Duesenberg J-329

1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Louis, Missouri | May 4-5, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This Model J has been with the current collection since 2012 and has known ownership back to the early 1930s in St. Louis. Actually, it has more than that, it has pre-ownership history, as prior to its sale in St. Louis, it was used as a loaner by period Indianapolis 500 driver Leon Duray.

The Model J is powered by a 6.9-liter straight-eight developing 265 horsepower. This one wears its original convertible sedan body from the Walter M. Murphy Company. It also retains its original chassis and engine.

It’s not a car that has been used much over the years – it is said to show only a little over 7,000 original miles. Restored in 2003, this Model J is going under the hammer at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $1,105,000.

Duesenberg J-262

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 23-25, 2018

Photo – Mecum

The Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena, California, was the most prolific of all Duesenberg Model J coachbuilders. They built more bodies for these cars than any other company. In fact, they built 31 Convertible Sedans alone, which is what this car is.

Finished in black with a black top over a beautiful tan interior, this Model J – like all Model Js – is powered by a 6.9-liter straight-eight engine capable of 265 horsepower. It’s got a 3-speed transmission that would easily pull this car to speeds over 100 mph.

This was a late-add to Mecum’s Monterey sale and it is coming from the Academy of Art University Automobile Museum in San Francisco. They are thinning their collection a bit, and somebody is going to be lucky enough to walk off with this Duesey. Restored in 1991, it is expected to bring between $1,000,000-$1,250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,155,000.

Duesenberg J-475

1931 Duesenberg Model J SWB Sport Convertible Sedan by Derham

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Pacific Grove, California | August 23, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

I’ve said many times before that the Model J is one of the best cars ever built. Want proof? Look at auction catalogs surrounding big auction weekends (like Monterey/Pebble Beach) and what is the one, classic American car that every auction house has? A Model J. They don’t all have Pierce-Arrows, they don’t all have Cadillac V-16s. But they all have a Model J. Or two. This year Worldwide Auctioneers has two. Gooding & Company has two. Mecum has two. They all come out of the woodwork this time of year.

This Model J has engine number 475 and that engine is a 6.9-liter straight-eight developing a mighty 265 horsepower. It’s a four-door Convertible Sedan but it’s also on the “short” Model J wheelbase (still a massive 11, almost 12, feet). Derham built five examples of their Sport Convertible Sedan, and this is one of three that remain.

This car has known ownership history from new and the current owner acquired J-475 in 1974 as what was essentially a project car. It was restored during the mid-1980s and has been on museum duty for the last two years. It’s been serviced and freshened since and can now be yours. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,320,000.

Duesenberg J-488

1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Derham

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 25, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

This black Model J is one of five such units produced by the Derham Body Company of Philadelphia. Derham traced their roots back to Joseph Derham’s 1887 carriage factory and later produced bodies for the likes of Stutz, Pierce-Arrow, Cadillac, Duesenberg, and more.

This is a Duesenberg Model J – one of the greatest cars ever built. This particular car is supercharged, and thus is a retroactive “Model SJ.” But the supercharger isn’t original. When supercharged, the 6.9-liter straight-eight makes 320 horsepower. This car began life as a factory demonstrator and was later owned by Jean Harlow’s 1930s husband as well as Buster Keaton’s son, James Talmadge.

At some point early in this car’s life, parts of the engine were exchanged with the factory-supercharged J-208. When the current owner acquired the car in 1977, he set about making it whole again. He located J-208 and swapped the parts back, making both cars better for it. He later sourced a supercharger, taking J-488 back to how it would’ve been set up in the late-1930s.

And now here it is, wonderfully restored and correct – on sale for the first time in 41 years. It should bring between $1,750,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Duesenberg J-420

1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | September 3, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Numerologists take note! The 265 horsepower 6.9-liter straight-eight engine that powers all standard Duesenberg Model Js displaces 420 cubic inches. And this car carries engine number J420. It’s a sign.

This car was sold new in Michigan and was a Murphy Convertible Sedan when new. However, this car carried a different engine than the one it has now. The second owner acquired this car after WWII and it is believed that he swapped the engine out.

It had a bunch of other owners over the years, spending time in the Imperial Palace Collection and the ownership of mega-collector John O’Quinn. It has been in private ownership since the dispersion of O’Quinn’s collection. The restoration is described as “older” but it looks fantastic – not that it matters much, because, despite their beauty, these are drivers’ cars. This one should bring between $800,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $880,000.

