Duesenberg J-523

1936 Duesenberg Model SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton by LaGrande

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | August 30, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

I’ll put this as simply as possible: Duesenbergs don’t get much better than this. Reason #1: this baby is supercharged. Reason #2: this is the best (my favorite) body style you can get. The body, the LaGrande Dual Cowl Phaeton, was an updated version of the LeBaron Dual Cowl Phaeton. The updates were done by none other than legendary designer Gordon Buehrig.

This is a factory-spec Model SJ – so it’s not a Model J that was upgraded years later. That’s pretty exciting. The engine is the standard 6.9-liter straight-eight that’s been supercharged to put out 320 horsepower. This is the original chassis and engine but the body was swapped with another car. Both of these cars simply wear each others bodies to this day.

The present owner bought this in 1978 after the current restoration had been completed. It has recently been serviced to running and driving condition. This is one of four LaGrande Dual Cowl Phaetons attached to a supercharged engine and one of the final of the kind built. It’s an awesome opportunity and should bring in between $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this auctions’ lineup.

Update: Sold $1,265,000.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2023, $3,030,000.

Duesenberg J-530

1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Coupe by Walker-LaGrande

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2013

1935 Duesenberg Model SJ 530 Convertible Coupe by Walker LaGrande

This awesome – and awesome is the correct word – Duesenberg Model J is actually an SJ – it has a factory supercharged engine. But it is not the original engine for this car. Let me try and trace this out…

Engine J-530 has an origin I am unfamiliar with. This car is on chassis 2405, which originally had a very cool Rollston Town Car body on it. This incredible Walker-LaGrande Convertible Coupe body was originally on chassis 2563. The bell housing is from engine J-515, the engine that was originally with this body on 2563. So at some point in time, the Rollston Town Car body disappeared and this body was separated from its original chassis. The body and bell housing came with it and was put on chassis 2405. Engine J-530 was brought in to get the thing running. And remember: this is the supercharged 320 horsepower version.

The Walker-LaGrande body is one of three like it built and the only one with a supercharger on it. It’s actually one of only seven bodies built for Duesenbergs by Walker-LaGrande in total. This car was delivered new to a banker in Chicago before going through the hands of several well-known collectors. Among Model Js, this is one of the big ones. It should sell for between $3,500,000-$5,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $4,510,000.

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.