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J Franay Convertible Sedan
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  Duesenberg J Franay Convertible Sedan
 

  Article Image gallery (12) Chassis (1) Specifications  
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Country of origin:United States
Produced in:1931
Numbers built:one-off
Introduced at:1931 Paris Motor Show
Designed by:Franay
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 02, 2005
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Click here to download printer friendly versionLaunched at the 1928 New York Auto Show, the Duesenberg Model J was the result of a design process influenced by both Duesenberg's rich racing heritage and owner Errett Lobban Cord's demands. Cord envisioned the new Duesenberg to be the greatest American car ever. No expense was spared and a legend was created by the design team led by Fred Duesenberg. Today the name Duesenberg alone makes many automotive enthusiasts' hearts beat faster.

Duesenberg first stunned the world in 1921 by winning the French Grand Prix, the first and only American manufacturer to ever win the event. The three litre racer featured a state of the art eight cylinder engine and hydraulic drum brakes all-round. In the same year Duesenberg entered the passenger car market with the Model A. Many of the features that made the Grand Prix racer successful were found on the road car as well. The Model A was the first road car ever to be fitted with hydraulically operated drum brakes all-round.

Unlike the racing Duesenbergs, the road cars were not an immediate success. The Duesenberg brothers were great designers and engineeers, but their business and marketing talents were limited. Poor sales results pushed Duesenberg on the verge of bankruptcy. E.L. Cord stepped in and bought the company in 1926. Cord decided to abandon the nimble Model A and requested Fred Duesenberg to design a large, luxurious and powerful chassis to be bodied by various coach-builders.

Dubbed Model J, the new Duesenberg was equipped with a wide variety of technical novelties. In its design the chassis was very simple with a ladder frame and solid axles front and rear. Six cross-members made sure the chassis was twist-free and could accomodate all body-types regardless of the body's rigidity. An ingenious lubrication system was installed, which automatically started lubricating various parts of the chassis after sixty to eighty miles. Two lights on the dashboard indicated the lubrication progress and two others lit up at 750 and 1500 miles indicating the need for an oil change and battery check respectively.

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  Article Image gallery (12) Chassis (1) Specifications