Most Wanted Classic Cars: Duesenberg Model J (Part 2)

Posted by Steve White on Mar 06, 2013

The supercharged version of the Duesenberg Model J, called the “SJ”, was equipped with an engine that could produce 320 hp. It could achieve a maximum speed of 135 to 140 mph in third gear, and its 0-60 mph and 0-100 mph times were about 8 seconds and 17 seconds respectively. This car was incredibly fast, considering that the most powerful cars of its time were probably not capable of reaching 100 mph. The special-bodied SJ models, such as the Mormon Meteor, were even faster, reaching a one-hour average speed of more than 152 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Altogether, only 36 units of SJ were produced.

The Duesenberg company also released two units of SSJ in 1935. The SSJ was equipped with a 420 cid straight-eight engine with 400 hp, and it had an open-roadster body, an external tire at the rear, and smaller round taillights. 10 units of JN were also built in the same year. These cars featured smaller wheels, skirted fenders, and bullet-shaped taillights for a more modern appearance.

Production of Duesenberg automobiles ceased in 1937, following the collapse of Cord’s financial empire. However, the Model J continues to be an object of fascination among classic car enthusiasts until this very day. During its time, it was considered a status symbol in the US and Europe, and it was driven by famous personalities such as Al Capone, Clark Gable, Howard Hughes, Greta Garbo, Mae West, Tyrone Power, Marion Davies, and Evelyn Walsh McLean.

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