RM Sotheby’s cruises in to SoCal for mellow Santa Monica auction

The 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline is a historic piece of California's past  | RM Sotheby's photos
The 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline is a historic piece of California’s past | RM Sotheby’s photos

Santa Monica is at the heart of Southern California beach culture. It has the famous pier, aquarium and surfing tradition, as well as its fun-in-the-sun collector car scene. But it’s not just about old woody wagons and VW microbuses.

For the past five years, Auctions America has brought a summertime car auction to Santa Monica to feed the longings of a diverse group of car collectors. But this year, the footprint has expanded with the parent auction company, RM Sotheby’s, moving in and raising the bar for the car offerings. Continue reading

Duesenberg, Alfa Romeo bests of show at Amelia Island Concours

An Alfa Romeo roadster and a Duesenberg dual-cowl phaeton won the top prizes at the Amelia Island Concours | Bolb Golfen photos
An Alfa Romeo roadster and a Duesenberg dual-cowl phaeton won the top prizes at the Amelia Island Concours | Bolb Golfen photos

A pair of gleaming black pre-war classics were selected as best of show Saturday at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, which was moved up a day on short notice because of stormy weather expected Sunday on the Florida coast.

The Amelia Island Concours customarily awards two top winners – Best of Show Elegance and Best of Show Sport – that recognizes the two main branches of the collector car hobby. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1982 Duesenberg II

The Duesenberg II was built not by the brothers but by Wisconsin restoration specialist
The Duesenberg II was built not by the brothers but by Wisconsin restoration specialist

Yes, you read that correctly: 1982 Duesenberg. But don’t overlook the roman numeral that follows. The Pick of the Day is not a Model J by the brothers Duesenberg, but a 1982 re-creation by Elite Heritage Motors. Continue reading

RM Sotheby’s highlights historic Duesenbergs at Hershey auction

The 1930 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton is known as the 'Mexican Duesenberg' | Darin Schnabel / RM Sotheby's photos
The 1930 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton is known as the ‘Mexican Duesenberg’ | Darin Schnabel / RM Sotheby’s photos

RM Sotheby’s holds its 10th annual auction in Hershey, Pennsylvania, next month in conjunction with the Antique Automobile Club of America’s Eastern Division Fall Meet. The sale is headlined by a pair of significant Duesenbergs owned by the same family for more than 50 years.

One of those Duesenbergs, a 1930 Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton that is one of only three of the open cars originally bodied by coachbuilder Walter J. Murphy, is the highest valued car at the auction, estimated at $1.6 million to $2 million. Continue reading

Classic Profile: The rare Duesenberg Model X

Hotelier and real estate investor Arnold Kirkeby was a famed owned of the Duesenberg Model X | Courtesy of the author
Hotelier and real estate investor Arnold Kirkeby was a famed owned of the Duesenberg Model X | Courtesy of the author

The Duesenberg brothers introduced their first production road car in 1920. The Straight Eight (later called the Model A) was an innovative and well-made machine. Regardless, the brothers (underfunded from the start) struggled to find enough customers to keep the company viable.

When E. L. Cord (through Auburn) purchased the bankrupt Duesenberg Company in 1926, Fred Duesenberg was already experimenting with a new iteration of the Straight Eight. It is thought that about dozen Model X chassis had been manufactured by the time of Cord’s acquisition. The Model X featured a re-worked Model A suspension and a larger displacement (260 cubic inches) mono-block straight-8 engine. Continue reading

Classic Profile: Checkered past of 1929 Duesenberg J-183

The Duesenberg J-183 with its original Derham town car body | Courtesy of the author
The Duesenberg J-183 with its original Derham town car body | Courtesy of the author

The fascinating history of 1929 Duesenberg chassis 2201 (engine J-183) starts with the handsome town car body seen in the photo and created by Enos Derham. The Derham Body Company was one of the longest-lived American coachworks, surviving two world wars.

The company was founded by Joseph Derham as the Rosemont Carriage Works only a few miles west of Philadelphia. Enos Derham, the youngest of four brothers that followed their father into the firm, would end up running the company. They were known for their formal coachwork and bodied many great brands including Duesenberg. Interestingly, the company’s building survived, becoming the home to Chinetti & Garthwaite in the 1960s, the U.S. distributor for Ferrari. Continue reading

Queen of Diamonds Duesenberg headlines Auburn Labor Day sale

Franky-Bodied 1934 Duesenberg Model J Berline is known as 'The Queen of Diamonds' | Auctions America photos
Franky-Bodied 1934 Duesenberg Model J Berline is known as ‘The Queen of Diamonds’ | Auctions America photos

Think there isn’t a lot of competition for attention among the collector car auction houses? Then consider that Auctions America just finished its Auburn Spring sale, has a major sale coming up in Santa Monica, California, but also has released the first couple of big consignments for its annual Labor Day auction at its Indiana home grounds.

Those consignments are a 1934 Duesenberg Model J Berline known as “The Queen of Diamonds” and a 1929 Auburn 8-90 cabriolet. Continue reading

What a Duesie! Model J’s sale to benefit independent college

1929 Duesenberg Model J  'Disappearing Top' convertible coupe being sold at auction to benefit Hillsdale College | RM Sotheby's photos by Darin Schnabel
1929 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ convertible coupe being sold at auction to benefit Hillsdale College | RM Sotheby’s photos by Darin Schnabel

A 1929 Duesenberg Model J “Disappearing Top” convertible coupe, one of the headliner vehicles being offered this summer at RM Sotheby’s Motor City Sale, will be auctioned to benefit Hillsdale College, a small, independent four-year school in southern Michigan. Continue reading

Keno Brothers reveal two more cars for first New York auction

The Lamborghini Miura was a groundbreaking statement of supercar design and performance | Keno Brothers photos
The Lamborghini Miura was a groundbreaking statement of supercar design and performance | Keno Brothers photos

The Keno Brothers, who are gradually rolling out the details of their inaugural Rolling Sculpture Auction of “40 significant vehicles” in November, have presented two more of the classic offerings that will roll across the block in Soho, New York.

Continue reading

Man buys ’29 Duesenberg previously owned only by women

1929 Duesenberg Model J sells for $2.53 million at Morphy Auction | Morphy Auctions photos
1929 Duesenberg Model J sells for $2.53 million at Morphy Auction | Morphy Auctions photos

The objective news is that the 1929 Duesenberg Model J convertible coupe offered up for bidding this week at Morphy Auction’s 46-lot Premier Automobile Auction in Denver, Pennsylvania, sold for a strong $2.53 million.

But can we be forgiven for editorializing that we’re disappointed that after being previously owned by four women, the car sold to a man? Continue reading