Car quick pick

My car fleet

No cars selected

Duesenberg - marque/manufacturer information

List of all Duesenberg cars

Duesenberg was a United States-based luxury automobile company active in various forms from 1913 to 1937, most famous for their extremely high-quality, record-breakingly fast roadsters.


In 1913, the German Duesenberg Brothers, Fred and August, founded Duesenberg Automobile & Motors Company, Inc. in Garner, Iowa, at State street, to build sports cars. Born in 1876 and 1879 in Lemgo, Germany, the two brothers were self-taught engineers and built many experimental cars. Duesenberg cars were considered some of the very best cars of the time, and were built entirely by hand. In 1914 Eddie Rickenbacker drove a "Duesy" to finish in 10th place at the Indianapolis 500, and a Duesenberg car won the race in 1924, 1925, and 1927.

1923 saw the only use of the Duesenberg as the pace car at the Indianapolis 500. In 1921, Jimmy Murphy became the first American to win the French Grand Prix when he drove a Duesenberg to victory at the Le Mans racetrack.

Duesenberg Automobiles and Motors Company moved from New Jersey to a new headquarters and factory in Indianapolis in July of 1921 to begin production of passenger vehicles. Although the Duesenberg brothers were world-class engineers, they were unable to sell their Model A car, their first "mass-produced" vehicle (just 667 were ever made). It was considered extremely advanced, offering features such as dual overhead cams, four-valve cylinder heads and the first hydraulic brakes offered on a passenger car. The company went into receivership in 1922, finally being acquired from creditors by a Fred Duesenberg-led investor group in 1925 forming the Duesenberg Motors Company.

E. L. Cord, the owner of Cord Automobile, Auburn Automobile, and other transportation firms, bought the company in 1926 for the brothers' engineering skills, and the brand name, in order to produce luxury cars. Hiring Fred Duesenberg to design the chassis and an engine that would be the best in the world, the newly revived Duesenberg company set about to produce the Model J. The Model J debuted at the New York Car Show of 1928. In unsupercharged form, it produced a whopping 265 horsepower (198 kW) from a dual overhead camshaft straight-8 and was capable of a top speed of 119 mph (192 km/h), and 94 mph (151 km/h) in 2nd gear. The supercharged version, sometimes called the SJ, was reputed to do 104 miles per hour (167 km/h) in second and have a top speed 135-140 mph (217–225 km/h) in third. Zero-to-60 mph (100 km/h) times of around eight seconds and 0-to-100 mph (160 km/h) times of 17 seconds were reported for the SJ in spite of the unsynchronized transmissions, at a time when even the best cars of the era were not likely to exceed 100mph. Duesenbergs generally weighed around two and a half tons. Up to three tons was not unusual, considering the wide array of custom coachwork available.

Only the chassis and engine were displayed at New York, since the interior and body of the car would be custom-made by an experienced coachbuilder to the owner's specifications. The bodywork made for Duesenbergs came from both North America and Europe, and the finished cars comprised some of the largest, grandest, most beautiful and elegant cars ever created. The chassis cost $8,500 ($9,500 after 1932), the completed base model cost $13,500, and a top-of-the-line model could reach $25,000 (at a time when the average U.S. physician earned less than $3,000 a year).

Introduced in 1932 was the supercharged Model J with 320hp (often referred to as 'SJ'), which had a top speed of 135-140 mph (217-225 km/h). Special-bodied models, such as the later "Mormon Meteor" chassis, achieved an average speed of over 135 mph, and a one-hour average of over 152 mph (245 km/h) at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. The SJ's supercharger was located beside the engine; to make room for it, the exhaust pipes were creased so they could be bent easily and extended through the side panel of the hood. These supercharged cars can be recognized by these shiny creased tubes, which Cord registered as a trademark and used in his other supercharged cars from Cord and Auburn. It was said, "The only car that could pass a Duesenberg, was another Duesenberg, and that was with the first owner's consent."

Quickly, the Duesenberg became one of the most popular in America, driven by the rich and famous, among them Clark Gable, Gary Cooper (each driving one of the two very rare SSJ 125" short-wheelbase convertibles),and the Duke of Windsor. Duesenberg advertising claimed it was the best car in the world, and their world-beating performance and extreme opulence tend to back that up. There was a gradual evolution up to the 1937 model to preserved the "stately lines" while moving into a more integrated mode of styling. The final evolution of the Duesenberg engine was ram-air intakes added to some of the last supercharged models to produce 400hp (298kW), referred to as 'SSJ' (also a name never used by the factory). Of the 470 Model Js and 11 SJs produced between 1928 and 1937, 384 are still extant. Duesenberg ceased production in 1937 after Cord's financial empire collapsed.

