Introduced in 1932 was the supercharged Model J with 320 horsepower (often referred to as 'SJ'), which had a top speed of 135-140 mph. Special-bodied models, such as the later 'Mormon Meteor' chassis, achieved an average speed of over 135 mph, and a one-hour average of over 152 mph.
These supercharged cars can be recognized by the shiny creased exhaust tubes, which Cord registered as a trademark and used in his other supercharged cars from Cord and Auburn. It was said, 'The only car that could pass a Duesenberg was another Duesenberg, and that was with the first owner's consent.'
Quickly, the Duesenberg became one of the most popular in America, driven by the rich and famous, among them Clark Gable, Gary Cooper (each driving one of the two very rare SSJ 125-inch short-wheelbase convertibles), and the Duke of Windsor.
Duesenberg advertising claimed it was the best car in the world, and their world-beating performance and extreme opulence tended to back that up.
'He drives a Duesenberg' and 'She drives a Duesenberg' is all that need be said in the advertising campaigns for one of the most prestigious automobiles ever produced in the United States. This Indianapolis, Indiana manufactured automobile was the favorite of the rich-and-famous and driven by many a Prince, Princess, and celebrities such as Clark Gable and Garry Cooper. The 8-cylinder engine produced 265 horsepower ranking it the fastest automobile of its day. Prices of the Duesenberg commonly reached the $20,000 mark when America was in the midst of the depression. This Duesenberg sports Boattail Coachwork designed by Franklin Hershey and built by Murphy of Pasadena, CA.
This Duesenberg, now showing 260,000 on its odometer, was previously owned by Cliff Durant (son of GM founder William Durant), financier J. Paul Getty and author John O'Hara.Also photographed at :