1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible SedanSOLD

Gooding & Company Classic Car Auctions

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To be sold at the Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction on March 8, 2013. For further details please visit www.goodingco.com or contact a vehicle specialist at 001.310.899.1960 or specialist@goodingco.com. Engine Specifications: 420 CID DOHC Inline 8-Cylinder Engine Single Dual-Throat Downdraft Carburetor 265 BHP at 4,200 RPM 3-Speed Manual Gearbox 4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes Live-Axle Suspension with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs and Double-Acting Hydraulic-Lever Shock Absorbers About this Car: LeBaron was created in 1920 by Thomas L. Hibbard and Raymond H. Dietrich. Both men previously worked as draftsmen for one of the most prestigious American coachbuilders, Brewster & Co. in Long Island, New York. The initial vision for their new operation was not a coachbuilding company, but rather a design- consulting firm, where they would create fresh designs and engineering plans from which a number of coachbuilders could work. After merging with the Bridgeport Body Company in 1923, LeBaron had the ability to construct the very designs it created. Though Hibbard and Dietrich had left the firm they created by 1927, their influence remained and LeBaron continued as one of the country’s premier custom coachbuilders. LeBaron’s association with Duesenberg proved successful, with the firm providing coachwork for nearly 40 Model Js during their eight years of production. Best known for the barrelside and sweep panel phaeton bodies, a small number of LeBaron convertible sedans and berlines graced Model J chassis as well. On September 15, 1930, William S. Rupert of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, took delivery of Model J Duesenberg J-338, chassis 2350. J-338 had been used previously as a factory demonstrator. When new, the car was bodied as an Arlington sedan by Derham. In 1933, the sedan was purchased by William Ferguson, also of Philadelphia. Near the end of 1944, Mr. Marion Roberts of Grand Island, New York, purchased J-338/2350 as well as J-127/2152 which, following a previous chassis renovation, had been fitted with a new LeBaron convertible sedan body. As notes indicate, the LeBaron body was originally intended to be installed on a Packard chassis. Mr. Roberts allowed both Model Js to languish on his property before finally selling the automobiles as a pair to John North of Maryland in 1965. By mid-1967 Mr. North sold the pair to noted Duesenberg collector Homer Fitterling. During Mr. Fitterling’s ownership, J-338 was treated to a thorough restoration by his collection manager, Keith Brown. It was at this time that the LeBaron Convertible Sedan body was removed from chassis 2152 along with its firewall and installed on the restored chassis of J-338/2350. Mr. Brown reports that once the convertible sedan’s restoration was finished, it was a main attraction of the Fitterling collection and was displayed in the foyer of his museum. ACD records show that in July 1988, J-338 was inspected and certified by Duesenberg historian Fred Roe and was granted ACD Category One status, the original Derham sedan body noted as “gone.” Upon Mr. Fitterling’s passing, his entire collection was purchased as a group for $13 million by collector Ed Weaver. Following Mr. Weaver’s passing in 1995, his estate was sold at auction. J-338 was sold along with 20 other Duesenbergs among approximately 200 collector automobiles. A copy of a judging sheet declares that J-338 was subsequently shown at the 1996 Port Gardner Bay Concours where it earned high marks. In 2001, the convertible sedan was purchased by the consignor and has been displayed with his collection in the years since. Today, the car presents very well in a pleasing combination of red and maroon over a red leather interior. The engine bay appears tidy and properly outfitted; the paint, chrome work, and canvas also present in a fashion typical of an older, professional restoration. This is an exciting opportunity to acquire a handsome Model J Duesenberg with provenance that includes some of the most famous names in the world of Duesenberg collecting. Following a recommissioning effort, J-338 may finally return to the road and is sure to provide its next owner with the rarified enjoyment that is exclusive to the fortunate stewards of the surviving Model Js.

Reference Number 214935

as of 3/14/2013

Car 1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan
VIN 2350 
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Known History

From an Important Private Collection

Formerly the Property of Homer Fitterling and Ed Weaver