It’s a Duesy!



Name: 1929 Dusenberg Model J Convertible

Year Produced: 1928-1937

Number Built: Approx. 480, all 1929 models combined

Class: Luxury Vehicle

Body Type: Coach built to owner’s preference

Engine: S8 6883 cc | 420.0 cu in. | 6.9 L.

Power: 265hp

RPM: 4,250

0-100mph: 21 seconds

Top Speed: 116 mph

Transmission: 3-speed selective, floor-mounted lever

Wheelbase: 142.5 in

Base price: US$8,500

Valued at: US$2.53 million on a public auction (Morphy Auctions)


Lest we’re judged to be stereotyped against woman, allow us to explain the point of our headline.

This 1929 Duesenberg Model J convertible coupe were offered under the hammer at Morphy Auction’s last October 2015 at their Premier Automobile Auction in Denver, Pennsylvania. It might be dismissed easily as another high-end auction sale, even if it is sold for a solid $2.53 million. The said ’29 Duesenberg was sold unrestored, with evident convertible coupe bodywork. But there is another piece of history that this Duesy brings along with it.

The vehicle seems to have an affinity on female owners. Originally custom-built for a member of a wealthy steel-producing family, Ms. Carolyn May Hoopes, the Duesy was eventually given to the wife of Ms. Hoopes’ doctor in 1950. The car was eventually sold two years later to a certain Mrs. Wilson, while a lady by the name of Katherine Hedburn bought in 1961 and was eventually added to the Paul and Katherine Hedburn collection with only 33,000 miles in the odometer even after 86 years. Perhaps the longest road trip that it ever had was from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania to Battle Creek, Michigan where its original owner was treated for tuberculosis in the early 1940s.

The car’s all-women ownership history was eventually plugged when Morphy sold the ’29 Duesy to a certain Florida man who bid by phone.

Founder and president of Morphy Auctions, Dan Murphy said in a news release, “There was overwhelming interest in the Duesenberg and many of the other cars, as well. We could not have asked for a better turnout here at the gallery. Holding our automobile sale at a time that coordinates with the Hershey car show is an absolute winner.”

Overall, the auction produced $4,371,125 in sales (all numbers included buyer’s premium.)


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