Auburn Fall | Lot 3097
1923 Duesenberg Model A Sport Touring by Rubay
$187,000 USD | Sold
| Auburn, Indiana
31 August 2019
- Original chassis, engine, and desirable sport touring coachwork
- Formerly of the well-known Weber Collection
- Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club Certified Category 1
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
THE DUESENBERG MODEL A
In November 1920, at the New York salon at the Hotel Commodore, the Duesenberg Brothers, who had birthed numerous successful racing cars, finally put their own name on a passenger car of their own design.
The Model A was powered by a straight-eight of 260 cu. in. that was developed with a single overhead camshaft actuating two valves per cylinder, which was a result of the Duesenberg’s experience winning at Indianapolis. Producing 88 hp, it was mounted on a ladder-style chassis frame of rather conventional design and had a three-speed sliding-gear transmission and four-wheel hydraulic brakes, the latter of which was the Model A’s real innovation—it was one of the first American automobiles to be so equipped. The Model A was swift and road-able—as close as any 1920s automobile ever came to being a “driver’s car.”
Between 1921 and 1926, when it was purchased by E.L. Cord, the Duesenberg factory in Indianapolis produced some 500 Model As.
CHASSIS NUMBER 891
The early-style touring body for the Model A was produced by two coachbuilders, Millspaugh & Irish of Indianapolis, and Leon Rubay & Company of Cleveland, Ohio, the latter founded by a French stylist known for his rakish lines. Historian Fred Roe noted that about 75 examples of the touring were produced, some of which were the sport model with dual sidemounted spares, like the example offered here.
This Rubay-bodied sport touring originated from a Quaker State Duesenberg dealer and made it to Harold Jensen of Carmichael, Pennsylvania, by 1967. It was then sold to Ed Sackley of Skokie, Illinois, then in 1985 by Sackley’s widow to Dave and Fred Weber of St. Louis. In a recent conversation, Dave Weber recounted that the car, when purchased, was in excellent original condition, including good original upholstery. It was restored in-house by the Webers in its present striking vermillion color scheme with Rudge-Whitworth chrome wire wheels and folding tonneau windshield. It remained part of their collection with other Duesenbergs and great Classics for several years. Late in the 1980s it was sold to the Blackhawk Collection of California and was exhibited there well into the 1990s. The current owners acquired it in 2003.
Well-preserved since restoration, this Model A is a wonderful example of Fred and August Duesenberg’s superb engineering and a treasure for any ACD enthusiast’s collection.