Due to the current economic climate, we are going to see a number of brands disappear from the automotive landscape. Here is one that disappeared due to the Great Depression! Most of you probably do not know this manufacturer! Duesenberg was an automobile company that started in Auburn, Indiana....producing cars from 1913 thru 1937. Approximately fifty percent of the cars manufactured still remain as collector cars. Currently, Duesenberg models J and SJ are among the most prized collector cars. A Duesenberg in good condition can be worth in excess of several million USD.
In 1913, brothers Fred and August Duesenberg founded the the Duesenberg Automobile & Motors Company in Iowa to build sports cars. The two brothers were born in Germany and were self-taught engineers. Duesenberg cars are considered some of the very best cars of the time, and were built entirely by hand. A Duesenberg won the the Indianapolis 500 race in 1924, 1925, and 1927.
The cars were extremely advanced, offering features such as dual overhead camshafts, four-valve cylinder heads, and the first hydraulic brakes offered on a passenger car.
In 1926, E.L. Cord, the owner of Cord Automobile, Auburn Automobile, and other transportation firms, bought the company in 1926.....he was a business legend in his day. The newly revived Duesenberg company set about to produce the Model J, which debuted in 1928. The standard Model J produced 265 hp. with a top speed of 119 mph. The supercharged version, called the SJ, was reputed to do 104 miles per hour with a top speed of 135–140 mph. Zero-to-60 mph (100 km/h) times of around eight seconds. Duesenbergs generally weighed around two and a half tons; up to three tons was not unusual, considering the wide array of custom coachwork available.
The interior and body of the car would be custom-made by an experienced coachbuilder to the owner's specifications. The bodyworks for the Duesenbergs came from both North America and Europe. The finished cars comprised some of the largest, grandest, most beautiful, and most elegant cars ever created. The chassis cost $8,500 ($9,500 after 1932); the completed base model cost $13,500; and a top-of-the-line model could reach $25,000 at a time when the average U.S. physician earned less than $3,000 a year.
The Duesenberg quickly became one of the most popular luxury cars in America and also in Europe, driven by the nobility, rich and famous, among them Clark Gable, Gary Cooper(each driving one of the two very rare SSJ 125″ short-wheelbase convertibles), the Duke of Windsor, the King of Spain Alfonso XIII, who was very keen on motoring, chose his now missing Duesenberg J, among his cars, to go to exile after the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic.
Duesenberg advertising claimed it was the best car in the world, and their world-beating performance and extreme opulence tended to back that up. to some of the last supercharged models to produce 400 hp (298 kW). Duesenberg ceased production in 1937 after Cord's financial empire collapsed due to the depression.
After World War II, August Duesenberg tried to revive the Duesenberg name, but was unsuccessful; several later attempts were also unsuccessful.
My take is these cars were from a different time....excellent examples of a wealthy era! Obviously, they were expensive for their day! Today, they will cost a new owner a small fortune!
Information coutesy of Wikipedia!