1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy
|Model History||Auction sales research||Specifications||Body styles and Chassis Data|
The Duesenberg Model J's were impressive vehicles and were bred from Fred and August Dueseneberg's history of racing. The brothers competed in the Indy 500 on 15 consecutive appearances with their first being in 1913. In total there were 70 Duisenberg's that competed on the legendary Brickyard circuit with 46-percent of them finishing in the top 10. The Indianapolis 500 was a 500 mile endurance race and finishing it was a major accomplishment in its own respect. With so many top ten finishes for Duesenberg, their reliability and speed soon became legendary.
In 1921, Jimmy Murphy drove a Duesenberg to first place at the French Grand Prix at LeMans. For 1922, eight of the top ten cars were Duesenberg-powered machines, including the winning car driven by Jimmy Murphy.
In 1925, the Duesenberg Company was purchased by Errett Lobban Cord and added to his growing list of companies. This acquisition was intended to position the newly purchased Duesenberg Company at the height of luxury and to compete with the greatest automobile producers of the era, such as Rolls-Royce, Isotta Fraschini, Bugatti, Cadillac, and Hispano-Suiza.
The short-wheelbase Duesenberg J, accounting for most of the Model J production, measured nearly 12-feet long. The 420 cubic-inch straight-eight engine produced 265 horsepower which promised over 100 mph top speed.
This particular Model J is chassis number 2154 and engine number J-132. It has Murphy body number 830 and ACD Certification Number D-015. It began life as a much different vehicle than what it is now. It was originally a Derham bodied Sedan and was sold new to William E. Schmidt. The next owner was H. S. Kehn, also from Chicago, who later sold it to Paul S. Johnson. While in Johnson's care, the rear portion body was removed with the intent of making it into a truck for his plumbing business. The conversion was never completed and later sold to Keith Brown of LaPorte, Indiana in October of 1957.
The Convertible Coupe body that this vehicle now carries was originally mounted on J-144. It was originally owned by Frank Gill of New York. Duesenberg re-acquired the car on April 30, 1932 and later sold to David Joyce of Chicago. (Joyce later owned J151, a Derham Tourster.)
Brown purchased the Murphy body in 1957 and had it mounted on J132 between 1957 and 1959. In September of 1959, the car was sold to Homer Fitterling. It would remain in his care until being purchased by Ed Weater of Dalton, Georgia in 1989. In 1994, the car was purchased by RM Classic Cars of Chatham, Ontario, Canada and later sold to Berkeley, Massachusetts collector Jim King. It was later traded back to RM for another car. In 2006, the current owner purchased the car from RM.
In 2008 this 1929 Duesenberg J Convertible Coupe with coachwork by Murphy was brought to RM Auctions' Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook. It was estimated to sell for $750,000-$950,000. Bidding reached $748,000, including buyer's premium, which was just under the estimated value but enough to secure new ownership. The lot was sold.
By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2008
|Auction Sales Information|
|Auction||Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook|
|Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook||1929-1933|