1931 Duesenberg Model SJ / 2506 Chassis Information

Convertible Phaeton
Coachwork: Derham
Chassis Num: 2506
Engine Num: SJ-488
The elegant and luxurious Duesenberg Model J automobiles were known as 'America's Mightiest Motor Car' and were built by the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Company in Auburn, Indiana. Errett Lobban Cord put out a tremendous effort to create the finest automobile in America. He enlisted the help of the two skilled German immigrant brothers from Indianapolis, Fred and August Duesenberg, to assist with this task. They had built Indianapolis 500-winning racecars and pioneered supercharger. The result of their efforts was one of the most elegant and expensive vehicle of its era. The Duesenberg was also the fastest American production car until the Chrysler 300 series in the mid-1950s.

The Model J was introduced just as the New York stock market crashed. These vehicles were largely hand-built with limited production or completely custom coachwork. In total, about 480 examples were completed form 1929 to 1937.

This Convertible Phaeton is chassis number 2506 and powered by engine number SJ-488. It is a sporty short-wheelbase, split-windshield Convertible Pheaton that received it coachwork from Gordon Buehrig. It was one of just five examples to be built by the Derham Body Company of Rosemont, Pennsylvania. Randy Ema, a Duesenberg expert, believes that SJ-488 was used as a factory demonstrator before being sold to Alexander Tiers, the vehicles first owner. The price for the car was a staggering $15,250, a considerable sum during that era. It then passed to Dick 'Hal' Rossen, who was briefly married to actress Jean Harlow. James Talmadge of Twentieth Century Fox (his father was Buster Keaton) was the cars next caretaker. Walter Bryson, who followed Talmadge, sold it to Gerald B. Strochecker of Portland, Oregon, in 1947. He owned four Duesenbergs, including a twin to this car, and was a scion of the family who owned the Strohecker grocery stores. The car was bequeathed to Strohecker's close friend, Charles F. Norris, who kept it for three decades before selling it to the present owners.

This is one of the rare SJ models, meaning its 420 cubic-inch straight-eight DOHC (four-valve per cylinder) Lycoming engine is fitted with a supercharger. There is a one-piece, eight-port, external exhaust pipe. The engine (painted green - the color of money) produces 320 horsepower which is sent to the rear wheels via a three-speed manual gearbox. Top speed is in the neighborhood of 125 mph. The wheelbase measurers 143.5 inches and the car weighs 5,270 pounds.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2011

Chassis# 2506

No auction information available for this vehicle at this time.

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1931 sales)

No Sale

1931 Duesenberg Model SJ's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1931 Duesenberg Model SJ Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe by Murphy23672013 RM Auctions Monterey$1,850,000  

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Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

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