DUESENBERG SJ SSJ
|Duesenberg Model SJ from 1932 to 1937|
Duesenberg SSJ (short-wheelbase supercharged)
|Assembly||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Full-size luxury car|
|Body style||Coachbuilt to owner's preference|
|Layout||Front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive|
|Engine||320hp DOHC straight-8, superchargerd|
Manufactured by Duesenberg Motor Co, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Duesenberg racing cars earned the company some repute. As early as 1921 Jimmy Murphy won the first French post-war Grand Prix in a
Duesenberg fitted with a Miller engine. In 1923, 1925, and 1927 Duesenbergs won the Indianapolis. in which Erret Lobban Cord had After production of the A series came to an end, the brothers Fred and August participated Duesenberg tried to build a huge, comfortable, powerful automobile, which was to be an impressive reply to the demand of rich Americans for the best that the engineers and designers could offer.
So a supercar of the J series was designed. Vanity Fair journal described this Duesenberg as 'the best car in the world', an exaggerated title which applied to American standards only. In 1932 the company developed a more powerful model, the SJ (S for supercharged).
It had an in-line eight-cylinder 2xOHC engine with four valves per cylinder. It was fitted with a rotary supercharger with which the engine could devlop 235.4kW (320hp) at 4750 rpm. A three-speed gearbox was connected to the engine via a two-disc clutch. The standard chassis was fitted with rigid axles suspended on semi-elliptic springs. The hydraulic brakes, with a vacuum booster, used a water-glycerin mixture. The car had a top speed of 210km/h (130mph).
Fred Duesenberg died in an accident when driving a Duesenberg in the mountains of Pennsylvania. The year 1937 put an end to this independent trademark, and the firm was incorporated into the Cord- Auburn-Duesenberg Company. August Duesenberg died in 1955. Ten years after his death, Fred
Duesenberg Jr. wanted to revive the fame of the family trademark, and built an up-market automobile fitted with a Chrysler engine and styled by Virgil Exner. However, the price was not high enough for the market for which the car was intended. This venture was the swansong Of a trademark which in the 1930s represented the highest American technical standards.
The short-wheelbase supercharged J, referred to by the public as the SSJ, had an extra-short wheelbase of 125 in (3,200 mm) and an engine delivering close to 400 hp (298 kW) through the use of the dual-carburetor "ram's horn" manifold developed for the Duesenberg Special. The "ram's horn" manifold has two branches, each of which splits into two more branches.
Only two were built; both had lightweight open-roadster bodies produced by Central Manufacturing Company, an Auburn subsidiary in Connersville, Indiana. At the rear, each short-wheelbase roadster had an external spare tire and smaller “later-style” round taillights.
The first short-wheelbase roadster was sold to the actor Gary Cooper in 1935. The other "SSJ" was lent by the company to actor and established Duesenberg customer Clark Gable in 1936. Cooper and Gable would race each other in the Hollywood Hills in these cars.