Duesenberg Model J Boattail Speedster
The Duesenberg Model J’s introduction on December 1, 1928 at the New York Auto Salon was front-page news. The combination of the Duesenberg reputation with the Model J’s grand concept and execution made it the star of the show – and the year. Duesenberg ordered enough components to build 500 Model Js in the first year, while development continued for six months after the Model J’s introduction to ensure the highest possible build quality. The first customer delivery came in May 1929, barely five months before the notorious stock market crash on Black Tuesday.
The Duesenberg Model J delivered 265 horsepower in stock form and 320 horsepower when fitted with the optional supercharger. Duesenberg built just 36 SJs at the factory; properly converting a standard J to SJ specification was no small job. The engine required complete disassembly to fit high-performance tubular connecting rods and numerous other components. The SJ also required external exhaust manifolding to fit the supercharger under its hood, and the resulting dramatic chromed flexible tubes became its signature.
The effect of the Model J Duesenberg on America can’t be minimized. Even in the misery of the Depression, this paragon of power and luxury was a symbol of prosperity and success. Duesenberg’s advertising became a benchmark, featuring the wealthy and privileged in opulent surroundings with only a single line of copy: “He drives a Duesenberg.” Even today, “She’s a real Duesy” still means a slick, quick, smooth and desirable possession of the highest quality. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the Duesenberg J remains the ultimate symbol of high-performance luxury.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2011 at The Inn at St. John's, Plymouth, Michigan.
320 hp at 4,200 rpm, 420 cu. in. dual overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder inline eight-cylinder engine with centrifugal supercharger giving five psi boost at 4,000 rpm, three-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 142.5"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Simon Clay