Trying to track an SJ Phaeton---

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17 Jul 2007 16:00 #7532 by Ted Langdell
Ted Langdell created the topic: Trying to track an SJ Phaeton---
Hi. from California, north of Sacramento...

I'm trying to see whether its possible to locate or identify a particular car based on the sketchy info that follows. It's of sentimental interest.

My folks honeymooned in Monterey in what I've always been told was an SJ Phaeton (dual cowl, with speaking tube) after they were married in San Francisco, July 19, 1942. That'll be this Thursday, and they're celebrating 65 years.

The celebration's likely to be in a hospital or skilled nursing facility as my 92-year old Dad recovers from a staph infection in his knee.

The story that I've been told is that this particular Duesenberg was owned by one of my Dad's Navy buddies on Oahu. Another officer, I assume.

My Dad, Joseph Langdell, was an Ensign temporarily detached from the USS Arizona, and was serving with the fleet camera party. As such, he's considered an Arizona survivor.

I don't know the buddy's name or assignment at the time, but may be able to get that info.

All three of them... my Dad, his buddy and the car... survived the attack on Pearl Harbor. The car had a few bullet holes in the trunk, but none in any essential equipment.

When Dad was ordered to San Francisco to serve on the brand new destroyer USS Frasier, his friend had him take the Duesenberg with him.

They got married between the 9 and 11 a.m. services at the Episcopal Church on Van Ness Ave., (US Hwy 101) and then hopped into the Phaeton. They were supposed to go to the Russian River (which would have been northbound on US 101... the same side of the street the church is on) and then across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Somehow, they ended up going SOUTH, but didn't discover this until the radiator began steaming near what turned out to be Gilroy... south of San Jose.

The guy where they stopped said "You just have to see Monterey and Carmel. It's just over the there... not too far."

They created a bit of a stir pulling up to the Del Monte Hotel in the Phaeton.
My mom says three doorman sprang to action and raced down the steps to open the door... then turned and walked away when they saw the cotton stuffing coming out of some holes in the upholstery and sticking to my Dad's dark blue uniform.

They finished their honeymoon and parked the car in a lot at Treasure Island (then a Naval installation). I've been told an Admiral comandeered the car... but I've been more recently told that my dad's buddy got the car back at some point.

I'll try to get more info about the buddy and see whether there are any photos of my folks and the Phaeton, and post those if available.

Also try to confirm that it was supercharged.

Given the sketchy info... is it likely this car can be identified and tracked?

Thanks a great deal.

Ted Langdell

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18 Jul 2007 07:57 #7540 by acdclubadmin
acdclubadmin replied the topic: Duesenberg
Great story. There are club members who know quite a bit about Duesenbergs. One of them will undoubtably come up with something for you.

Welcome aboard!

Next month would be a great time to revisit Carmel and Monterrey. The Pebble Beach Concours is featuring Auburn Cord and Duesenberg and there are going to be a lot of Duesies! August 19, 2007

Maybe the Pearl Harbour Duesy will be there (without the bullet holes.)

Bill Hummel - Webmaster - ACD Club

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