To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys' The Guyton
Collection event, 4 - 5 May 2019.
$300,000 - $400,000
- The rarest production Duesenberg; one of four surviving Model
- Believed to have been one of the 1927 Salon show cars
- Known history since new, including Wendell Chappelle and
William F. Harrah
- Attractive older restoration by Harrah's Automobile
- Still affixed with its Harrah's brass tag
- Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club Certified (D-032)
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
THE DUESENBERG MODEL X
Rarest of the production Duesenbergs, the Model X was built in the
last months of Duesenberg Motors' independent life, as E.L. Cord
took control and commanded the larger, grander Model J into
production as its replacement. Perhaps because just 13 Model Xs
were produced, and only four of them remain, the model remains
somewhat misunderstood by collectors, who frequently write it off
as "just another Model A." That it is not; few components of the
Model X are directly interchangeable with a Model A, as direct
comparison of the two side-by-side will immediately indicate.
It is an overall larger car, with a wheelbase of 135 in., one inch
longer than the Model A, and with tubular cross-members. The engine
is an overhead cam inline eight-cylinder engine, of 322-cu. in.
displacement, but with the generator and water pump relocated and
all of the manifolds on the right side, and is more powerful, with
an output of 100 bhp. It sends its power through a hypoid rear
axle. In addition, the front springs were relocated on top of the
front axle. Even the wheels on the Model X were changed, to 21-in.
Buffalo units. Externally, the fenders were of a different, more
deeply crowned design; the running boards were of cast aluminum;
and thin-section Ryanlites were a popular lighting option.
THE LOCKE DUAL-COWL PHAETON
Duesenberg historians believe as many as four Model Xs were
produced with versions of this dual-cowl phaeton body by Locke &
Company, for appearances at the various Auto Salons held in major
cities in 1927.
This car, the only survivor, was originally delivered to C. Walter
Pratt, a wealthy paper mill owner in Carthage, New York, who was
obviously impressed with it; he became one of the first customers
for the successor Model J, acquiring a Murphy convertible coupe. It
was eventually acquired from Mr. Pratt by Edward Sixbury, then
passed to Wendell Chapelle, whose Empire State garage it shared
with one of the Packard 1106 Twelve "boattail" runabouts.
Midway through a full restoration, the Model X was sold at
Chappelle's 1964 estate auction to the famed Harrah's Automobile
Collection. Finished beautifully by Harrah's in Old Ivory and
Painter's Green, the hues described in literature for the original
Salons, the car was one of the collection's most famous
automobiles, featured in numerous postcards and their 25th
Anniversary roster. Reportedly, it was one of Bill Harrah's
favorite cars and he drove it regularly.
In 1987, it was part of a large group of Harrah's cars acquired by
the renowned collector, General William Lyon. Not long thereafter
it was sold to Bud Tinney of California, then passed to Fred and
David Weber, who at the time were amassing an impressive collection
here in St. Louis. After being traded away by the Webers, it joined
the vast Duesenberg stable of Ed Weaver in Dalton, Georgia.
They say that "the third time is the charm," and it was true for
Fred Guyton, who was finally able to acquire this car in 1996,
after being outbid in two prior attempts. Correspondence on file
indicates that he was thrilled to add the car to his collection,
reveling in its companionship with his beloved Model A. He avidly
contacted Duesenberg authorities, researching and documenting his
acquisition, with letters in the file being from the late Fred Roe
and Don Howell, among others.
Today the car's Harrah restoration is well over 50 years old and
shows patina throughout, with the lacquer paint exhibiting the
usual wear and the interior in overall good condition; the engine
compartment and chassis both show signs of careful use. It could be
successfully shown at local events or become the rarest automobile
on the next CARavan.
The Model X is the car without which no Duesenberg collection is
complete, and with the last example trading hands publicly in 1996,
the Locke dual-cowl phaeton's offering here marks a generational
opportunity. Fred Guyton had three chances; the next owner may
Please note that while this car is nicely documented, the Harrah's
research file does not accompany this lot.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction,
please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/gc19.