Lot Number
183
language

1929 Duesenberg Model J 'Clear-Vision' Sedan by Murphy

$750,000 - $1,000,000

RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 9 MARCH 2018


Chassis No.
Engine No.
Firewall No.
2209
J-187
2209
  • Among the most attractive closed bodies on the Model J chassis
  • Wonderful purity, including original chassis, engine, and body
  • One of just five surviving examples; the first to be available in years
  • Formerly owned by renowned collectors Dudley Waters and Joseph Folladori
  • Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club Certified Category One (D-009)

The Duesenberg Model J was tailor-made for the custom body industry, and the Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena, California, took advantage of its excellent proportions to create light, beautiful, simply elegant designs. Among the most successful was the five-passenger sedan with the company's trademark 'Clear-Vision' windshield and window pillars, which were designed to be as slender as possible, eliminating blind spots. Other unique features of the Murphy sedan included a rakishly angled windshield and a wonderful window-line that reverse-curved through the rear quarters. It was, quite simply, a great-looking closed Duesenberg, with a roomy interior comfortable for both the driver and his passengers.

Just six examples of the 'Clear-Vision' sedan were produced, one of which was lost to World War II scrap drives. The remaining five are treasured by collectors and are seldom ever made available for sale.

The example offered here was born with chassis no. 2209 and engine no. J-187, which it retains today along with its original Murphy body. It was delivered new on 1 September 1929 to Arnold Lackersby and Noyes Avery, law partners in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Lackersby and Avery eventually traded the car back to Duesenberg, and it was used by Duesenberg Motors Vice President R.S. Pruitt of Chicago as his "company car" for a time.

Several subsequent owners followed, including early enthusiasts Charles Jackson of Chicago, between 1948 and 1953, and Dudley Waters of Grand Rapids between 1953 and 1963, returning the car to its hometown. Following 20 years in Colorado Duesenberg enthusiast Sid Buka's collection as a well-preserved, maintained original car, it was purchased by the late, beloved enthusiast Joe Folladori, who would keep it for many years before selling it to the famous Imperial Palace collection in Las Vegas, Nevada. While owned by the Imperial Palace, the car was fully restored in its present livery, dark blue with a polished beltline and a complimentary interior.

Following its sale from the Imperial Palace, J-187 formed part of the prominent collection of Paul and Chris Andrews, before its acquisition by the current owners in 2011. Well-preserved in their noted museum, it continues to present beautifully, with very little evidence of aging, and carries with it superb provenance of a known history since new and its original body, engine, and chassis. Accordingly, it has been Certified Category One by the ACD Club.

Few enclosed Duesenbergs carry so many wonderful qualities as this particular 'Clear-Vision' sedan - loved and admired by enthusiasts for decades. It would be ideal for further showing, or, perhaps most aptly, for driving and enjoying, experiencing Duesenberg's outstanding performance and Murphy's fleet lines at their very, very best.



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