Thursday, May 11, 2017

Duesenberg Model SSJ

Duesenberg Motors Company was an American manufacturer of race cars and luxury automobiles. It was founded by brothers August and Frederick Duesenberg in 1913 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where they built engines and race cars. The brothers moved their operations to New Jersey in 1916 to manufacture engines for World War I. In 1919, when their government contracts were cancelled, they moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, home of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and established the Duesenberg Automobile and Motors Company, Inc. (Delaware).
In late 1926, E.L. Cord added Duesenberg to his Auburn Automobile Company. With the market for expensive luxury cars undercut by the Depression, Duesenberg folded in 1937.

Duesenberg advertised its Model J -- introduced on December 1,1928, -- as “The World’s Finest Motor Car.” And it probably was, given its 265-bhp straight eight, and the finest custom coachwork. In 1932, the supercharged SJ debuted. With 320 horses on tap even actor Clark Gable couldn’t resist its allure.

The 1936 Duesenberg SSJ Speedster was a sight to behold and a car so special that only two were built.
Only two 1936 Duesenberg SSJ Speedsters were built: one for Clark Gable, the other for Gary Cooper. The Speedster's engine was a 420-cubic-inch straight eight featuring dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder.
1933 Duesenberg Model SJ Arlington “Twenty Grand” Sedan
In October 1935, Jenkins drove the car to a one-hour record of 153.97 mph (247.79 km/h) and a twenty-four-hour record of 135.57 mph (218.18 km/h) at a circuit on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The 24-hour record would be held until 1961.

The J-series Duesenbergs were perhaps the greatest American cars ever built, better than nearly every car the Europeans tried to hammer together in the ‘30s.