Rare Duesenberg added to IMS Museum collection

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INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2001 - The newest jewel of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's classic automobile collection, a rare 1935 Duesenberg Model JN convertible sedan, is now on display at the Speedway's Hall of Fame Museum. ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2001 - The newest jewel of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's classic automobile collection, a rare 1935 Duesenberg Model JN convertible sedan, is now on display at the Speedway's Hall of Fame Museum. The dark-blue convertible Model JN - one of only 10 built -- is fitted with a four-door convertible Rollston body and dual overhead cam "straight-8" Duesenberg engine. Only three of the Model JN's were built as four-door convertibles.

The Model JN was distinguished from Duesenberg's more common Model J by wider, dropped bodies and deeper doors.

While Duesenberg built approximately 480 of its Model J (and variations) from 1928-37, the company actually built only the chassis and engine. Fourteen domestic coach builders constructed a variety of body styles for the cars. Many were one of a kind, built to suit the taste of the customer. The Speedway's Model JN will join four other Duesenbergs that are already part of the Hall of Fame Museum's collection: *The 1913-built Duesenberg race car that Eddie Rickenbacker drove to a 10th-place finish at the 1914 Indianapolis 500, averaging 70.83 mph. Coincidentally, Rickenbacker owned the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 1927-45 and also owned a Duesenberg competitor - the Rickenbacker Motor Company - from 1922-27. *The 1920 Duesenberg race car that has the distinction of being the only car to win both at Le Mans (the 1921 French Grand Prix) and the Indianapolis 500 (1922). Jimmy Murphy drove the car to victory at both events. The car is believed to be the first to use four-wheel hydraulic brakes. The car featured a Duesenberg engine at Le Mans, but Murphy switched to a Miller straight-8 engine for the "500," winning with an average speed of 94.484 mph. The car is now restored to the way it compete at Le Mans, with a Duesenberg engine and the number 12 painted on its sides. *The lavish 1927 Duesenberg Model A passenger car owned by Augie Duesenberg, who co-owned the Duesenberg company with his brother, Fred. The car has the longest wheelbase of any Duesenberg. It was also the last car the brothers built before selling the company to Errett Lobban Cord in 1926, who at the time was president of the Auburn Automobile Company. *A 1925 Model A touring car, which late Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony Hulman purchased from the Kuhn family in Terre Haute, Ind. The car, which features a maroon-painted body and straight-8 overhead cam engine, was one of the early additions to the Hulman family's automobile collection. The Speedway's Hall of Fame Museum is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (EST) every day of the year except Christmas. During the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and SAP United States Grand Prix, the museum opens and closes when the Speedway's public gates open and close.

Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for children ages 6-15 and free for children age 5 and younger. Track tours are also available for the same prices when no race-related activities or testing is taking place.

-IMS-

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