Owner testimony of the Model J

Thunda Downunda
09-18-2001, 08:35 AM
After WW-II Mr J. L. Ebert, inspired by his love of the majestic Duesenberg Model J, wrote to every original purchaser and then-current owner he could trace of these glorious machines, to establish a true and accurate record of actual ownership experience ... not heresay or legend.
Transcribed below is but one response - a gem I hope fellow AF'ers enjoy - a testimony from the original owner of a 1930 265hp Murphy-bodied Convertible Roadster
- note: this relates to the non-supercharged version, not the utterly spectacular 320hp SJ supercharged job.

(photo below of virtually identical car)

From: original owner Doran Hinchman - dated November 8th, 1948
Dear Mr Ebert,
In reply to your communication of Dec. 4th, relative to the Duesenberg Coupe which I purchased from Duesenberg Inc. in the year of 1930, I sold the car about two years ago.

The car was a Model-J and I shall remember it best for its tremendous speed of ninety miles per hour in second gear.

I recall that one morning I was driving from Logan to Huntington, W. Va. a distance of around 70 miles.
I picked a fellow up who wished to go to Huntington and let the car drift through the congested area of the city and began letting it out after reaching the city limits.

The fellow ceased talking and seemed to keep his eyes on the instrument board. I could tell he was uneasy and at one point I glanced at the speedometer which was then reading one hundred and ten miles per hour. When we reached Huntington City limits and I had to slow down the man began to talk about what a fast car I was driving. When we parked he got out and walked around the car and some one asked him when he had left Logan? He replied and I quote - Just a little bit ago and I can tell you brother this car can walk the dog. It was just goodbye Logan and howdy Huntington. - unquote.

On another occasion a chap who new little about reading speedometers, got the readings of the Tachometer mixed up with the speedometer readings and he told a friend of mine that the car would do three thousand miles per hour.

Once a fellow told me he would never be foolish enough to out so much money in a car. I asked him what kind of a car he was driving and he mentioned a very wonderful car in the $2,500 price range and went on to tell me he had owned seven of them which he had purchased new. He seemed puzzled when I told him he had spent enough on those seven cars to have almost owned two Duesenbergs. Of course I counted in the numerous repairs; for as long as I had the Duesenberg I did not spend but little on repairs tho it needed some work on it when I let it go.

I shall never regret having purchased the Duesenberg and I have never seen any other brand of car that I think can come up with the great Dusey, it was simply outstanding in a class all its own.

Yours truly,
(signed) Doran Hinchman

10-18-2001, 02:57 PM
Truly great cars:)

And a wonderful article, thankyou for putting it up.

10-19-2001, 01:24 AM
Yeah cool

06-23-2002, 01:13 PM
I just discovered these cars, and all I have to say about them is :eek2:

11-28-2002, 10:12 AM
Neat letter. Have any of you ever been to the Imperial Palace casino in Las Vegas?
They have a car museum there in the hotel, and it is just incredible. There is a room that is dedicated solely to the Duesenberg.
From Le Baron bodies to the twenty grand, there is an incredible collection there.
At least 15 of them in their shining glory.

The Duesenberg is unlike any car of its time as far as attention to detail both cosmetically and mechanically. And the sound of that straight 8! Oooh is it wonderful. It's right up there with the growl of a Ferrari V12, the pounding idle of a Porsche GT1, or the roar of a 426 Hemi.

Performance is what the Duesy is all about (for its time). But just think of this. You have close to 8,000 pounds of steel that can go from 0 to 60 in less than 8 seconds.
Lots of torque, especially if the motor is hooked up with the supercharger. By the way, the motor is a work of art. Nickel plate, brass, and a beautiful zinc chromate green finish.

08-11-2003, 02:13 AM
1930 265hp

all i can say is wow. why cant i get one of these engines today, and stick it in my lawn mower!

11-12-2003, 01:37 AM
That is incredible testamony! THe fastest Duesenberg though was the 1934 Mormon Meteor, which was a stock SJ with a special body. Actually, it had a 1935 motor in it, so it had 400 hp, instead of 320hp. It did 160 mph at Bonneville. Not bad, eh? Duesenbergs are incredible, simply magnificent and fast cars.


03-13-2005, 09:46 PM
wow 3 thousand mile an hour. i'm just kidding. Duesenbergs are some of the coolest cars ever.

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