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