Duesenberg J-555

1934 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 16, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Duesenbergs have a fairly high survival rate when compared to other cars of a certain age. That’s thanks in large part to pioneering collectors who realized the importance of cars like this and saved them. But not every part of every car can be saved.

This car retains its 6.9-liter, 265 horsepower straight-eight engine and its factory chassis. The body, however, is not original. Initially equipped with a Willoughby sedan body – not the most desirable look – the car was re-bodied before WWII as a convertible sedan.

This Brunn-style dual-cowl torpedo phaeton body was built by Fran Roxas in Chicago sometime in the late-1980s. The car bounced around the auction circuit in the 1990s before being purchased by its late owner in 2006. It’s been in Britain for over 10 years and should bring between $600,000-$800,000 in California in a few weeks. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $478,000.

Duesenberg J-255

1930 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton by Fran Roxas

Offered by Bonhams | Boca Raton, Florida | February 23, 2013

1930 Duesenberg Model J255 Torpedo Phaeton by Fran Roxas

Photo – Bonhams

Back-to-back Dueseys. This Model J has the special distinction of being used by the wife of Duesenberg owner E.L. Cord. The car was delivered to a customer in 1930, but was returned for whatever reason and used by Mrs. Cord. She used it for two years before it went to Hollywood.

That’s right, this car – which is the original chassis/engine combination, although not the original body – was in some movies. It was part of the Pacific Auto Rental fleet (which loaned cars to movie studios) for 48 years and appeared in numerous films.

The body was originally a Judkins Limousine. When Pacific Auto Rental closed up and sold off their cars, this one went to a new home in St. Louis. The new owners removed the original body (the horror!) and sent the chassis and 265 horsepower engine to Fran Roxas in Chicago and asked him to build this stunning Torpedo Phaeton body in the style of Walker LaGrande. The Judkins body also found a new home on a different chassis. This car spent time in the Blackhawk Collection on its way to being sold at a Bonhams auction in 2010. The sale price is unlisted for that sale, as I guess it didn’t meet its $800,000 reserve. The market has improved since then and it should do okay this time around.

Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Boca.

Update: Sold $698,500.

Update: Failed to sell at Mecum, Monterey 2013 (high bid of $800,000).

Update: Failed to sell at Mecum, Dallas 2013 (high bid of $950,000).

Update: Failed to sell at Mecum, Kissimmee 2014 (high bid of $1,100,000).

Update: Not sold, Mecum Monterey 2016, high bid of $800,000.

Update: Not sold, Mecum Monterey 2018, high bid of $900,000.

Update: Sold, Mecum Kissimmee 2019, $935,000.

Three Isottas in One Week!

1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8 Torpedo Phaeton by Cesare Sala

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 19, 2012

Photo – Bonhams

I can’t recall the last time an Isotta Fraschini crossed the block at auction, and here we have three of them the same week in the same town (and as of this writing, Gooding doesn’t have their catalog online and who knows what surprises it will hold). The other two we’ve featured have been the Tipo 8A models and this is an earlier Tipo 8. Instead of the 135 horsepower 7.4-liter straight eight of the Tipo 8A, this car features a 5.9-liter straight eight making 100 horsepower that would take it to 85 mph.

The styling isn’t quite as wild as the other two cars either but it still cost a cool $20,000 when new. Actually, this is the second Cesare Sala-bodied car for sale this week (Cesare Sala was an “official” coachbuilder of Isotta). This was the final year for the Tipo 8 before they switched to the 8A and only 10 of the 500 or so cars built still survive. This car was once owned by the Blackhawk Collection and by collector John O’Quinn.

Bonhams’ pre-sale estimate for this car is $425,000-$525,000. Read more about it here and check out the rest of their lineup here.

Update: Sold $447,000.