1931 Duesenberg J 395/2414 Convertible Coupe SWB by Murphy
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16 марта 2019 г.
 SupercarsPlanet
2008 Automobiles of Amelia Island, RM Auctions. Lot 241 - 1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Murphy.

Estimate: $1,600,000-$2,000,000 US; AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $2,640,000

J395/2414: The Roster of Keepers

J395 was sold new by Duesenberg’s Chicago factory branch to Mr. Blake Garner. From a photograph of the car with Illinois plates taken in 1941, it can be determined that Garner owned the car at least that long, and probably until the late 1940s, when the car was bought by Pacific Auto Rentals.

Pacific Auto Rentals was founded in 1926 by John De Noria to supply rental cars to the general public. Before long, he found that the film industry was both more profitable and more reliable, and he focused on this specialty market. By far the best known supplier of antique and classic cars to Hollywood television and movie producers, Pacific Auto Rentals maintained an imposing fleet that included some of the most important classic era automobiles.

In 1933, he met an ambitious young man, George F Schweiger, Jr., and with the aid of an investment made by Schweiger’s father, the two were soon partners. De Noria passed away in 1942, and Schweiger took over the company – and was running it in 1949 when J395 was added to the fleet.

For many years, J395 was considered by many to be the centerpiece of the collection. With just five caring owners from new, the car was one of the best surviving original Duesenbergs, never having required restoration.

J395’s film credits include “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”, “Gable and Lombard”, and it continued to be seen on Hollywood sets until the late 1970s. TV credits include serving as the Maharajah’s personal car in the highly successful Frank Buck series “Bring’em Back Alive”

In May of 1949, Pacific Auto Rentals resold the car to John Guthrie of New York, NY and Coalinga, California – though he did not keep it long. In October of 1950, Guthrie sold J395 to H. D. Carmichael, also of Coalinga, who kept it for four years before selling it back to George Schweiger and Pacific Auto Rentals.

J395 remained with Pacific Auto Rentals until the company’s assets were sold to the Imperial Palace in the early 1980s. Later, in August of 1985, the PAR collection,– along with Jimmy Brucker’s “Cars of the Stars” collection, was sold at auction, and it was at this sale that J395 was purchased by Pennsylvania dealer and collector Mark Smith, on behalf of his client, Oscar Davis of Elizabeth, N.J. Most importantly, with this sale J395 set a new world record for the highest price ever paid for a Duesenberg.Sometime in the 1990s, the car was repurchased by the Imperial Palace, where it joined their large Duesenberg collection. Like many of the cars in the IP collection, it was later acquired by Auburn, Indiana auctioneer Dean Kruse in 1999.

Kruse sold the car at the Kruse/Blackhawk auction in 2002, where it was acquired by the vendor, a noted Florida collector.

Summary

Almost from the moment of delivery, the vendor – an accomplished collector and a devout car guy – began planning the ultimate restoration for the ultimate Duesenberg. He chose noted Duesenberg expert Brian Joseph’s Classic and Exotic Services to handle the mechanical restoration. Even though the car was running well, every aspect of the chassis and drivetrain was painstakingly restored.

The cosmetic restoration and the final assembly was assigned to a talented Florida restorer, Steve Cooley Jr., of Tavares, Florida. Both were given instructions that nothing was to be left to chance in the pursuit of one goal: a best in class award at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance. After three years and more than $500,000 invested in the restoration, the true test came when J395 rolled onto the lawn – and into the toughest competition in the world. The result of the unwavering dedication and single minded pursuit of perfection on the part of both owner and restorer was exactly as planned: Best in class, first time out in concours judging.

As the accompanying chart shows, it was only the first of many accolades. In fact, in an astonishing – and perhaps unprecedented – feat, J395 was shown 18 times in a two-year period, winning nothing less than first place each time out.

Today, J395 presents superbly, with the exquisitely tailored lines of Murphy’s convertible coupe looking as good with the top up as it does neatly folded under its sleek tonneau cover. It is well equipped, fitted from new with the better looking shutter front radiator shell, and the correct 19-inch chrome wire wheels, which most agree are better looking than the 17-inch wheels fitted to later cars.

There is no doubt that J395 is one of the finest examples extant, fully capable of winning many more times on the concours field. Its fresh restoration exhibits no significant signs of age or wear and tear, remaining as bright as the day it was finished. With its impeccable provenance – original engine, chassis, and body – it is also a superb example of what many feel is the ultimate Duesenberg: the disappearing top Murphy Convertible Coupe.

J395/2414: Recent Shows & Awards:
April 2005; Lake Mary, FL CCCA Grand Classic Meet 1st Place Primary Division with 100 point (perfect) score
July 2005; Denver, CO AACA Western Regional Meet 1st Place Junior Division Nominated for National Award
August 2005; Pebble Beach, CA Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Best of Class – Duesenberg Class
September 2005; Auburn, IN ACD National Meet 1st Place – Primary Division Best of Show – Junior Division
October 2005; Lakeland, FL Lake Mirror Classic Best of Show
December 2005; Key Largo, FL Vintage Weekend Best of Show
February 2006; Philadelphia, PA AACA National Meet Best Auburn, Cord or Duesenberg shown at any National Meet – 2005
March 2006; Amelia Island, FL Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Best of Show: Fit and Finish The Meguiar’s Award
March 2006; Mobile, AL AACA National Winter Meet
June 2006 ; Hickory Corners, MI CCCA Grand Classic Meet 1st Place, Senior Division
July 2006; Indianapolis, IN The Indianapolis Concours Best of Show – Classic
August 2006; Rochester, MI Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance Best in Show Auburn, Cord or Duesenberg (The Gordon Buehrig Award)
August 2006; Lexington, KY Keeneland Concours d’Elegance 1st Place – Classics
September 2006 ACD National Meet 1st Place – Senior Division
September 2006; Canton, OH Glenmoor Gathering Concours d’Elegance 1st Place – Classics
November 2006; Hilton Head, SC Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance 1st Place – Classic Car Class November 2006; Fiddlers Creek, FL Naples Concours d’Elegance Best of Show
March 2007; Amelia Island, FL CCCA Grand Classic 1st Place – Premier Division with 100 point (perfect) score
July 2007; Hickory Corners, MI AACA Grand National 1st Place Grand National Winner.
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