Lot 104

Arizona 2023

Duesenberg Model J Display Engine

Offered from the collection of the Petersen Automotive Museum


$120,000 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Phoenix, Arizona




One of the greatest engines of the classic era, the Duesenberg Model J straight-eight incorporated dual overhead camshafts controlling four inclined valves per cylinder, timing chains, and an impressive crankshaft which turned on five main bearings. A stock Model J engine produced 265 horsepower, which was exceeded only by the 320-horsepower supercharged “SJ,” the most powerful standard American automobile until the 1950s.

This Model J engine was reportedly restored by the late Tony Anton for well-known Duesenberg collector Phil Renick of Rancho Santa Fe, California. It was assembled from the block and crank of engine J-186, the former of which shows signs of an earlier repair, and a new bell-housing numbered J-177, stamped in correct font. When acquired by the Petersen Automotive Museum from Mr. Renick in 2001, it was noted to have been fitted with Carillo connecting rods. The engine is complete with flywheel and starter, as well as a custom-made stainless-steel engine stand which, like the engine itself, is beautifully detailed and polished. It is not known to have been run since acquisition and its internal condition is unknown.

A powerful piece of mechanical art, this display engine clearly demonstrates the superior engineering of the Duesenberg Model J, “The Mightiest American Motor Car.”