Duesenberg Convertible Cars: a Brief History

North American historians share the opinion that Duesenberg cars are the most beautiful cars ever produced in the United States. Although the brand existed just 16 years, remaining independent for only the first five years, its models were excellent. This article tells about the emergence of the brands and its best models of convertible cars. You can choose various car models at enterprise car rental Colorado springs airport.

Emergence of the brand

These cars have become eternal classic patterns. The history of the company is linked to Frederick Samuel Duesenberg. He was born in 1876 in Germany, came to the United States as a child and considered Iowa State as his birthplace. He began with the manufacture of bicycles and participation in bicycle racing. Together with his brother August, he created cars for the Mason company, and then for the Maytag Company. After that, he started designing the engines of racing cars.

The authority of Duisenberg grew after the First World War, largely due to the fact that the car with its engine set the absolute speed record on land in 1919, and in 1921 its racing car won the first post-war French Grand Prix. In the 20th, Duesenberg cars won the 500-mile race in Indianapolis three times.

After resounding victories, the brothers decided to produce expensive road cars, founding Duesenberg Motor Company in Indianapolis. The debut model “A” (1921) was priced at 6.5 thousand dollars – the first American production car with a straight eight. The brothers were not successful businesspersons and after the company managed to produce about 500 cars, Errett Cord purchased the company.

The new owner intended to release a prestigious model and connected Duesenberg to his Lycoming, Auburn, Cord and Checker companies. He sanctioned the appearance of the “J” model with an 8-cylinder Duesenberg engine production Lycoming. The last period of the brand was described as the result of Cord’s money and Duesenberg’s creativity. Soon, followed by a more complex and expensive SJ model, but due to the economic crisis, the demand for cars was very sluggish.

In 1933, after the death of Fred Duesenberg, his brother became the chief engineer of the company. He immediately began to modernize the J model, equipping it with one of the most powerful engines of the 30s – it was an eight-cylinder engine with 400 horsepower. However, just 4 years later, the company stopped the production of expensive “Duesenberg”.

These are the most famous models of Duesenberg convertible cars:

  • Duesenberg SJ La Grande Phaeton (1932)

The four-door phaeton was equipped at once with two windshields – on the first and second rows. In addition, for the 30s, it was a real ‘hypercar’, because it allowed reaching 220 km/h.

  • Duesenberg SJ Speedster (1935)

Designed specifically for setting the speed records, this car, commonly known as the Mormon Meteor, was a masterpiece in every way, from performance to design. It proudly bore the name of David Abbott Jenkins on its side, right in front of the driver’s cab. “Ab” Jenkins was a professional racer, as well as the mayor of Salt Lake City at 1940th. Jenkins’s interest in motor racing began with motorcycle racing on country roads and rough terrain. Then he became interested in land speed records. He played a large role in creating Bonneville as a venue for such events, and in attracting foreign drivers to it. SJ Speedster was the favorite car of the professional racer.

In 2000th, the car was a participant in the Elegance Competition and won it on five occasions, beating Aston Martin, Auburn and Cord brands. In 2007, Mormon Meteor won the highest awards again, as it was recognized as the best at the exhibition.

  • Duesenberg SSJ (1935)

The company has released two special SSJ models with a short (3.17 meter) base and sports bodies. Two short chassis with a base of 3200 mm and a motor power up to 400 liters were made as well. The carburetor manifold had two sections, each of which was divided into two more sections. The car body was made by a subsidiary of the Auburn. The spare wheel was located behind, outside of the body. American movie stars Gary Cooper and Clark Gable bought these cars.

The company has released two special SSJ models with a short (3.17 meter) base and sports bodies. Two short chassis with a base of 3200 mm and a motor power up to 400 liters were made as well. The carburetor manifold had two sections, each of which was divided into two more sections. The car body was made by a subsidiary of the Auburn. The spare wheel was located behind, outside of the body. American movie stars Gary Cooper and Clark Gable bought these cars.

Origins

In 1913 was founded the American Duesenberg company. However, the history of the brand began much earlier, when Fred Duesenberg made his first sports car and offered his brother to devote his life to the developing direction. Therefore, Oji Duesenberg became the head of the auto company, turning down the offer of work at Coca Cola, and Fred Duesenberg headed the design department. The brothers always tried to think outside the box, so it was decided to independently produce all the components of their future cars, including powertrains, which was a real challenge for small beginner brands in those years. Nevertheless, Duesenberg convertible cars are still some of the best and most beautiful in the world.