Anybody seen this speedster?

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13 Feb 2005 23:18 #2849 by DennisB
DennisB created the topic: Anybody seen this speedster?
My late father owned this Duesenberg 1933 SJ speedster during the early fifties. He bought it for $500. with a rod through the block. He found a Genuine piston and connecting rod at an auto swap meet, had the block arc welded, and enjoyed driving it for a few years. It is somewhat unique, note the split windshield, painted headlights and radiator cowl. I remember that it was dark blue, had an engine turned fire wall, and exhaust cut out. I liked riding in it, and would urge dad to open the cut out. Dad sold it around 1954-55 for $1500. If anyone recognizes it please let me know where it is. I would love to see a picture of it now. http://www.pbase.com/drbrule/dads_cars it is the first three photos. <a href="mailto:[email protected]][email protected][/url]

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15 Feb 2005 01:37 #2851 by RandyEma
RandyEma replied the topic:
Hello . J507 Walton sj speedster unfortunately has been scrambled to the windthe orig chassis now has a replica speedster body on it and is in Calif . The orig body built after Duesenberg was closed is on a replica chassis and is in Ill . The Auburn 12/165 Speedster is in Ohio today, And J123 Murphy conv sedan is in Ind today. I hope this answers your Questions?. Randy Ema

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15 Feb 2005 03:40 #2854 by DennisB
DennisB replied the topic:
Randy: thanks so much for the information, I really never thought I would find out what became of it.

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12 Aug 2005 05:55 #3515 by JeffStork
JeffStork replied the topic:
Randy-

I've always had an interest in this particular Duesenberg because it seems I've always been near to it.

The speedster body you recall was actually the second body on J-507/ 2523. It was originally a supercharged chassis with a Derham convertible sedan body, reportedly built for Harry G. Liebhardt of Denver.

As new, it was a very handsome and conventional looking car with a traditional Duesenberg front end.

A few years hence, the car was restyled with a more "streamlined" front end by the Walton Body Company of Denver. At this time, the speedster body was built. There are photos of both bodies with the streamlined front end, so perhaps the owner wanted to interchange them occasionally.

The convertible sedan body was sold off in the early fifties, and ultimately found its way onto chassis 2145 with engine J-170. Its a very handsome restoration and I used to watch its progress every year at Auburn as a boy.

The speedster, sometime after your father sold it, was purchased by Bill Harrah of casino fame, and he used the chassis as the basis for a new speedster body in the style of a Weymann Speedster he admired (J-508/2537). The body was build by Maurice Schwartz, former partner of Bohman and Schwartz Coachbuilders of Pasadena. It carries a Schwartz body plate. It is a very handsome car, with a traditional Duesenberg radiator shell. It belongs to a close friend and I visit it regularly.

But the story is far from over. The Walton Speedster body found its way onto a Duesenberg chassis (could someone please supply numbers) and was restored by Richard Kughn of Detroit in the late 1970's. I recall this car at the 1977 Michigan Grand Classic. It looks very different, with a conventional Duesenberg grille and headlamps. It seemed the streamlined front end was discarded. Or was it?

Take a look at this photo link-

http://www.danrapley.com/cars/Duesenber ... Walton.htm

It certainly looks like the front clip of the Walton speedster, on a different chassis with engine J-252 (originally a Le Baron phaeton on chassis 2273). The coachwork looks new to me. Is someone reproducing the Walton speedster in its original guise? That would be exciting!

Jeff Stork
Northridge, CA

The Future's not what it used to be

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12 Aug 2005 14:39 #3516 by JeffStork
JeffStork replied the topic:
Oops, I mean to address my note to Dennis.

Jeff Stork

The Future's not what it used to be

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22 Aug 2005 05:47 #3571 by JeffStork
JeffStork replied the topic:
Here's a photo link to a German website offering the "restored" Walton Speedster for sale. You will recognize the basic speedster body, although it is highly modified from the way it appeared in 1951. Note also the stock Duesenberg front end. This was the way the car has appeared since Richard Kughn completed it in 1977.

http://www.auto-salon-singen.de/Duesenb ... tail_e.htm

Jeff Stork
Northridge, CA

The Future's not what it used to be

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