Such was the aura of the mighty Model J Duesenberg that it has spawned a myriad of revivals over the years. The most ambitious of these was the 1966 effort of Fritz Duesenberg, son of August and nephew of Fred, who attempted to put a contemporary luxury sedan on the market. With styling by Virgil Exner and body by Ghia, the project produced a prototype before it finally fizzled.
The most successful of the modern day revivals, the SSJ Roadster was the product of the aptly-named Duesenberg Corporation of Gardena, California. A reasonable facsimile of the real J, it used Chrysler’s 6,278 cc “wedge” V-8, boosted to 504 bhp with a Paxton supercharger. Most other Duesenberg tributes made do with glass fibre bodies, but Duesenberg Corporation constructed realistic coachwork from aluminium over ash framework. Wings were hammered out of steel.
The chassis came from a Dodge truck, and the Loadflite automatic gearbox was standard. Optional, however, was a four-speed manual unit, as well as air conditioning. The price was $24,500 which in 1971 would buy two Cadillac Fleetwoods. Still, production continued on a limited scale through 1975, by which time the engine was a 7.2-litre unit, normally aspirated, and the price had risen above $41,000.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2010 at the Battersea Evolution, London.
504 bhp, 383 cu. in. supercharged OHV V-8 engine, automatic gearbox, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and four-wheel hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 128"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Tom Wood