Long before the Great Depression claimed some of the best cars ever made there were many high caliber motorcars on the market. Great names like Stutz, Duesenberg, Pierce Arrow, Peerless, and Cord all lost their fortunes in the 1930s. Among these great names in automotive history is Marmon, a car that never compromised in any way. Born in the infancy of the horseless carriage, Marmon quickly developed an excellent reputation for reliability and while others were building their own version of this “new-fangled contraption,” Marmon’s cars were finely engineered, dependable, and able to go any distance without fear of failure.
The Marmon name actually started as a builder of flower milling equipment, which the company had been manufacturing since the middle of the nineteenth century. Marmon’s engineering expertise was greatly enhanced when Howard C. Marmon joined the company at the turn of the century. As a graduate from the University of California at Berkley, Marmon’s degree in mechanical engineering soon found him longing to build more than just flower milling equipment. An experimental car quickly materialized and was actually quite advanced for the day. Power came from an overhead valve air-cooled twin cylinder engine built in a V configuration. His second car featured a V-4 layout and a suspension system that was also remarkably advanced for the day. Refinements continued and perhaps the culmination of Marmon’s work came with a victory in the very first running of the Indianapolis 500. Marmon’s cars were quickly gaining a reputation for excellent engineering and stellar reliability.
Offered here is perhaps the very pinnacle of Marmon’s history, a spectacular 1924 Model 34B Roadster. Riding on an impressive 132-inch wheelbase, this Marmon has just been treated to a full body-off restoration that has returned it to factory new condition. Everything about the Model 34B is impressive from the length of its hood to the finely sculptured rear. Starting from the front, the Marmon’s signature rounded radiator shell is beautifully finished in authentic nickel plating as is all of its recently refinished brightwork. A winged motor meter rides atop in fine fashion and a nicely louvered hood adds a touch of style. The body is finished in a lovely burgundy with black fenders and running boards that make a dashing contrast.No roadster from the 1920s would be complete without its obligatory golf club storage door and this Marmon carries this feature in fine fashion. Twin biplane bumpers are also simple, elegant, and functional and this Marmon also rides on its correct factory wheels with a set of wide whitewall tires. It also carries a double set of spare tires on the rear. If the immense beauty of the exterior appearance of this roadster is impressive, it’s only surpassed by an interior that features fine quality leather that is pleated and authentically restored with horsehair. The steering wheel is a work of art in finely finished Walnut with authentically restored nickel plated controls in the center. The matching wood dashboard houses a machine turned gauge cluster that has the look of fine jewelry. Sitting behind the large steering wheel of this incredible car is an experience in itself. With seating for just two, it’s clearly apparent that this roadster is built for business. Power for the 34B roadster comes from a 339.7 cubic-inch inline overhead valve six cylinder mated to a three-speed transmission which is the same a Stutz Speedway Six of the same year. The engine compartment is also beautifully restored and presents as fine as the rest of the car. Large, impressive, opulent, and magnificent are just a few of the words that only begin to describe the fit, finish, and beauty of this stunning car from the Golden Age.
The Marmon name has been relegated to history, but examples like this Model 24B roadster clearly demonstrate that these fabulous cars are not forgotten. For the collector of high-end cars from the classic era, this is a roadster that can sit in the finest collections in the world while also offering a touring experience like no other.