Finance With JJ Best

1936 Duesenberg Model J

Maharaja Duesenberg

 Vehicle Description
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The last DUESENBERG ever built before ACD went out of business in the midst of the 1930’s Depression was a totally spectacular roadster with body made in Croydon, England by coachbuilders Gurney Nutting. Their gifted designer young JOHN BATCHLEY deserves credit for the sweeping lines. It is considered by many collectors to be the best looking Duesenberg ever made.

Terry Cook of DELAHAYEUSA.COM, former Editor of HOT ROD and CAR CRAFT Magazines, saw the real car at the Louis Vuitton event in New York City in 1999 and subsequently lost his mind. Cook was overwhelmed and decided to embark on a 17 year quest to build a proper and fitting Tribute replica.

Now owned by retired Air Force General Lyons, the original spectacular 5+ million dollar car was built for a Maharaja in India. Reportedly when it came out of the jungle to be shipped to the USA in 1956, it was cradled in a sling between four elephants! Photo of General Lyon's incredible orange and black car on turntable in Gen. Lyons’ “modest” 40-car marble floored garage (with chandeliers) attached.

Cook had his own SCRAPE Zephyr on display at the same 1999 Louis Vuitton event in Rockefeller Center NYC. When he first saw the car, he had the proper credentials so he could stand next to and literally drool all over the Maharaja Doozie for three days! Studying the flowing lines he realized the body was very similar to the 1939 Lincoln Zephyr fiberglass DECO RIDES convertible body he manufactured. He set about the fifteen + year task of creating an 88% scale mini-Maharaja using his 1939 Zephyr convertible body as a basis.

He acquired a steel replica J model DUESENBERG grille shell and front fenders by Marcel Delay of California. He had a steel hood and side panels hand made, as well as a brass windshield frame. Steel fenders were used to make molds for fiberglass replacements. Craftsman/artist ED FLANAGAN did a masterful job of transforming the Lincoln body to copy the Maharaja.

Car includes beautiful new chrome plated replica bumpers. Power window mechanisms were installed in the doors with automatic "pop-open" hinged upper inner door panels so it opens when window is raised, and automatically pops shut when lowered, closing the slot for the window glass! Hours upon hours of work for just this trick. Includes seats and metal under-dash cowl structure supporting power brake master cylinder booster, swing brake pedal and tilt steering column. Brake lines installed. The original car had a massive 153.5 inch wheelbase while our smaller replica has a 135 inch wheelbase, but the all important proportions in 88% scale are correct.

The car has a new 507 cu. in. Big block Chevy with 6-71 GMC blower and automatic transmission included and installed, or it could use a vintage inline 6 or straight eight or your choice of motivation. Engine negotiable. It sits on a rectangular steel chassis with 9 inch Ford rear and independent front suspension.

Can be seen in Hanover, PA. About 75% finished. A thing of beauty and rolling sculpture. Will sell unfinished as is, but we have found reliable, competent, reasonably priced honest hour count fabricators, trimmers. painters, etc. and we would love to complete the car to your satisfaction.

$99,000 Trades Considered

Vehicle Overview
Model J
Model Year
Price (USD)
Basic Vehicle Specifications
Two Door
Transmission Type
Advanced Vehicle Specifications
Body Style
Fuel Type
Transmission Originaiity
Engine Originality
8 Cylinder
2 wheel drive
Suspension Type
Coil Suspension
Paint Details
Buyer Resources
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Private Seller
Long Valley, NJ 07853
(see map)
Call For Info:908 876 9727
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