1933 Duesenberg Model SJ ‘Sweep Panel’ Phaeton by LaGrande, engine no. J-510 (photo: Darin Schnabel)
1933 Duesenberg Model SJ ‘Sweep Panel’ Phaeton by LaGrande, engine no. J-510 (photo: Darin Schnabel)

Duesenberg Model SJ Offered For Sale

The 1933 Duesenberg Model SJ ‘Sweep Panel’ Phaeton by LaGrande, engine J-510, will headline the annual Auburn Fall Collector Car Weekend, scheduled for August 31 – September 3, 2017. Auctions America said the unique LaGrande Phaeton is one of the most significant Duesenbergs to come to market in recent years, and surely the most important automobile ever offered by the company at Auburn Auction Park.

The Duesenberg is one of eleven LaGrande “sweep panel” phaetons produced for the long-wheelbase Duesenberg Model J chassis. Of these, three were supercharged SJ models, and one of these, no. J-510, offered here, boasted unique styling features, most prominently the lack of a full second cowl; instead, a folding windshield was fitted, that collapsed behind the front seat when not in use.

An original supercharged SJ, this Duesenberg was delivered new to Bernard E. ”Ben” Smith, a floor trader with W.E. Hutton & Company in New York City. After the car had spent the first decade of its life at the Smith Family home in New York State, Ben Jr. and his new wife drove the Duesenberg to Mexico in 1946 when they partnered on a major horse racing facility near Mexico City. Smith’s partner purchased the business outright shortly thereafter, and the Model SJ was included as part of the transaction. Its further custodianship in Mexico City during the 1940s and 1950s earned it the nickname the “Mexico City SJ.”

Numerous attempts were made by early collectors to buy the car, to no avail. In the late 1960s, an American enthusiast finally successfully purchased the Duesenberg and returned it to the U.S. Since then, the SJ has been a member of collections in the country, including the Lyon Family Collection for 25 years. It retains its original body, engine and chassis and is accompanied at Auburn Fall by Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club Category One Certification (D-182). Still well-presented and attractive down to the last detail, the Duesenberg is estimated to exceed $2,500,000 when it crosses the Auburn Fall block.

“It is a true honor to have the opportunity to offer a car with such significance as the Model SJ at a venue rich with American automotive history and during a festival dedicated to preserving these great Classics,” said Donnie Gould, President, Auctions America. “The demand for exceptional American Classics at auction has shown incredible momentum over the last few years, and it is stand out cars like this SJ that underpin the strength of the market and the collector car hobby overall. For serious collectors, this is your opportunity to acquire a highly important Duesenberg; one that is unlikely to repeat itself in the foreseeable future.”

Additional American highlights set for Auctions America’s Labor Day auction include:

  • 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 ‘F-Code’ Skyliner, one of seven original F-Code Skyliners produced, equipped with the best available Ford engine of its time as well as numerous factory options and accessories (Est. $140,000 – $180,000);
  • 1953 Chevrolet Corvette, the 127th of 300 examples built for the first year of Corvette production, restored to concours-quality (Est. $225,000 – $275,000); and,
  • 1964 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray “Supernova”, restored to its 1971 Road Atlanta SCCA Regional Champion presentation and ready for more track time (Est. $325,000 – $375,000).

A Labor Day weekend tradition for over 45 years, Auctions America’s Auburn Fall collector car weekend will present an expected 850 collector cars as well an assortment of automobilia across four days of auction action. For further information on Auburn Fall, an updated list of entries, or to discuss consignment opportunities, call +1 260 927 9797 or visit AuctionsAmerica.com.

[Source: Auctions America; photos: Darin Schnabel]