To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys' The Guyton
Collection event, 4 - 5 May 2019.
$175,000 - $225,000
- A beloved, well-known part of the Guyton Collection since
- Formerly owned by legendary Model A enthusiast Fred Benson
- Attractive patina from many years of regular use
- Ideal for Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club and CCCA
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
THE DUESENBERG MODEL A
The Duesenberg brothers had, of course, been involved in road cars
before 1920; witness Fred Guyton's Mason. However, it was in
November 1920, specifically at the New York salon at the Hotel
Commodore, when the men who had birthed numerous successful racing
cars finally put their own name on a passenger car of their own
The Model A was powered by a straight-eight of 260-cu. in. that was
developed with a single overhead camshaft actuating two valves per
cylinder, which was a result of the Duesenberg's experience winning
at Indianapolis. Producing 88 hp, it was mounted on a ladder-style
chassis frame of rather conventional design and had a three-speed
sliding gear transmission and four-wheel hydraulic brakes. It was
the latter that was the Model A's real innovation: it was one of
the first American automobiles to be so-equipped. The Model A was
swift and roadable�as close as any 1920s automobile ever came to
being a "driver's car."
Between 1921 and 1926, when it was purchased by E.L. Cord, the
Duesenberg factory in Indianapolis produced some 500 Model As.
FROM MOUNT WASHINGTON TO ST. LOUIS
The Guyton Model A, as a late-production example, carries
Indianapolis coachbuilder Millspaugh & Irish's second version of
their touring car, with a distinctive double-beaded beltline
molding and rather handsome, modern lines.
The definitive known history of the car begins atop Mount
Washington, the New Hampshire peak known for challenging hill-climb
drivers on an annual basis. Undoubtedly, this Duesenberg knew the
challenge well and met it on numerous occasions, as its owner in
the 1940s was a weatherman stationed on the summit. It was later
sold in 1948 to Fred Benson of Wheaton, Illinois, a longtime Auburn
Cord Duesenberg Club member and Duesenberg enthusiast, who restored
the car mechanically and drove it in many events and meets for 17
years. In 1966, he was pictured with the car on the cover of the
ACD Club Newsletter.
The car soon passed to Dr. Fred Woods, then to "Friendly Bob" Adams
and finally to Jim DeBickero of Chicago. It was acquired from Mr.
DeBickero by Fred Guyton in 1971 and has remained in his ownership
ever since. One of Mr. Guyton's first antique cars and his first
Duesenberg, it has always been a favorite and was regularly used
for many years, including several visits to the ACD Club National
The car's restoration is now several decades old and shows its
wear, particularly in the interior and paint, both of which have
heavy use and patina but also a very charming appearance; it is
clearly an automobile that has been used, rather than neglected. It
is believed that the interior may, in fact, be the original
material from 1926, though the top was replaced in Mr. Benson's
ownership. The engine received a recent valve job by Marc Ohm.
Accompanying the car is a history file containing various
correspondence and invoices from over the years, reflecting Mr.
Guyton's great love for this splendid, very original Model A - one
of the greatest treasures of his collection.To view this car and
others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM
website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/gc19.