Duesenberg J-357

1930 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Convertible by Murphy

Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2014

1930 Duesenberg Model J-357 Disappearing Top Convertible by Murphy

Photo – RM Auctions

Well this is a beautiful car. What is strange though is that this was the cheapest Model J by Murphy you could buy in 1930. It cost a wealthy lumber baron in West Virginia $13,500 that year. It’s a short-wheelbase chassis and uses Duesenberg’s signature Lycoming 6.9-liter straight-eight engine making 265 horsepower.

The original owner sold it in 1946 to a man named Melvin Clemans who regularly drove the car from West Virginia to Auburn, Indiana, for the annual ACD gathering. A friend of Clemans worked on the car for him and became the cars’ third owner in 1998.

Luckily, he never restored it. He rebuilt the mechanicals (and so did RM Restorations, more recently) but the body, paint, wood, interior, and chrome are all-original. This is a 30,000 mile car that has been driven a lot by every owner it’s ever had. It’s really nice to see a car like this still being driven hard and on the road to local car shows and not across putting greens at big, fancy concours.

This is 1 of about 25 “Disappearing Top Convertibles” built by the prolific Walter M. Murphy Company. It is arguably among the coolest as it remains as it did the day it left the showroom floor in Huntington, West Virginia, back in 1930. This car should bring between $2,000,000-$2,400,000. You can read more here and see more from RM here.

Update: Sold $2,200,000.

Update: Sold, Gooding & Company Amelia Island 2016, $2,640,000.