Lot 236

Monterey 2017

1923 Duesenberg Model A Sport Phaeton


$407,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Formerly owned by the Killorin Family for 67 years
  • One of the most beautiful surviving Model As
  • Stunningly restored; featured in numerous magazines and publications
  • Not just an award winner, but a magnificent running and driving car
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

In 1948, former Duesenberg test driver Karl Killorin acquired this Model A, chassis number 977, as a complete car sans body, including its original frame, drivetrain, engine, suspension, radiator, front fenders, and splash apron. A Cadillac touring body of the 1920s was adapted to the chassis, after which the “rolling restoration” hit the road and was enjoyed for five decades.

At Karl Killorin’s passing in 1989, the Model A was passed down to his son, Eric, who then began a fresh restoration. The heirloom car received only the best of workmanship, by the best specialists. For instance, the engine was rebuilt by John Cislak and Holman Engineering with high-compression pistons, and it uses reliable era-correct SU carburetors and an improved exhaust manifold. The brakes are durable cast-iron drums. Sheet metal was restored by Steve Babinsky, while the beautiful paintwork was applied by Chris Charlton and the upholstery and top by Mike Lemire.

Sold by Eric Killorin to its current owner in 2015, this Duesenberg is finished in a rich, very deep velvet green, with a concours-level oak green leather interior, and it presents beautifully in every regard. Among its show honors have been Best in Class at the 2011 Concours d’Elegance of America; First Junior at the ACD Club Reunion the same year; an AACA National Senior First Prize; and a 100-point score in CCCA National competition in 2012.

Yet, the car is not just a showpiece; it is also proudly a well-maintained, fine runner and driver, as featured in numerous newspaper and magazine features. The car has been accorded CCCA Full Classic status, as documented by a letter on file, and is therefore eligible both for National Level judging and CCCA CARavans. It is accompanied by a collection of documentation, as well as rare original sales, promotional, and ownership materials.

Few Duesenberg Model As are ever offered at auction; fewer still have benefited from such long-term, continuous ownership, care, and enjoyment by skilled enthusiasts as this car, and even fewer are as remarkably beautiful, with excellent sporting lines that are flattered by having the top either up or down. None so uniquely possess the personal touches by a factory employee and owner.

This is among the finest Model As ever offered for public sale. It would be well suited to any international concours, and it will mark a cornerstone acquisition for any Classic collection.