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1931 Duesenberg Model J Roadster

  • Chassis Number: 2410
  • Engine Number: J434
  • Body Number: Firewall No: 2410
Much like changes in season or fashion, it was not uncommon for the coachwork to change on high-priced automobiles. This car, S/N 2410, was originally purchased by George Tucker Smith, a U.S. Navy Surgeon, in late 1930. It was originally fitted with a Derham Sport Sedan body.

In March of 1932, he returned the car to Duesenberg's New York factory branch, where it was fitted with a new modified Packard Roadster body, similar in style to the Model 745. The result was a car that was longer than any Packard, and yet lower than any other Duesenberg. This provided a lower, more raked-back body, along with a sportier roadster feel. It was finished in black over tan.

18 months after being acquired by its original owner, (G. Tucker Smith of Virginia), it was traded at the Philadelphia Factory Branch. The car changed hands numerous times until being acquired by noted Duesenberg collector Melvin Clemans. It was under his ownership (until 1992) the car became known as the Green Hornet Duesenberg.

The car was restored in 2011, by R.M. Auto restorations. It is the sole example of this type of roadster body mated to a Model J chassis.
This Duesenberg Model J Roadster is very unusual. It has a Duesenberg chassis with a custom Packard body. Since Duesenberg did not offer a true, wind-in-your-hair, roadster, the original owner of this vehicle selected a Packard body. The roadster body offered a type of motoring experience that could not be achieved with a convertible body style. It had a minimal top with just enough area to provide shade from the sun and other elements. With an open body, the sides were lower and undeniably rakish.

The original owner of this car was George Tucker Smith, a surgeon for the U.S. Navy, stationed at the Brooklyn Naval Hospital. It was purchased in the late 1930s and fitted with a Derham Sport Sedan body. Nearly two years later, in March of 1932, it was returned to the New York Factory branch, where it was given a new Packard roadster body.

The chassis is the standard Duesenberg platform. With the lower cowl height of the Packard, several modifications were required. The result was a car that was longer than any Packard, yet lower than any Duesenberg. It is painted black and has a tan leather interior.

In November of 1933, Dr. Smith traded the Duesenberg back to the New York factory branch, where he bought a second new Duesenberg (J272 - a LeBaron Dual Cowl Phaeton). He later had the LeBaron coachwork of J272 removed and fitted with Rollston Quarter Window Victoria coachwork that had been removed from band leader Paul Whiteman's car.

Chassis 2410 was purchased by the second owner whose name is unknown. Delivery was taken in September 1934. The third owner was W.J. Calhoun, Jr., who purchased it on October 27th of 1936. The car passed through two more owners before it was acquired by Dr. Herbert A. Wiggins of New York, in August of 1942.

Soon after, the car was in Norfolk, Virginia, and in the ownership of USN Lt. Cecil Haycraft. The next owner was Theodore Cole, who later sold it to Peter Sosa of Atlanta, Georgia and then sold it to Conrad Clemens in Pennsylvania in 1946. Clemens died shortly after purchasing the vehicle, and Melvin Clemens of Huntington, West Virginia (Conrad's brother) purchased the car. While in Melvin's care, a new engine was fitted - J434, which still remains in the car to this day.

The car remained in Clemen's care for most of his life. In 1994, it was traded to Harry Yeaggy. The next owner was Bill Bools, who kept it until his recent passing.

In 2009, this Model J Duesenberg/Packard was offered for sale at the Automobiles of Arizona auction presented by RM Auctions. The lot was estimated to sell for $900,000 - $1,200,000. As bidding came to a close, the lot failed to sell after reaching a high bid of $600,000.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009

2021 RM Sothebys : Hershey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $1,400,000-USD $1,800,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,650,000

2009 Automobiles of Arizona

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $900,000-USD $1,200,000 
High Bid (Lot was not sold)
USD $600,000

1931 Duesenberg Model J Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Duesenberg Model J

(Data based on Model Year 1931 sales)
1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster by Derham
Chassis#: 2440
Sold for USD$1,710,000
  2023 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1931 Duesenberg Model J image  1931 Duesenberg Model J image  
1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by LeBaron
Sold for USD$1,050,000
  2023 RM Sothebys : Arizona
1931 Duesenberg Model J image  1931 Duesenberg Model J image  
1931 Duesenberg Model J Arlington Sedan
Chassis#: 2187
Sold for USD$857,500
  2022 Worldwide Auctioneers : The Auburn Auction
 
