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Duesenberg Inc. was a car manufacturer during the automotive golden age. Duesenbergs could more than hold their own when up against European competitors.

The artistry and majesty of this rolling works of arts still impresses young and old today. This 1936 Duesenberg was on display in 2010 when I photographed it at the Danville, Calif.-based Blackhawk Automotive Museum.

The museum features some of the rarest, most interesting and most expensive cars on the planet.

This 1936 Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Sedan is more than impressive when you stand next to it. Its size is daunting. It clearly takes you back to an era when automotive artistry was just that: art.

“The Duesenberg Model SJ designation indicates that this is a supercharged (S) version of the Model J,” according to a Blackhawk vehicle summary. “The supercharged Lycoming engine became available in 1932 and substantially increased the {car’s} horsepower from 265 to 320!”

The 8-cylinder engine is an in-line DOHC that reaches its peak horsepower at 4200 rpm.

“This custom convertible sedan body was created by Bohman & Schwartz Coach Builders in Pasadena, Calif., which was founded in 1932 by Christian Bohman and Maurice Schwartz — both of whom had previously been employed by the renowned coachbuilding firm of Walter M. Murphy Co. at the same Pasadena location.

“Bohman and Schwartz design trademarks included skirted rear fenders, spare tire covers, external exhaust pipes, lengthening the hood to the windshield, sloping painted radiator shells and lowered, sharply raked windshields.”

Blackhawk said external exhausts were standard factory-issue features for that era’s supercharged cars. It also said the standard chrome radiator shell is evident through the grille.

It also said Bohman & Schwartz was in business until 1944.

“This car was first owned by Henry J. (Bob) Topping Jr., a millionaire and socialite who owned the New York Yankees and who was married to Lana Turner from 1948 to 1952.”

When new, the car cost $16,000. Duesenberg manufactured it in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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Subcategory Detail:Vintage
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