17 May 1999
1924 DUESENBERG STRAIGHT-EIGHT MODEL A
Chassis no. 815
Engine no. 1256
Green and yellow with black wings and dark green interior.
Engine: eight cylinders in line, 4260cc (260 cu.in.), overhead valves, single overhead camshaft, updraft carburettor, 90bhp at 3600rpm; Gearbox: three-speed manual; Suspension: front beam axle with half elliptic springs, rear live with half elliptics; Brakes: four-wheel hydraulically operated drum. Left hand drive.
Duesenberg made his name as a master racing-car designer and burst upon European sensibilities at the 1921 French Grand Prix, contested over a very rough Le Mans circuit, when Jimmy Murphy's special racing Duesenberg comprehensively routed the cream of continental Grand Prix designs. The first production model made its debut at the sixteenth New York Automobile Salon in November 1920, when it was immediately recognised as an engineering masterpiece, built by skilled hands, costly and exclusive. The single overhead camshaft engine was given hemispherical combustion chambers and initially produced a conservative 90 bhp, enough to power it to an 85 mph maximum speed. Made of the finest materials, using the most advanced light alloys available, the Straight-Eight touring car was an engineer's automobile through and through.
Fred and Augie Duesenberg knew the merits of their cars, pioneering four-wheel hydraulic brakes and all, and would drive nothing else than their own superbly built rather conservatively styled machines. This 1924 Straight-Eight has been restored in the past and the paintwork now appears pleasantly mellowed. The external colour scheme of green and yellow with black wings is complemented by dark green leatherette trim and upholstery. Part of this collection for a number of years, it may need some minor fettling before use but should be a capable vintage performer. The car is Swiss registered.
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