Who said 1930’s cars are not wanted anymore? The Auburn Sale by Auctions America two weeks ago proved otherwise. During this auction on September 2, more than twenty pre-war cars were on sale.
And they made good prices. A 1933 Duesenberg Model SJ ‘Sweep Panel’ Phaeton with coachwork by LaGrande was the overall winner, it fetched USD 2.3 million.
Eleven of these LaGrande “sweep panel” phaetons were produced for the long-wheelbase Duesenberg Model SJ chassis. Just three of them were supercharged SJ models, And only this one did not have a full second cowl but had a folding windshield that would collapse behind the front seat when it was not used.
That way this is considered to be a true four-passenger American sports car. This car was bought new by a New York stockbroker in 1933. The full history of the car is known and since the 1980’s it has had just one owner.
The number two of this auction was the green 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood. This car was ordered by a jurist from Philadelphia who had a clear view of what his new car had to look like. So he ordered the chassis from Duesenberg and had Fleetwood Metal Body Company put a convertible bodywork on it.
No, that is not the body that you see here, because after a few years the jurist, who later became a well-known judge, had grown tired of the car and ordered a new body for it. This body is believed to have been removed from a 1931 Cadillac V8-chassis.
The judge kept on driving the car. In 1940 it had 200.000 miles on the odometer, but the judge drove on until he passed away in the late 1950’s. By then his wife sold the car to a collector.
Thirty years ago, the car was restored and it is since then in immaculate condition. At this month’s auction, it was sold for USD 990.000.