The Duesenberg brothers, Fred and Augie, first entered the auto industry making business with a car called the Mason, which gained regional fame by winning a number of races and hill climbs with Fred at the wheel. This model was made from 1929 through 1936.
The Model J arrived with a 420 cubic-inch straight-eight built by Lycoming to Fred's design. Horsepower was advertised as 265; this was mind-boggling for the time, and easily over twice the power of the industry's previous best, Chrysler.
Interiors were opulent but functional. Instruments were the most numerous yet seen in an automobile; the usual speedometer (calibrated to 150 mph), ammeter, and water-temperature and oil-pressure gauges, plus tachometer, brake pressure gauge, split-second stopwatch, and altimeter/barometer. Warning lights reminded the owner to add chassis oil (the chassis lubricated itself every 75 miles), change engine oil, or replenish battery water.
Model J's didn't weight much over 5,200 pounds, which helped them do a staggering 89 mph in second gear and around 115 in high.
This car was first purchased at the 1931 Los Angeles new car show. It was reported to be the first four door convertible sedan built by Murphy Company. It was restored in 1992, and the current owners have owned it since 1997.