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1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Sport Sedan

  • Coachwork by Murphy
  • Chassis Number: 2132
  • Engine Number: J-151
  • Style Number: J-151
  • Body Number: 804
Owned by such people as Clark Gable, the Duke of Windsor, Gary Cooper, and others, Duesenberg certainly exemplified quality and luxury. Advertised as 'the best car in the world' Duesenberg's Model J remains one of the most desirable and collectible of all Duesenbergs.

Another fine example of a Duesenberg Model J was to cross the block at RM Auction's Monterey event on the 17th of August in 2012. The example up for auction would be a Model J Sport Sedan by the Walter M. Murphy Co. which was estimated to draw between $800,000 and $1,000,000 prior to the auction.

The model offered at the auction is actually the first of just two examples that would be bodied by the Murphy company and are also one of the earliest Model Js known to be built. Designed by Walter M. Murphy Company's Chief Designer Franklin Hershey, chassis 2132 would feature Hershey's ground-breaking door-into-the-roof design and would boast of such design elements as opposing doors, back window pull-down blinds, and the elegant 'V'-shaped cowl that contours along with the windshield.

Chassis 2132 actually had been featured by Duesenberg in the San Francisco Salon in 1929. Not long after that exposure, the car would be sold to the Norris family. The Norris family had an extensive portfolio of holdings mostly in Chicago and Colorado Springs. One of those holdings included the famous Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs and this is where the Duesenberg would spend most of its life.

It wouldn't be much after having been purchased by the Norris family that the car would be returned to the factory to have some changes and updates made to the car. The car would originally leave the factory with its Auburn gas pedal but it would return to the factory to be fitted with those striking and aesthetically pleasing chromed shutters. In addition, the carburetion would be changed to a downdraft Stromberg.

With the Stromberg conversion, the 420 cu. in. eight-cylinder engine would be capable of producing some 265 bhp. This would give the sport sedan 100 more horsepower than its nearest competitor, and therefore, would also have a top speed faster than any other pre-World War II road car.

This stout, elegant performer would remain with the Norris family until 1985, at which time it would be purchased by the noted John Mozart. Mozart would then take the Murphy-bodied Model J to Pebble Beach in 1986 where it would receive Second in Class. Ownership would then transfer to Jerry Moore of Texas in 1991. The car would again be sold a few years after Mr. Moore took ownership. It would again change hands right around the beginning of the new millennium and would go through a thorough restoration a couple of years later.

Complete with a dark blue livery and blue leather top, chassis 2132 remains stunning and very active to this very day. In 2007, 2008 and 2010, the car would take part in Duesenberg tours arranged by Mr. Sam Mann and would remain cared for by marque expert Brian Joseph.

Strikingly-beautiful and exceedingly rare in so many points, chassis 2132 would certainly be one of the highlights of the auction and an important piece of history to behold; a true legend within the mythical Model J line.

Sources:
'Lot No. 142: 1929 Duesenberg Model J Sport Sedan', (http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=MO12&fc=1). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=MO12&fc=1. Retrieved 30 July 2012.

'1929 Duesenberg Model J News, Pictures and Information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z13531/Duesenberg-Model-J.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z13531/Duesenberg-Model-J.aspx. Retrieved 30 July 2012.

By Jeremy McMullen

2022 RM Sothebys : Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $1,200,000-USD $1,500,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,710,000

1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Duesenberg Model J Murphy

(Data based on Model Year 1929 sales)
1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe
Chassis#: 2265
Sold for USD$3,305,000
  2022 Worldwide Auctioneers : The Auburn Auction
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg Model J Sport Sedan by Murphy
Chassis#: 2132
Sold for USD$1,710,000
  2022 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Coupe
Chassis#: 2165
Sold for USD$2,365,000
  2022 Mecum : Glendale
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Sedan
Chassis#: 2245
Sold for USD$2,365,000
  2021 Mecum : Monterey
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg Model J 'Butterfly' Dual-Cowl Phaeton by Murphy
Chassis#: 2169
Sold for USD$3,305,000
  2021 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg Model J 'Disappearing Top' Torpedo by Murphy
Chassis#: 2199
Sold for USD$5,725,000
  2021 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island Auction
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Murphy
Chassis#: 2168
Sold for USD$1,430,000
  2017 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by Murphy
Chassis#: J259
Sold for USD$880,000
  2017 RM Sothebys : Santa Monica
 
1929 Duesenberg Model J 'Disappearing Top' Convertible Coupe by Murphy
Chassis#: 2551
Sold for USD$1,540,000
  2016 RM Sotheby's : Motor City
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupe by Murphy
Chassis#: 2199
Sold for USD$3,000,000
  2016 RM Sothebys : Arizona
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg J Convertible Coupe, Rumbleseat
Sold for USD$2,530,000
  2015 Morphy Auctions : Premier Automobile Sale
 
1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing-Top Convertible Coupe
Chassis#: 2134
Sold for USD$2,365,000
  2013 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton in the style of Murphy
Chassis#: 2201
Sold for USD$682,000
  2013 RM Auctions - St John's
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 DUESENBERG MODEL J CABRIOLET MURPHY
Sold for USD$1,319,888
  2013 ARTCURIAL MOTORCARS À RÉTROMOBILE
 
1929 DUESENBERG J MURPHY BERLINE CONVERTIBLE
Chassis#: 2307
Sold for USD$725,000
  2013 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg Model J Sport Sedan by Walter M. Murphy Co.
Chassis#: 2163
Sold for USD$792,000
  2012 RM Auctions - Hershey, PA
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe
Chassis#: 2134
Sold for USD$1,897,500
  2012 RM Auctions - Monterey
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan
Chassis#: 2225
Sold for USD$522,500
  2012 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auction
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by Murphy Inc
Chassis#: 2307
Sold for USD$704,000
  2011 RM Auctions - Concours d'Elegance at St. Johns
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy image  
1929 Duesenberg Model J Clear Vision Sedan
Chassis#: 2209 / J187
Sold for USD$742,500
  2011 Automobiles of Arizona by RM Auctions
 

Duesenberg Model J Murphys That Failed To Sell At Auction

1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1929 Duesenberg Model J Clear-Vision Sedan by Murphy22092018 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island $750,000$1,000,000
1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan21942014 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach Concours $1,350,000$1,750,000
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy 2007 Bonhams, An Important Sale of Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia $850,000$950,000
1929 DUESENBERG MURPHY ROADSTER 2001 Kruse Auction Scottsdale Arizona$625,000  

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1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy

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