Lot #5043 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Berline
The Duesenberg Model J, "The Mightiest American Motor Car" in J.L. Elbert's words, needs little introduction. Its 420 cubic inch dual overhead camshaft inline eight-cylinder engine was rated at 265 horsepower and, even if that included a little artistic license, was still the most powerful automobile in America in the Thirties, more than twice as powerful than its next closest rival. E.L. Cord gave Fred Duesenberg the task of building such a powerful, strong, high quality automobile that even with the heaviest formal closed coachwork it would still dust off its competitor's speedsters. Fred Duesenberg succeeded and the greatest coachbuilders of the day vied to cloth its 142" or 153" wheelbase chassis with the finest, most beautiful and refined coachwork they could conceive. Foremost among them was the Walter M. Murphy Company in Pasadena, California of which this 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline, a luxurious seven-passenger fully enclosed Berline with rollup windows and division window with a top that would, when the weather was fine and conditions warranted, fold away to create a luxurious open car. Among its important features are the thin posts of the raked windshield that were part of Murphy's "Clear Vision" design. Murphy was commissioned to build this body to order by L.H. McCormick of Chicago's famed family descended from inventor Cyrus McCormick. It is today complete and correct in its original configuration including chassis, coachwork, engine and firewall. Its ownership history includes John Troka, D. Cameron Peck, Mills B. Lane, Richard Kughn, The Imperial Palace and the Blackhawk Collection. Carefully preserved by generations of collectors in its correct, original configuration as built by Duesenberg and bodied by Walter M. Murphy Company. Matchinh numbers chassis, engine, coachwork and firewall. Lavishly equipped and trimmed. Gorgeous, refined, elegant convertible Berline coachwork. It was mechanically rebuilt by specialist Brian Joseph in 2006 with a high speed axle and received new upholstery, top and paint thereafter. Its equipment includes chrome wire wheels, dual side mounted spares with chrome rings and mirrors, Pilot-Ray lights, wide white wall tires, shutter front radiator and hydraulic shock absorbers as it was when it was delivered by Murphy. It is in superb touring condition reflecting the previous owner's frequent use of the Duesenberg on tours and events. A carefully and consistently maintained Duesenberg with the highest quality coachwork, it has always retained its complete original entity, a rare attribute among Duesenbergs, and been an important part of some of America's most respected collections. A CCCA National First Prize winner, it is fully ready for its next owner to enjoy for its rarity, its refined, elegant coachwork and for its exceptional performance on the road.