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Old 06-23-2002, 05:18 PM   #1
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Anything on this car?

Can anyone find any info on this car? I can't find anything useful on it.
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Old 08-28-2002, 12:42 PM   #2
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The Evening Star (Sept. 7th, 2000)

Best-of-show car is one of a kind
By: David Kurtz

AUBURN, IN- The rarest of Duesenbergs won Best of Show honors last weekend in judging by the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club.

A 1927 Model X Duesenberg Boat Roadster ( took the prize for owner Peter N. Heydon of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Boat Roadster is the only Duesenberg with its body style, and the only Model X listed on the ACD Club's roster of cars. However, Heydon believes three other X's still survive.

Although Duesenberg never built another Boat Roadster, Heydon's car became the prototype for the famous Auburn Boattail Speedsters built between 1928 and 1936.

Heydon bought the car in 1997 at the urging of Bill Dreist of Saginaw, Michigan. Dreist had owned the car since the early 1970s, but could not complete the mammoth job of restoring it, Heydon said.

However, Dreist had seen Heydon bring his other Duesenberg - a 1923 Model A Roadster - to the ACD Festival and win the prize for best Duesenberg in 1997.

"He said to me, 'I want you to buy this car.' He said, 'I know if you buy it, you'll finish it,'" Heydon recalled Sunday.

Heydon started the task 2 1/2 years ago, hiring a trio of experts in Michigan. They spent 4,000 man-hours to produce the gleaming creation that Heydon brought to Auburn for the first time last weekend.

The experts uncovered the car's original paint color - a two-tone blue scheme - by looking inside one of the cowl vents. They unearthed the true red shade of its leather from a scrap found protected by the dashboard.

"We left it all nickel-plated, because that was appropriate for the time," Heydon said. "Nickel is obviously a lot more difficult to maintain, but chrome was not really in widespread use, and from everything we can tell about this car and the other three X's, they all had nickel plating and not chrome plating. It has a real richness and a warmth that chrome plating doesn't have."

The Duesenberg Brothers, Fred and Augie, designed the Model X as the next generation in their line of passenger cars. They had built roughly 300 Model A Duesenbergs between 1921 and 1926, marketing them on the success of their winning Indianapolis 500 racers.

Heydon said the Duesenberg factory produced 13 chassis for Model X cars, but most were never finished.

His car was equipped with its boat-tailed aluminum body at the McFarlan plant in Connnersville, Ind. The Duesenbergs took it to the New York Auto Show and sold it to the owner of the Drake Hotel in Chicago, who was a race-driving ethusiast.

That first owner sold the car after the stock market crash of 1929. It wandered among owners in Illinois and Wisconsin until 1950, when a buyer found it in poor condition and put it in storage to protect it. The ACD Club's chief historian bought it around 1960 and started accumulating parts for a future restoration. Dreist began that task after buying the car a decade later.

Heydon, a University of Michigan professor of English, became a Duesenberg owner in 1986. He bought his 1923 Model A in Palm Beach, Fla., where he had gone to shop for a Bentley automobile.

When he saw the Model A, Heydon said, "I loved the shape of it. I loved the fenders. I loved this great, huge, 8-cylinder engine."

So did television star Jay Leno, who once approached Heydon with an offer to buy his Model A.

"I don't sell cars. I collect them, and when we restore them, we keep them," Heydon explained.

The Model A is worth keeping. Only 13 survive, according to the ACD Club roster. Heydon prefers his early Duesenberg to the larger and more luxurious Duesies built by Auburn Automobile Co. after 1929.

"The A's are much more understated and they speak of the raw power that Duesenberg had in their race cars," Heydon said. "As far as the frills of the interiors and so forth, that's just not present.

"Even this interior, for all of its flash, is a very simple sort of thing," he said of his Model X. "The flash in this car is in the design and the illusion of speed that you get from the shape of the car."

The speed of the Model X is more than illusion. Its 260-cubic-inch engine is a purebred Duesenberg - designed and built by the Duesenberg brothers. Lycoming made the massive engines for the later Duesenbergs.

"That's really the genesis of this whole car is racing and Indianapolis," Heydon said of his X car.

A month ago, the Model X began a new kind of competition. Heydon first took it to the Meadowbrook auto show in suburban Detroit. It won awards as the best ACD car and best Duesenberg. A couple of weeks later, it took a second place in the prestigious show at Pebble Beach, Calif.

"We were just waiting to come to Auburn, because this is where it sees the best competition," Heydon said.

And the best results.
Heydon credits his car's success to his restoration team. Brian Joseph from Troy, Mich., led the effort. Mark Larder of Homer, Mich., known for his work on Duesenbergs, did the upholstery. Larry Jorden of Jackson, Mich., who specializes in hot rods, painted the Model X.

"I've had more comments than any about the quality of the paint on this car," Heydon said. "It's just absolutely perfectly finished on the sides. It's like a piece fo sculpture."
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Old 11-28-2002, 09:36 AM   #3
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Old 11-12-2003, 12:45 AM   #4
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Re: Anything on this car?

I have seen that car before, along with another X, a sedan. That roadster, bodied by McFarlan is quite a car, very impressive and very rare, since only 7 X's were built. Here are some shots of it that I took at the Meadowbrook Hall Concours:
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