1. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

  2. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

  3. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

  4. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

  5. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

  6. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

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  9. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

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  12. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

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  17. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

  18. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

  19. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

  20. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

  21. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

  22. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

  23. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

  24. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

  25. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

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  27. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

  28. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline

Lot Number
31
From The Tom Gaughen Collection, Coachwork by J.B. Judkins Company
1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline
Scottsdale Auction

Offered Without Reserve

ESTIMATE: $550,000 - $650,000
CHASSIS NO: 2371
• Original engine, chassis and body
• Incredibly pure and complete; ACD Club Category 1 Certified
• Impressive formal presence on LWB Model J chassis
• Extremely rare Seven-Passenger Judkins Custom Berline body
• Offered from long-term, single-collector care
• Wonderful example of the legendary Duesenberg Model J

420 cid DOHC, 32-valve inline eight-cylinder engine, 265 HP, three-speed manual transmission, solid front and live rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel vacuum-assisted hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase 153.5”


From its landmark debut at the December 1928 New York Salon, the Duesenberg Model J remains a pinnacle of Classic Era design and engineering. When news first broke of its upcoming launch in 1928, the announcement temporarily halted trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Based on a truly mighty chassis with leading-edge design and powered by an advanced and race-derived eight-cylinder engine, the Model J was initially priced from $8,500 for the chassis, cowl and engine alone. Fitted with bodywork and ready for delivery to the customer, it was America’s grandest and most expensive car by far. Famously, its magnificent specifications, luxury and regal proportions inspired the popular-culture expression, “It’s a Duesy,” which remains in wide use today.

Few could argue the car's features and sheer grandeur did not support its price. In fact, the Model J's specifications sound current today: 265 HP, double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, hemispherical combustion chambers, power-assisted hydraulic brakes, and eventually, an optional supercharger. With two available wheelbase lengths, measuring 142.5 and 153.5 inches respectively, the Model J carried some of the most handsome coachwork of the time, while providing remarkably strong performance well beyond 100 mph with lighter open bodies and excellent overall driving dynamics that remain impressive even by today’s standards.

This gorgeous long-wheelbase Model J-348, serial number 2371, is an uncommonly pure example, blessed with ACD Club Category No. 1 – Certified Original Car status. The original and elegant Custom Berline coachwork – a four-window style with discreet blind rear quarters, was produced on May 5, 1930 by the craftsmen at J.B. Judkins Co. of Amesbury, Massachusetts carried a $2,550 price. Judkins, a highly respected firm, was also quite well-known for fitting a number of bodies to Duesenberg, Packard, and Pierce-Arrow chassis among others. Judkins’ specialty was in elegant and luxurious closed cars in particular, and their craftsmanship and finely judged sense of style were highly regarded by manufacturers and wealthy clientele alike. The body adorning this Model J is understood to be the second of only 13 produced.

Surviving Model Js are closely followed by marque enthusiasts, and this example carries interesting provenance, reportedly having been delivered new on August 25, 1930 to Margery Durant, daughter of famed early auto executive William C. “Billy” Durant. Known subsequent owners – both located in Connecticut, joined the Duesenberg’s roster of keepers in 1940 and 1945 respectively, followed by two more owners in 1953 and 1960, until it was acquired by Floyd DuVall of Iowa, who retained the car until 1986, when he sold it to Ross Young of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. In September 1990, Mr. Young took the car to Auburn, Indiana and submitted it to the ACD Club for certification, where it was awarded Category No. 1 Certified Original Car status. In late 1997, the Duesenberg was purchased by Russell Yordy of Pennsylvania, who in turn sold the vehicle in August 2001 to the current owner, a life member of the ACD Club and longstanding collector of Classic Era® automobiles. Soon after acquisition, the consignor sent the Model J, which had not been driven for many years, to Steve Babinski’s Automotive Restorations, Inc. in Bernardsville, New Jersey to perform comprehensive service work and sorting with the intention of preparing the car for touring enjoyment as desired. As now offered from a true ACD collector and enthusiast’s private collection, this uncommonly pure, ACD Club-certified 1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline offers an incredible opportunity to acquire and enjoy one of the greatest motorcars ever conceived – regardless of era.

1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline
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