1936 Duesenberg Twelve Cylinder Prototype

By the mid 1930's, Cord Corporation officials had determined that a less expensive Duesenberg was the answer to the sales decline brought on by the great depression. Duesenberg president Harold Ames was moved to Auburn and placed in charge of the 'Baby Duesenberg' Project. The initial Gordon Buehrig design, featuring front wheel drive and revolutionary styling was instead used to revitalize the Cord, becoming the model 810 in late 1935. Taking advantage of the popularity of the new 1935 Auburn Speedster and hoping to use existing V-12 engines, Buehrig was also asked to design the Duesenberg Gentleman's Speedster. With minor variations from Buehrig's clay model, only one prototype was know to have been produced.

Utilizing parts from Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg, this one-of-a-kind prototype Gentleman's Speedster is certainly the rarest and one of the most desirable late Auburn, Cord, or Duesenberg automobiles ever built. The prototype Gentleman's Speedster is an outstanding performer as evidenced by the 6' diameter, 150 mph speedometer and 5,000 rpm tachometer. The car is equipped with the wonderfully smooth and powerful Lycoming V-12 engine and dual ratio rear axle. Many unusual components were used in the construction of this automobile. In addition to the Lycoming V-12 engine, the bumpers are 810-812 Cord, the body a modified Auburn Speedster and Duesenberg hood panels.

Photographs in Gordon Buehrig's book, 'Rolling Sculpture' page 102, show the clay model of this Speedster equipped with side mount spares. This feature was apparently abandoned, but a glance under either front fender reveals the original fender wells still in tact. The original Lycoming V-12 engine may have been replaced during the 1940's. The car was one of the star displays at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum during the 1970's and 1980's. Mr. Weaver loved this car so much that following its purchase in 1989, he had the car totally restored to original specifications. It is believed that movie star Jackie Coogan was the first owner of this exciting automobile. The car is certified by the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club as an experimental Category I car.

Source - William E. Swigart Jr. Automobile Museum
1936 Duesenberg Twelve Cylinder Prototype vehicle information

Speedster Convertible
Designer: Gordon Buehrig

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 ....[continue reading]

Speedster Convertible
 

Background

The Duesenberg Company produced high-end, luxury automobiles and racing cars from 1913 through 1937. It was created by the Duesenberg brothers, Fred and August, who formed the Duesenberg Automobile %26 Motors Company, Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa with the intent on building sports cars. Just like many of their time, they were mostly self-taught engineers and had only constructed experimental cars up to....
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Related Reading : Duesenberg Model J History

The Duesenberg Automobile %26 Motors Company, Inc was founded and operated by Fred and August brothers who began their company in 1913. From the start their company has been a US based luxury automobile company with a standard to build the very best hand-built vehicles during the time period. Duesenberg vehicles lived up to this standard until 1937 when the company closed. Created to build sports....
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