Duesenberg JN-570

1934 Duesenberg Model JN SWB Convertible Sedan by Rollston

For sale at RK Motors Charlotte | Charlotte, North Carolina

1934 Duesenberg Model JN-570 Rollston SWB Convertible Sedan

I randomly came across this Duesenberg for sale at a collector car dealership in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s a Model JN – so it’s certainly pretty as it had mid-life cycle styling refinements. All Model JNs had Rollston bodywork and only 10 were built before Duesenberg shut down. This is one of three JN Rollston Convertible Sedans built.

This car looks like a two-door convertible coupe, but it does have to rear doors tucked behind the mains. It rides on a short wheelbase chassis, when it seemed most later Model Js were long wheelbase cars. Ownership history is known from new. It was originally black but when it was restored a few years ago it was given this attractive maroon-ish color.

Bought new in Texas, this car has seen numerous owners – including some time spent in the Blackhawk Collection. And it’s matching numbers – chassis, body and engine – engine no. 570 – that big straight-eight engine making 265 horsepower. The price isn’t listed, but it says it had a $1 million restoration and I’m guessing they want to recoup that investment. Click here to read more.

Duesenberg J-338

1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by LeBaron

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

1931 Duesenberg Model J-338 Convertible Sedan by LeBaron

This Model J is an affordable way to get into the Duesenberg club. The pre-sale estimate is a paltry $350,000-$425,000. I happen to really like this bodystyle, but it isn’t really the most sought after. Part of the reason is that this is not the original body that went with this chassis/engine. And the restoration is an old one.

The body was originally a Derham Sedan but this LeBaron Convertible Sedan survived better on the chassis it was on. After sitting outside for a long time, the two Duesenbergs were turned into one complete car and this body made the transition. Ownership is known from new and this car has been in some big collections since the late 1960s.

If you’re looking for an easy way to get your hands on a Model J, this is your ticket. It’s a nice, clean, drivable car recognized by the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg museum. You can read more about it here and check out more from Gooding & Company in Amelia Island here.

Update: Sold $462,000.

Duesenberg J-355

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy

Offered by Gooding & Company | Monterey, California | August 19, 2012

You thought Duesenberg week would have ended last week, you know… when the week ended, didn’t you? Well, I don’t know how to read a calendar. This is the final Model J that were featuring that was on offer at Pebble Beach this year.

It’s a Murphy-bodied car, the most prolific coachbuilder of Model Js. This one originally had J-204 under the hood, but was swapped for J-355 at some point. This car spent quite a while in a European automotive museum until 2011. It’s been freshened recently and is ready to cruise.

Purchasing this car would have been a great way to get your hands on a Duesenberg, relatively inexpensively, that has been out of the public eye for quite some time. The estimate was $500,000-$700,000. The catalog description is here.

Update: Sold $522,500

Marmon Sixteen

1932 Marmon Sixteen Convertible Sedan

Offered by RM Auctions | Boca Raton, Florida | February 25, 2012

The Marmon Sixteen was a mighty titan among Depression-era automobiles. Few American cars could match the grand, tank-like quality and power of a Marmon Sixteen. The model went on sale in 1931 – after Cadillac had begun selling their V16. You could buy a 16-cylinder Marmon until the company folded in 1933 and most of the 1933 models were leftover from 1932. About 400 Sixteens were built in total.

The car has an 8.0 liter V-16 making 200 horsepower. It is mated with this wonderful bodywork – one of just 11 that survive in Convertible Sedan form. Ownership is known from new and the car was restored in 1985 before being added to the collection where it currently resides in 1993. What a car.

RM estimates the sale price of this car between $400,000-$600,000. For the complete description, click here and to view the rest of the Milhous Collection, click here.

Update: Sold $522,500.

Duesenberg J-208

1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy

Offered by RM Auctions, Boca Raton, Florida, February 25, 2012

I’m trying to figure out if everyone is selling their Murphy-bodied Model Js this year or if the law of averages is in effect, as Murphy bodied the most Model Js. Either way, here’s another great looking Convertible Sedan by Murphy for the taking.

This is the original body wearing a very nice two-tone red paint job. The car was used as a factory demonstrator by the New York Duesenberg branch. Do you think they slashed the price on it and had big sticky letters on the windshield identifying it as a “Demo?” I doubt it. The car was sold to someone in Los Angeles who quickly turned around and sold it again – to the husband of actress Dolores Del Rio – another Duesenberg with a 1930s Hollywood connection.

The car was restored in the late 80s and retained it’s original 265 horsepower straight-8 engine (J208). It presents very nice and is expected to fetch somewhere between $900,000-$1,200,000 – and it’s selling without reserve. For the complete catalog description, click here and to see the rest of the lineup, here.

Update: Sold $990,000.