$22 million Duesenberg is the most expensive American car ever sold at auction


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Basic vehicles from European marques promoting within the tens of thousands and thousands will barely get an eyelid to bat today, and shortly that could be true of American vehicles, too, judging by the public sale exercise in Monterey, California over the weekend.

A 1935 Duesenberg SSJ bought at a Gooding & Firm public sale on Saturday for $22 million. That makes it the most costly American automobile ever bought at public sale, smashing the earlier file of $13.75 million bid in 2016 for the CSX 2000, the primary Shelby Cobra constructed by Carroll Shelby.

Nonetheless, not like the Cobra, which had British roots, the Duesenberg is all-American. It was constructed throughout darkish days at Duesenberg, as the corporate was struggling from the mixed results of the Nice Melancholy in addition to the loss of life of Duesenberg co-founder Fred Duesenberg only a few years prior.

The corporate was being run by Errett Wire on the time. He hoped that constructing two particular Duesenbergs and inserting them within the arms of Gary Cooper and Clark Gable, essentially the most well-known celebrities of the day, would generate sufficient publicity to show across the model’s fortunes. The 2 vehicles had been “particular speedsters” to be constructed on the shortened platform of a Duesenberg J, and with the donor automobile’s strongest engine accessible: a 7.Zero-liter supercharged inline-Eight delivering 400 horsepower. The outcome had been the world’s solely two SSJs.

This one, chassis quantity 2594, was initially owned by Cooper, who paid the manufacturing unit value of roughly $5,000, a cut price contemplating common Duesenberg Js had been promoting for triple the quantity. It is not clear how lengthy he stored the automobile however there are pictures of it taken in Los Angeles throughout the late 1930s.

It then traded arms quite a lot of occasions earlier than it ended up within the arms of collector D. Cameron Peck, who already owned the SSJ that was delivered to Gable. Peck purchased the automobile with the intention of passing it on to none aside from American sportsman Briggs Cunningham, which he did in 1949. It stayed within the Cunningham assortment, which was bought to Miles C. Collier in 1986. Collier has now bought the automobile onto a brand new proprietor with very deep pockets it appears.

For extra Monterey Automotive Week protection, head to Motor Authority’s devoted hub.

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