Sep 03 2018

Mystery Foto #35 Solved:Two Record-Breaking Duesenbergs at the Long Island Automotive Museum in 1949


This weekend's Mystery Foto was discovered last week at Pebble Beach.

Answers to the Mystery Foto questions:

  • Identify the two automobiles and their owners when the photo was taken.

Right: 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Special Mormon Meteor  owned by Ab Jenkins in 1949.

Left: 1935 Duesenberg SSJ owned by Briggs Cunnigham in 1949

  • Where was the photo taken and when?

The photo was taken at the Long Island Automotive Museum in Southampton, circa 1949.

  • What records were set by the two automobiles?

The 1935 Duesenberg Mormon Meteor set a 24-hour speed record (135.58 miles per hour) in 1935 and sold for a record $4.45 million at the 2004 Gooding & Company auction at Pebble Beach.

The 1935 Duesenberg SSJ sold for a record $22 million at the 2018 Gooding & Company auction at Pebble Beach. It is the most expensive American automobile sold at an auction.

  • Associate the two automobiles with Pebble Beach.

Both Duesenbergs were sold for record prices at the Gooding & Company auctions in Pebble Beach. The 1935 Duesenberg Mormon Meteor was awarded Best in Show at the 2007 Pebble Beach concours d'Elegance.

Comments (12)

Congrats to Steve Halsey, Steve Lucas, Ken Wiebke, Sam Beliner III, Don Corie, Art Kleiner (see Kleiner's Korner), Greg O., Dick Gorman and Robert Richer for recognizing the Long Island Automotive Museum.

Kudos to Steve Lucas, Art Kleiner, Greg O., and Dick Gorman for identifying the two Duesenbergs.

Enjoy,

Howard Kroplick



Close-Ups

The rear of the Long Island Automotive Museum in 2015.


Long Island Automotive Museum, Circa 1949


Gooding & Company, Pebble Beach, August 22, 2018

1935 Duesenberg SSJ

Coachwork by LaGrange

Chassis No. 2594 Engine No. J-563

Estimate in Excess of $10,000,000

Highlights

The Ultimate Model J Duesenberg One of Only two SSJs Built

Special Short-Wheelbase Chassis and Supercharges Twin-Carb Engine

Sporting Open Coachwork Designed by J. Herbert Newport Jr.

Originally Delievered to Hollywood Legend Gary Cooper

Unrestored Condition: Retains Original Chassis, Engine and Bodywork

Just Two Owners- Briggs Cunningham and Miles Collier- Since 1949

Specifications

420 CID DOHC 32-Valve Inline 8-Cylinder Engine

Twin Schebler Carburetors

Centrifugal Supercharger

400 BHP at 5,000 RPM

3-Speed Manual Gearbox

4- Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes

Front Solid-Axle Suspension with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs and Shock Absorbers

Rear Live Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs and Shock Absorbers


1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Special Mormon Meteor

Courtesy of Conceptcarz.com


Kleiner's Korner (Submitted by Art Kleiner)

Autoclassics.com August 25, 2018



Comments

Aug 31 2018 Steve Halsey 5:55 AM

Location Long Island Auto Museum Southampton
One car is a Duesenberg
Not sure of the other

Sep 01 2018 Steve Lucas 11:11 PM

They are both 1935 Duesenbergs. The one on the left is a model SJ nicknamed the “Mormon Meteor” once owned by Ab Jenkins who set many speed records with it on the Bonneville salt flats. The other is a model SSJ once owned by Gary Cooper. The SJ won “Best In Show” at Pebble Beach in 2007. I think they both set sales records when they were sold at auction at various times. Both of them may have been owned by Briggs Cunningham when the photo was taken. Just a guess but the location resembles the back of the Long Island Automotive Museum around 1953.

Sep 02 2018 Ken Wiebke 12:58 AM

I guess the location as South Hampton NY at what became Henry Austin Clark’s museum so mid 1940’s. and it the Mormon Meteor which had achieved some land sped record and one of two short wheel based super charged Dusenbergs which appeared at Pebble Beach this year.  note small wrong headlights.

