- Year: 1934 rebody on 1930 chassis
- Exterior Color: Black & Silver
- Scale: 1:24
- Coachbuilder: Carrosserie Graber of Switzerland
- Dream Disengaged Availability: Sold-Out
- Feature: Removable convertible top with tonneau cover
- Build: 80
- Official Release Date: March 19th 2015
Duesenberg is associated with so many superlatives in the history of great automobiles that it is impossible to confine the marque to simply one. The speed, the luxury, the quality, the price are all magnificent even by today's standards. This stunning 1934 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan began as all Duesenbergs did: a lone chassis awaiting a body. Chassis number J246 - 2554 began its life in New York City as a 1930 Long Wheelbase model, fitted with a chauffeur-driven town car body. Typical of this configuration, the driver sat in an open front area with only a small canvas top to fend off the elements, while the wealthy passengers remained comfortably protected within the luxurious interior of the traditional carriage compartment.
After only a few years of use in the United States, the car was relocated to Paris, where the owner quickly discovered the car was far too imposing, both visually and physically, for the narrow and often rough Parisian streets. Realizing that a smaller car would be more suitable to her needs, she traded the luxurious Duesenberg into the local Paris Duesenberg concessionaire. The dealer, aware that such a car would be far more enticing to wealthy clientele in a more sporting style, delivered the car to Graber coachworks in Switzerland.
Graber received the car in 1934 with clear instructions to build a "sporting open body." To accomplish such a task, a series of modifications had to be made to the chassis, including detailed reconstruction of mounting points for the body, lowering of the framework and suspension, and an all aluminum body constructed entirely by hand, as was customary for the times. A beautiful array of suitably sporting European instruments were substituted and adjustable shock absorbers added to allow for a more spirited ride. Additionally, the body was treated to flowing coachwork with a smooth and raked grille, emphasizing the graceful deco drapery and aerodynamic ideals of the era.
The car was very well received and quickly sold to a Swiss buyer where it remained for many years under different ownership until the early 70's. Bill Harrah, a car collector known for his extraordinary collection in Las Vegas, purchased the car and imported it back to the US. The car remained in the Harrah collection until the mid 80's when it was sold along with hundreds of other cars as Harrah liquidated his collection by more than half of its world record scale. Bought by Eric Traber, the Duesenberg was eventually housed in the very same building as the now defunct Graber workshops in which it was built.
Although production for Duesenbergs ceased in 1937 (largely due to the depression), the Model J's development ended in 1932, when Fred Duesenberg died in a car crash. Despite the lack of developments for the remainder of the decade, the Model J is still considered one of the most extraordinary cars ever built. The Model J offered incredible power, accelerating from 10 mph to 89 mph in second gear, with the SSJ's top-speed estimated to be close to 160 mph, faster than any other pre-War road car. The combination of state-of-the-art race-inspired engineering, the finest coach-built designs and numerous famous owners have all contributed to the "Duesy" mystique.
Sam Mann purchased this extraordinary car in 1998 and drove it extensively before extensively completing a world-class ground-up restoration. The restored car, resplendent in subtle two-tone colors debuted at The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance the following year where it won the "Best of Show Nominee" award and has gone on to multiple show wins and prominent exhibitions.
Now its opulence is replicated for scale collectors by Automodello. Careful attention to detail, fit and finish assures that the Graber Duesenberg Model J is a star amidst your 1:24 collection.