Monday, May 20, 2013

Rare Matching Numbers Duesenberg at Auction

The last original unrestored supercharged Model J 
Duesenberg Continental Touring Berline 
with coachwork by Rollston. 
(PRNewsFoto/Dragone Classic Motorcars)

While I haven’t got the budget for a collection of investment quality cars, I sure do love to look. And it sounds like an upcoming sale by Dragone Auctions has some cars worth looking at. The auction is being held at their premises in Westport, Connecticut on Friday, May 31, and according to Manny Dragone, “This year we are offering an incredible assortment of cars that have been stored away for decades.”

Among those cars is a supercharged 1934 Duesenberg J, number 514, originally the property of New York socialite Mrs. Henry Evans. It’s a Continental Touring Berline, with its body built by Rollston. Not only is it one of only 35 SJs built (Duesenbergs weren’t cheap, and this was during the Depression, hence the low numbers), it’s one of only five that were closed, rather than open. I’m assuming Mrs. Evans liked speed, as Duesenbergs were guaranteed to do 100 mph—each one was tested before leaving the factory.

It’s also a matching numbers car with only 49,000 miles on it, and has never been restored. Truly a unique automobile. Mrs. Evans paid $18,000 for it; in today’s money that would be just over $300,000. She took it to Europe and back several times on the Queen Mary, so despite its low mileage, it’s a well-travelled car. Dragone Auctions estimate it will sell for between $1.5 to $2 million dollars.

You can find out more about the Duesy, as well as the other cars, on the Dragone Auctions website. There’s also a good article on Duesenbergs on the ConceptCarz website.

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