Sep 02 2018 S. Berliner, III 2:20 AM

A ca. ‘36 Auburn 851 and a ca. ‘30 Duesenberg J, both apparently Boattail Speedsters,  Back of Austie Clark’s LI Auto Museum ca. 1950?  Wild guess that they survived to show at PB?  Sam, III

Sep 02 2018 DON CORIE 3:48 PM

PHOTO TAKEN IN FRONT OF AUSTIN CLARK MUSEUM SOUTHAMPTON, LONG ISLAND NY

Sep 02 2018 Art Kleiner 10:46 PM

Identify the two automobiles and their owners when the photo was taken.
Right - Duselberg SSJ (Special Sportser J).  Gary Cooper
Left - Mormon Meteor;  AB Jenkins

Where was the photo taken and when?  First thought LI Auto Musuem but found a reference stating the two cars were seen photographed at the Bob Robert’s car dealership in Hollywood (corner of Ivers and Selma).  Late 1930s

What records were set by the two automobiles?
SSJ - average speed record in 1935 of 135.47 mph in 24 hours.
Mormon - Average speed of 158.822 mph in 24 hours and 148.641 mph in 48 hours.
 
Associate the two automobiles with Pebble Beach.
The SSJ was just auctioned at the Pebble Beach for a record $22 million.
Mormon auctioned at Pebble Beachin 2004 for $4.45 million.

Sep 02 2018 Art Kleiner 10:55 PM

Actually the reference noting the Bob Robert’s car dealership refers to both SSJs made and not the Mormon Meteor photographed there.

Sep 03 2018 Art Kleiner 7:25 AM

Now that I read the headline of the mystery photo the photo was taken on LI so i’ll say the location is the LI Auto Museum in Southampton.

Sep 03 2018 Greg O. 8:28 AM

On the left; 1935 Duesenberg Special/Mormon Meteor
From Wiki;
Financing for the Duesenberg Special came from sponsorship solicited by Ab Jenkins from oil companies and accessory manufacturers and distributors. Jenkins guaranteed his sponsors that he would break established speed records with the car. He delivered on his guarantee in October 1935, when he set a one-hour record of 153.97 mph (247.79 km/h) and a twenty-four-hour record of 135.57 mph (218.18 km/h) at a circuit on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The 24-hour record would be held until 1961.
Recently restored to its 1935 racing condition and entered in the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which it won.

On the right;  1935 Duesenberg Special Speedster Model J (SSJ) owned by Gary Cooper.
In 2018, this Duesenberg SSJ was sold at Pebble Beach for $22 million. This made it the most expensive American car ever sold.

This looks to be at Henry Austin Clark, Jr’s Long Island Automotive Museum in Southampton

Sep 03 2018 Art Kleiner 9:11 AM

One more comment and then on to the beach to celebrate Labor Day!  I’m now putting date in the late 40s or early 50s. 
And while probably not directly related to the photo, I found a Newsday clipping from 1971 about a Joseph Weider who rented an 8 car garage to antique auto/truck collectors and noted that Gary Cooper once housed his Duselberg there (complete with an autograph).  Sending the full article to Howard.

Sep 03 2018 Dick Gorman 1:53 PM

Mystery Foto# 35….The 1935 Duesenberg Mormon Meteor Speedster is on the left Possible owner at that time Ab Jenkins. The 1936 Duesenberg SSJ La Grande Sports Roadster is on the right. Clark Gable (or Alfred Ferrera) may have been the owner at that time. Photo taken at Long Island Automotive Museum in Southampton. I cannot determine the date of the photo. Both cars were class winners at Pebble Beach Concours in years past. The Mormon Meteor was best of show in 2007 at Pebble. Ab Jenkins with the Mormon Meteror set a one-hour record of 153.97 mph (247.79 km/h) and a twenty-four-hour record of 135.57 mph (218.18 km/h) at a circuit on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The 24-hour record would be held until 1961. Can’t find speed records on the LaGrand Roadster but it had a top speed of 160mph.

Sep 03 2018 Howard Kroplick 9:16 PM

Robert Richer
Partial:

Ab Jenkins’ Marmon.
Austie Clark’s Museum.

Sep 04 2018 S. Berliner, III 12:45 AM

Too funny!  I was about to correct my reply; I didn’t remember ever seeing the Meteor with a top, and certainly not up, but bethought me of the nose looking familiar as one of Ab Jenkins’ Mormon Meteors.  They are covered in his book, “Salt of the Earth”, which I either have somewhere or gave to Howard.  As I recall fairly certainly, there never were ACD factory designations SJ or SSJ; all such cars were Js and the S and SS prefixes were added much later by aficionadoes (much as production Tuckers were never Torpedoes).  At least I knew the garage door was Austie’s eastern rear entrance.  Sam, III

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