When the Model J Duesenberg, advertised as the finest American Motorcar, was first introduced in late 1928, it was expected that at least 500 new chassis would be sold in short order. With only 202 cars completed by the end of 1929, it took until 1936 for the last Model J Duesenbergs to be sold and accomplish a production total of only 487 chassis. This Model J Rollston Special Convertible Berline, Engine No. J-586 and Chassis No. 2611, was the final completed Duesenberg to leave the factory showroom and the last Rollston body produced. Upon completion, this car was sent to be featured at the 1936 New York Auto Show and was, at $17,000, the most expensive vehicle on display.
Like all Model J Duesenbergs, J-586 is based on a heavy ladder frame design, with this one featuring the long 153.5-inch wheelbase. This chassis is supported by parallel semi-elliptic leaf springs, a solid front axle and a live rear axle. The standard steel-spoke wheels are enhanced by the addition of black, full-width disc wheel covers and black sidewall tires. The car is powered by the iconic 420/265 HP inline 8-cylinder Duesenberg engine attached to a 3-speed manual transmission.
The gloss black Rollston coachwork is one of the most modern and well-executed designs ever placed on a J Duesenberg and features pontoon-style front and rear fenders with full skirts covering the rear wheels. The unique engine hood extends all the way to the windshield frame and was designed using triple long horizontal louvers with bright trim, like those on 1934-37 Fleetwood Cadillac V-16s. The sloping rear deck blends perfectly into the lines of the black fabric folding roof and enhances the aerodynamic styling of the car. The front and rear bumpers are the standard chrome-plated Duesenberg, but the gloss black, bullet-style headlamps and tail lamps lend a decidedly European theme. The wide front doors are rear hinged and share massive chrome-plated hinges with the front-hinged rear doors. The interior is trimmed in tan leather and is equipped with a glass partition that disappears into the back of the front seat.
This Duesenberg was purchased new by Conkey Whitehead, then president of Coca-Cola, and later purchased by jazz musician Charles Kyner, who kept it for 46 years. At Kyner’s passing, it was acquired by Richard Dicker of the Pennsylvania Railroad. A comprehensive restoration was completed in 1990, and the car has subsequently received an AACA Grand National Award and a CCCA Premier Senior Award. This is a rare opportunity to acquire one of the most beautiful and unusual Model J Duesenbergs on the planet.
Arrangements to purchase this vehicle can be made by contacting Dana Mecum directly or through Mecum representative Rob Williams by phone or text at (262) 236-7705 or by email at email@example.com.