the last Duesenberg’s built at a time when the company was desperately trying to stay afloat and keep its aging flagship car relevant.

As was the case with JNs, this one came equipped with Rollston bodywork. This chassis and body originally had engine J-559 underhood, but that was replaced in the 1950s when its owner consolidated two different Duesenbergs. This car also received the larger Model J wheels at that time. The engine was unchanged – a 6.9-liter straight eight making 265 horsepower.

This car was delivered new to Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, the famous Hollywood tap-dancer who appeared alongside Will Rogers and Shirley Temple onscreen. When he took the car to California, he sent it to Bohman & Schwartz for some updates (only a year after purchase). When he passed, the car bounced between owners – its engine being swapped out along the way. It was restored in 1970 and has been maintained since, which is kind of remarkable considering its fairly nice condition and the fact it has covered more than 100,000 miles in its well-used life. It should sell for between $500,000-$700,000. You can read more about it here and check out the rest of Gooding’s auction lineup here.

Update: Sold $594,000.

1913 Brasier Berline

1913 Brasier 16hp Berline

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2013

1913 Brasier 16hp Berline

Henri Brasier joined the Georges Richard’s automobile company and the new Richard-Brasier company began to produce cars in 1902. That only lasted through 1905, when Richard left the company. So the company that started out with Georges Richard’s full name as the marque, gradually decreased until it was just “Brasier” left.

Brasier started building cars in late 1905/early 1906 and lasted through 1926, after which they were called Chaigneau-Brasier, until the company ultimately closed in 1930. This particular Brasier is a 1913 Sedan with coachwork by Marcel Guilloux of France (if you couldn’t tell where he was from based on his name). It uses a 3.2-liter four-cylinder making 16 horsepower.

The car was bought new by a gentleman in France who walled it up when the First World War broke out. The man perished in the war and the car wasn’t discovered again for 70 years, when the wall he built was demolished during a home redesign. It’s bounced around since, having appeared in a few movies along the way. It is entirely original – a great example of “time warp” condition that makes it perfect for high-class car shows all over the world. It runs well and everything works. It should sell for between $100,000-$130,000. Click here to read more and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.