In the mid-1930s, Cord Corporation designed a less expensive Duesenberg to offset the decline brought on by The Great Depression. This was labeled 'The Baby Duesenberg Project.' Since the Auburn was popular at this time, Gordon Buehrig used existing V12 engines to help design this Duesenberg Gentlemen's Speedster. This is the only prototype known to have been produced.
Parts from Auburns, Cords, and Duesenbergs were used to build this car. In addition to the Lycoming V12 engine, bumpers were designed like the 810-812 Cord, body was a modified Auburn Speedster, the hood panels were those of a Duesenberg.
By 1936, most of the luxury automobile manufactures were either out of business or facing serious financial hardships. The Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg Company of Auburn, Indiana was no exception. The demand for the famous Model J Duesenberg had all but vanished, and the Auburn, Cord Duesenberg Company was only assembling a few cars a year based on customers' requests, often using left-over parts.
In 1937, E.L. Cord stopped production of all Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg automobiles. However, a few vehicles were built afterwards using remaining parts and the last Model J Duesenberg was assembled in 1940. From its introduction in 1928 until the companies demise, less than 500 Model J Duesenberg's were built and sold.
While most Duesenbergs used the famous dual overhead camshaft straight eight engine, this rare example uses a 12-cylinder engine which would have been more common in an Auburn. This car was on display at the ACD Museum during the 1970s and 1980s and in 1989, Ed Weaver purchased this car and had it restored to its original specification. Actor Jackie Coogan is reputed to have been its first owner. This car has been certified by the ACD Club as an experimental Category I car.