1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster by Derham
Chassis#: 2464
Sold for USD$3,415,000
  2022 RM Sothebys : Arizona
1931 Duesenberg Model J image  1931 Duesenberg Model J image  
1931 Duesenberg Model J Roadster 'Green Hornet'
Chassis#: 2410
Sold for USD$1,650,000
  2021 RM Sothebys : Hershey
1931 Duesenberg Model J image  1931 Duesenberg Model J image  
1931 Duesenberg Model J Limousine by Willoughby
Chassis#: 2438
Sold for USD$451,000
  2019 RM Sothebys : Hershey
1931 Duesenberg Model J image  1931 Duesenberg Model J image  
1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline
Chassis#: 2371
Sold for USD$506,000
  2019 Worldwide Auctioneers : Scottsdale, Arizona
 
1931 Duesenberg Model J SWB Sport Convertible Sedan
Chassis#: 2486
Sold for USD$1,320,000
  2018 Worldwide Auctioneers : Pacific Grove Auction
1931 Duesenberg Model J image  1931 Duesenberg Model J image  
1931 Duesenberg II Dual Cowl Phaeton
Sold for USD$134,750
  2016 Worldwide Auctioneers : The Auburn Auction
 
1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster by Derham
Chassis#: 2468
Sold for USD$1,320,000
  2016 RM Sotheby's : Monterey
1931 Duesenberg Model J image  1931 Duesenberg Model J image  
1931 Duesenberg Model J Phaeton in the Style of Tourster
Sold for USD$265,000
  2015 Auctions America - Auburn Fall
 
1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster by Derham
Chassis#: 2456
Sold for USD$825,000
  2013 RM Auctions - Amelia Island
1931 Duesenberg Model J image  1931 Duesenberg Model J image  
1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan
Chassis#: 2350
Sold for USD$462,000
  2013 Gooding and Company - The Amelia Island Auction
1931 Duesenberg Model J image  1931 Duesenberg Model J image  
1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster by Derham
Chassis#: 2440
Sold for USD$1,320,000
  2013 RM Auctions - Arizona
1931 Duesenberg Model J image  1931 Duesenberg Model J image  
1931 Duesenberg Model J Dual Windshield ‘Barrelside' Phaeton by LeBaron
Chassis#: 2318
Sold for USD$1,292,500
  2012 RM Auctions - Hershey, PA
 
1931 Duesenberg Model J Long-Wheelbase Limousine
Chassis#: 2438
Sold for USD$330,000
  2012 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auction
1931 Duesenberg Model J image  1931 Duesenberg Model J image  
1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan
Chassis#: 2363
Sold for USD$693,000
  2010 RM Auctions - Sports & Classics of Monterey
 
1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster
Chassis#: J444
Sold for USD$1,485,000
  2007 RM Auctions - The McMullen Collection
1931 Duesenberg Model J image  1931 Duesenberg Model J image  
1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster
Sold for USD$378,000
  2007 The Florida Collector Car Auction
 
1931 Duesenberg Model J Special Phaeton
Chassis#: 2189
Sold for USD$2,640,000
  2006 The Otis Chandler Collection Auction
1931 Duesenberg Model J image  1931 Duesenberg Model J image  

Duesenberg Model Js That Failed To Sell At Auction

1931 Duesenberg Model J's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan Coachwork by Carrosserie Franay24652024 Bonhams : The Scottsdale Auction   
1931 Duesenberg Model J 2009 Automobiles of Arizona$600,000$900,000$1,200,000
1931 Duesenberg Model J 2009 The Scottsdale Auction : Gooding & Company   
1931 Duesenberg Model J ToursterJ2062006 RM Auctions at Meadow Brook$430,000$350,000$500,000
1931 Duesenberg J104 Convertible Victoria 2004 The Florida Collector Car Auction$425,000  
1931 Duesenberg Model J Conv. Victoria 2003 Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island$450,000  
1931 Duesenberg Model J Sedan 2003 Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island$280,000  
1931 DUESENBERG TORPEDO PHAETON23192001 Kruse Auction Auburn, IN$410,000  

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1931 Duesenberg Model J

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