Model X Duesenbergs are very rare. According to Randy Ema, the country's top Duesenberg authority, only 13 were built. They fit in between the Duesenberg Model A and the famous J and SJ. Only four known Xs survive.


After World War II, August Duesenberg tried to revive the Duesenberg name, but was unsuccessful. Several later attempts were also unsuccessful. The closest came in the mid-1960s with Fritz, August's son, at the helm and Virgil Exner as the stylist by using the chassis of a 1966 Imperial with a Chrysler engine. One of Exner's Duesenberg designs was later produced as the modern Stutz Bearcat.

A 1970s Duesenberg was also created, based on a Cadillac Fleetwood and with modern styling, although its production was not high.

In 1970's the car was a 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ. Approximately 100 of these cars were purchased brand new and shipped from GM to Italy, where they were provided with new bodywork, pearlescent paint and custom interiors. Other than that they were absolutely stock Pontiacs. Finish and final assembly took place in Beverly Hills, and initially had a list price around $60,000.

Beginning with its introduction in 1975 at the ACD Festival in Auburn Indiana, the reproduction Duesenberg II automobile was produced and sold through mid-2000. Five models of the original Duesenbergs were made, each one carefully copied from an original and visually identical, with a modern Ford V8 driveline and modern comfort features. These exacting reproductions sold for up to US$225,000. The Murphy Roadster model is currently being revised and will be on the market in early 2007. Details are available on the Duesenberg Custom Coach website.

Currently, there is another attempt to revive the Duesenberg name with the "Duesenberg Torpedo Coupe" slated for market introduction in mid 2008. This vehicle will have a Mercedes-Benz CL500 as a chassis donor, and offer an air-cooled, self-lubricating, supercharged, 12-cylinder rotating engine with an estimated fuel efficiency of 70 MPG and 300 horsepower (called the Cylindrical Energy Module).

The Duesenberg name still lives on as an object of opulence and luxury. It is estimated as of 2006, approximately 50% or roughly 600 of the originally manufactured Duesenbergs are still on the road as classic cars or "Oldtimers." Today Duesenberg Model J's and SJ's are among the most desired collectible classic cars in the world. It is not uncommon today for a Duesenberg in good condition to sell for over $1 million, and a few sell for a multi-million price.

Etymological note

The origin of the American slang word "doozy", meaning something excellent or powerful, is either the Duesenberg's nickname "Duesy", or an older term (derived from earlier slang "daisy"). describes the origins of the term as unknown, and lists it as possibly a blend of the terms "daisy" and "Duesenberg". lists it as "1903 (adj.), 1916 (n.), perhaps an alteration of daisy, or from popular It. actress Eleonora Duse (1859–1924). In either case, reinforced by Duesenberg, expensive, classy make of automobile 1920s–30s."


  • Jay Leno owns multiple Duesenberg SJ's, one of which is Murphy-bodied.
  • In the musical Annie the character Daddy Warbucks has a line ordering his butler to get the Duesenberg ready.
  • Likewise, in the musical High Society, Bing Crosby's character comments on something being 'a doozy.'
  • On the television show The Simpsons, Mr. Burns' car is a Duesenberg, model unspecified.
  • In the novel Pimp: The Story of My Life, the author witnesses a pimp by the name "Sweet Jones" riding in the backseat of a Duesenberg.
  • In the cartoon Rugrats, Grandpa loses Tommy in the backseat of a Duesenberg Phaeton at a grocery store.
  • "Boys, the only difference between me and everybody else is that everybody else drives around in a Volkswagen, and Minnesota Fats drives around in a Duesenberg," a quote by Rudolph Wanderone, Jr., "Minnesota Fats."

List of all Duesenberg cars

Source: Wikipedia


Six Major Factors that Influence Auto Insurance Rates

No two car insurance rates are the same. From driver to driver, several factors will change how much a policyholder pays for even the same coverage. Here we review the six main components that go into the auto insurance rates recipe.

1. How Much You Drive

Car insurance companies measure rates based on risk. The more miles you drive, the higher the risk you will be in a car accident. You’ll pay more if you drive more. If, on the other hand, you drive fewer than 10,000 miles annually, you may qualify for a low mileage discount from your auto insurer. People who carpool often receive discounts because they drive less frequently.

2. Your Driving History

Being a good driver matters to car insurers. Many insurance companies offer special discounts to good drivers. If you have had a series of accidents or traffic violations, you may pay more for your premium. If you have not carried car insurance in several years, you may also pay more for your policy.