Rare Duesenberg set to storm St John’s Sale in Michigan

| 15 Jul 2013

A 1929 Duesenberg that was converted into a racer by marque specialist Arthur James Hoe is expected to make $725-900,000 at RM’s 27 July sale.

In 1950 Hoe – whose garage was responsible for maintaining 250 of the 470 model Js produced –bought the car for $150.

Its Derham Town Car body, which had been damaged in a 1933 fire, was scrapped as the mechanic set to work replicating Briggs Cunningham’s ex-Gary Cooper SSJ, chassis 2594.

Writing in the ACD Club Newsletter in 1992, Hoe said: “Newer club members may have thought that my car was a ‘hot rod’ with a Duesenberg motor. Not so, it was a true Duesenberg with frame, both axles (complete with brakes, drums and wheels), motor, gas tank, torque tube, transmission, etc.”

Having been sold by Hoe, the car was passed to Phil Renick, of California, followed by noted enthusiast and restorer Dee Howard, of Texas.

He installed a correct Duesenberg transmission, restored its original frame and drivetrain and extended the chassis to its earlier spec.

The work carried out by its present owner is said to result in a car that is “better than new”.

Valued at $350-450,000 is a 1931 Packard Individual Custom Eight Convertible Victoria by Dietrich that was delivered new to LeBoutillier & Dolan in Pennsylvania.

By 1970, the car had been much modified with a number of unoriginal parts installed.

Owner Jackson Brooks reunited the original engine and chassis with the Dietrich body, while the partially restored engine, chassis, and body were turned over to Colorado restorer Mark Clayton whose work helped the car to numerous concours honours.

Rounding off the trio of top lots is a 1940 Cadillac Series 75 Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood that carries a guide price of $100-150,000

It is one of only a handful of surviving cars and has been subject to a meticulous restoration.

The car has since claimed multiple awards, including First Place at a Cadillac-LaSalle National Meet, a CCCA National First Place, and a class award at Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance.

Slightly more affordable lots going under the hammer in an include a 1958 Packard Hawk Sport Coupe ($50-70,000), one of just 588 built, and a 1959 Ford Galaxie Skyliner Retractable Hardtop Convertible ($40-$50,000).

Read the full lot list on RM’s website.