"Model J Town Cabriolet"
Configuration: Front engine, rear wheel drive
Engine: Inline 8-cylinder
Displacement: 420 cu in
Torque: 374 lb/ft
Max RPM: 4,200 rpm
Transmission: Warner Hy-Flew 3-Speed Manual
Few names in motorcar history are as evocative wealth and power as Duesenberg. The company’s advertising made history in the various ads placed in posh society periodicals such as Country Life and Town & Country as one of the first campaigns to deliberately not feature an image of the product – simply a charcoal sketch of a wealthy individual and the line “He [or she] drives a Duesenberg.” From this tagline denoting luxury, we have the modern catchphrase “it’s a Doozy.”
The Model J first shipped from the Duesenberg factory in Indianapolis to the company’s Manhattan showroom, its first owner none other than Newport’s Nanaline Holt Inman Duke, a noted gem collector and the widow of James Buchanan Duke, founder of the American Tobacco Company. She had the chassis shipped across the United States to the Walter M. Murphy Company in Pasedena, with orders to construct a Town Cabriolet. Mrs. Duke took delivery on Halloween 1930, but only retained the car for a short time, as by 1958, this car was in the ownership of Judge Pat Ferchill, still in unrestored and factory-original condition.
Remarkably, this Model J is still fitted with its original factory engine and carries its original coach-built Murphy body with pride. It is rare to encounter such a sought-after style on a Duesenberg chassis where all elements have been together since day one.