1983 Duesenberg II Dual Cowl Phaeton
Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | August 30, 2014
Replicas. Some people love them, just as many people loathe them. Shelby Cobra replicas outnumber original Cobras by what has to be at least 100-1. All of E.L. Cord’s highlights from the 1930s were re-produced years later. Auburn Speedsters, Cord 812s, and the legendary Duesenberg Model J.
The Auburns and Cords look similar, but they aren’t convincing as originals. I think what holds them back is that they have modern tires on them. Not so here – these are correct 19-inch wire wheels with whitewalls. And they sell the whole package. Nothing here seems out of the ordinary until you look under the hood where a 7.5-liter Ford V-8 sits.
There have been a couple of attempts to revive Duesenberg, one of America’s most prestigious manufacturers. August Duesenberg’s son attempted it in the 1960s (and the car sort of became the 1970s Stutz Bearcat). There were a few awkward sedans built in the 70s called Duesenbergs. The Duesenberg II was the most successful, produced between 1978 and as late as 2000 by Elite Heritage Motors Corp. of Elroy, Wisconsin. They offered five different bodies that you could’ve gotten back in the 30s – this Dual Cowl Phaeton one of them.
When they were built, prices for these “new Duesenbergs” went up to $225,000. That’s pretty expensive for a replica. But these cars have modern conveniences and look absolutely stunning and authentic. Very few people can afford a real Model J, but you can get the same feeling for a lot less with this thing. Replicas aren’t something we’ll normally feature here, but this seems more legitimate than most. Plus, they’re far rarer than the real thing, with less than 100 built.
Update: Not sold, high bid of $147,500.