A Flock Of Duesies Gather For Concours

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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Twenty-five Duesenbergs will be brought together for the 2003 Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance classic car show in Rochester, Mich., Sunday. A classic car auction, including two Roll-Royces expected to go for as much as $500,000 each, will take place the day before.

Among the 25 "Duesies" will be cars originally owned by Gary Cooper and Clark Gable. Also on display at the Meadowbrook Concours will be a 1931 Derham Tourster once owned by Howard Hughes and a 1935 Supercharged Duesenberg, known as the "Mormon Meteor," that set several land speed records on Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats.

1929 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Murphy Boattail  

1929 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Murphy Boattail

The famous Duesenberg Model Js and SJs were produced between 1929 and 1937. In their day, they were advertised as "the world's finest motor car, an expression of accomplishment recognized as the standard by which all other cars are judged."

Duesenberg Inc. built only the chassis with drivetrain, grill and front sheet metal. Buyers could select whatever company they liked to build the rest of the car.

The name of the Duesenberg brothers, Frederick and August, had become famous on racing circuits where cars with their engines regularly won races and set records. But it wasn't until their struggling car company became part of E.L. Cord's early automotive conglomerate -- the company that also made Auburns and Cords -- that they began creating the cars that made Duesenberg truly famous.

1931 Duesenberg Model J 444 Derham Tourster  

1931 Duesenberg Model J 444 Derham Tourster

A Duesenberg motorcar was an extravagance available only to the very wealthy. In 1929, when Model A Fords were selling for about $500, a Duesenberg cost roughly $18,000 -- the equivalent of $193,000 today. That's about $10,000 more than a modern Ferrari 360 Spider. Today, Duesenbergs in outstanding condition regularly sell at auction for high six-figure prices.

More than 75 percent of the Duesenbergs ever made still survive and 55 percent are still drivable, according to information from the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Ind. Duesenberg Inc. built a total of 480 cars in the company's lifetime.

Altogether, 250 vehicles will displayed at the Concours, a competitive classic car show. Concours awards will be presented on Sunday.

Classic car auction

A separate classic car auction will be held Saturday. It, too, will feature some very fancy cars.

The cars to be auctioned include a 1934 Packard Super 8 Victoria with an estimated selling price of $120,000-to-$150,000 and a 1934 Pierce Arrow Silver Arrow Coupe with an estimated selling price between $180,000 and $210,000.

Among the most valuable cars up for sale Saturday are a 1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Henley and a 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Landaulette, each expected to go for between $400,000 and $500,000.  Top of page>

Source : http://money.cnn.com/2003/08/01/pf/autos/duesies/

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