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SSJ LaGrande Roadster
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  Duesenberg SSJ LaGrande Roadster
 

  Article Image gallery (31) Chassis (2) 2594 J-563 Specifications User Comments (3)  
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Country of origin:United States
Produced in:1936
Numbers built:2
Designed by:Herb Newport
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:August 28, 2018
Download: All images
Chassis: 2594 J-563
The first of two 'SSJs', this Duesenberg was presented to famous Hollywood star Gary Cooper by Charles Cord in December of 1935. He was offered the car on a six month loan to generate publicity but at the end of the period decided to buy the car from Duesenberg at a very favourable price. It is believed that the car was originally finished in sand like colour that Cooper's wife did not like, so shortly after taking delivery it was re-painted for the first time, to green with silver trimmings. Its subsequent owners included Robert Stanley Dollar Jr, who, true to his name, was the heir of a formidable fortune. He also raced massively powerful boats, so was a fitting owner of the SSJ Duesenberg. Dollar sold the car in 1940 and then in 1948, it was was acquired by Dr. Cameron Peck, who at the time also owned the sister SSJ.

As he already owned the other SSJ, Peck shortly thereafter sold the car to great enthusiast, car builder and pioneering collector Briggs S. Cunningham. He paid just $3,500 for the mighty Duesenberg in 1949. During the 1960s, Cunningham moved to California and opened the Cunningham Automotive Museum. Now finished in the two-tone grey colour scheme it sill wears to this day, the SSJ took pride of place in the museum. The entire Cunningham collection was sold in 1986 to longtime friend Miles Collier. In his ownership the car was beautifully preserved and regularly exercised and shown at events all around the United States. It was also displayed prominently in Collier's Revs Institute Museum in Naples, Florida.

To raise awareness for the Revs Institute's latest plans, Collier decided to consign the very rare SSJ to the 2018 Gooding Pebble Beach Auctions. Offered in largely original condition and available on the open market for the first time since 1949, the opportunity was certainly not missed. After a fierce bidding war, the Duesenberg finally found a new owner for a record smashing $22 million, making it the most expensive American car ever sold at auction.


Chassis details
Manufactured in December 1935
First owner Gary Cooper
Appearances
Most recent auction(s)

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  Article Image gallery (31) Chassis (2) 2594 J-563 Specifications User Comments (3)