May 26, 2005 The time-honoured superlative expression that became part of the vocabulary of every American originated in the 1920s when the American built Duesenberg automobile was considered the epitome of excellence.Beginning with a win in the first major post WW1 European Grand Prix, Duesenberg went on to build exquisite luxury machinery for the wealthiest people in the land and became commonly regarded in the United States as the world’s finest motor car. With famous automotive marques such as Maybach and Bugatti being returned to the marketplace as modern interpretations of their glorious forebears, it’s hardly a surprise to hear that another landmark automotive name is to be relaunched.
The Duesenberg was commonly regarded during the great depression as being the world’s finest motor car, at least in the United States, where it was regarded as above even the legendary Cadillac. The owners of the Duesenberg name plan to produce both cars and motorcycles under the marque, with the Duesenberg Torpedo motorcycle to be unveiled at the Daytona Bike Week in March 2006, with scheduled delivery in June 2006. The new Duesenberg Torpedo Coupe luxury automobile has a planned market introduction of January, 2007 and is intended to “bring the United States back into the top segment of the World automotive marketplace.”
Though no details or images are yet available of the motorcycle, the Duesenberg Torpedo Coupe is being designed by celebrated automobile designer Jeff Teague, who has worked as a senior designer for Volkswagen, Mitsubishi and Ford.
The Duesenberg Torpedo Coupe aims to offer “the ultimate luxury motoring for four passengers, along with a unique blend of automotive innovation and the finest comfort features.”
The Torpedo Coupe will be driven by a revolutionary new power plant, the CEM engine now in final development by Eddie Paul of EP Industries, an equally famous designer and constructor of one-off vehicles for the film industry. Paul is also an inventor of note and he believes his air-cooled, self lubricating, supercharged, 12 cylinder, double ended, ported, multi-fueled, CEM engine has a big future in the automotive industry. The engine reportedly produces 300 horsepower and returns 70 mpg from a small, lightweight 100 pound package measuring 18 inches in diameter and 24 inches in length.
Rumour has it that the Duesenberg Torpedo Coupe will be the first production automobile to utilise electromagnetic Bose suspension and the car will also feature a number of other new technologies licensed from leading automotive manufacturers and developers, with Mercedes benz being high on the list of most likelies.
The company is planning to introduce the model to the U.S. market in January, 2007.
The Duesenberg brothers, Fred and Augie, built a world-wide reputation for engineering excellence and innovation through their success in creating race engines and cars. They built the race cars that won the French Grand Prix in 1921 (the first American car to do so) and the Indy 500 in 1924, 1925 and 1927. They also set world speed records on land (1920, 1935) and sea (1915).
Their first production car, the Duesenberg Model A, introduced in 1921, was the first passenger car to have all-around hydraulic brakes and a straight 8 engine as standard features. The Model A was one of the highest quality automobiles of its time.
In 1926 Duesenberg Inc. was formed as a subsidiary of Auburn Motors, with the sole mission of producing the finest car in the world in terms of style, performance, and luxury. E.L. Cord's stated goal was to"...build the world's best automobile, a car with superlative acceleration, speed and hill climbing ability, pleasant to drive and safe, with maximum reliability and exceptionally long life, secured by the finest materials and workmanship."
The result was the Duesenberg Model J, with a 6.9 liter twin overhead camshaft, 32 valve, straight 8 engine that produced 265 bhp and 116 mph. With all-around hydraulic brakes, and engine-driven filtered pressure lubrication system, and a massive frame with six tubular cross members, the Model J was a masterpiece of engineering innovation. Each car received a custom body by leading coach builders, governed by the Duesenbergchief of design, Gordon Buehrig, and was a statement of the buyer's individual sense of luxury.
With the world-wide Depression closely following the Model J's introduction in 1929, the market for the cars was limited to the very wealthy - less than 485 cars were sold when production stopped in 1937. The Duesenberg Model J was widely considered as the finest and most expensive car in the world.
Since the last Duesenberg was delivered 60 years ago, the value of the original cars has risen to the million dollar range and the mystique of this rare and beautiful work of automotive art has continued to make the name Duesenberg highly recognized for the ultimate in quality and value.
The Ultimate Car Pages have an array of great material celebrating the Duesenberg marque.