1933 Duesenberg Model J- Mabel Bolls was born in Rochester, New York in December of 1893. She belonged to a working class family but with her charm and talents, she rose from being a simple cigar girl to being called the “Queens of Diamonds”, as she was known to wear and enjoy expensive jewelry. She had multiple rich husbands that helped her acquire almost all of the luxuries she wanted. One of which is this 1933 Duesenberg Model J with a Franay body.
This coupe became known as the Queen of Diamonds Duesenberg with chassis number 2385 but it did not originally have a Franay coachwork. This car originally had a town car body that was built by Kellner, a coachbuilding company from Paris and is famous for building the bodies for Hispano-Suiza. Although the history about how the Franay body replaced the Kellner body is still a mystery. The complete history of its owners is also unclear as other sources say that a Mrs. K. Stanley Smith from London was its original owner and others also claim that Mabel Boll who was known at that time as “Countess Porceri” as the original owner.
What is agreed by that majority is that this Duesenberg already had its sunroof berline Franay-body when it was featured at the 1931 Paris Salon de l’Automobile. It failed to catch a buyer and again reappeared in the 1932 Paris Salon with a monochrome finish but still failed to attract a buyer. It was shipped back to the Duesenberg showroom in Paris to be used as a factory demo car.
By February 1933, Boll bought the Duesenberg under her name. In 1936, she traveled back to the United States and left the Duesenberg in her French villa. It stayed in France under several owners until Gavin S. Herbert from Newport Beach, California bought the Duesenberg in 1971. Boll remarried in 1940 but she died from a stroke in April 1949. The Queen of Diamonds died at the age of 55 years old.
During the early 70s, the Queen of Diamonds Duesenberg was again passed down through several owners across the country. By 1974, it was partially restored. In 1975, Marvin Cohen, a jeweler from Chicago, bought the Duesenberg. Under Cohen’s ownership, the Duesenberg was heavily restored and had some few modifications. The original rear trunk was removed, the front hood was extended, side exhausts were added, and the hood screens were replaced with chrome. A rear bar cabinet was also added and was repainted into the finish that it currently has.
In recent years, the Queen of Diamonds Duesenberg has hit the auction block several times. In 2001, it was auctioned at a Christies Auction in Monterey for $550,000. In 2009, it hit the Branson, Missouri auction and was sold for $777,600. In the same year, its price more than doubled at the 2009 Kruse Hill Country Classic with $1.65 million. This Duesenberg will hit the auction block again this September during the Auburn Fall sale by Auctions America with an estimated price of $750,000 to $900,000. The sale will be from August 31 to September 4 and will be held at the Auburn Auctions Park.
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