1958 Kollins Le Grande Roadster
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Engine/Mechanical Component Photos
The one-off custom creation began in 1951 when he purchased a 1930 Duesenberg Model J. The car carried a Judkins coupe body that was not in the best of condition. That was irrelevant as all Kollins wanted from the car was the instrumentation, drive train, and a few other components. A special frame was built by A.O. Smith and based on the 1950 Packard Super Convertible design. The front and rear suspension was comprised of Packard components and heavy-duty brakes with Bendix servos were placed at all four corners.
Mount under the extremely long bonnet was a Model J engine. It was disassembled and bored out to 435 cubic-inches. The compression ratio was increased to 7.5:1 and bigger valves were fitted. A special intake manifold was fabricated and four Carter side-draft carburetors were added. The result was an increase in power to around 400 bhp. A three-speed Warner manual transmission was mated to the engine and sent all that power to the rear wheels.
The car is very long. The hood has a raised center section to accommodate the large straight-eight Lycoming powerplant. The radiator shell is pure Duesenberg and its egg crate grille gives it an Italian flavor. There are chrome Packard Caribbean wheels and fender moldings which reinforce its American influence. Kollins' friends at Chrysler designed the convertible top frame, which many consider to be an engineering marvel.
In 2008, this car was brought to the 2nd Annual Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey presented by RM Auctions where it was estimated to sell for $180,000-$250,000. Though the vehicle carried a reserve, it was lifted even though bidding did not reach the estimated value. The lot was sold for $118,250 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2008
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|Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey by RM Auctions||1950-1980|