Duesenberg: Built to Outclass, Outrun and Outlast

Author: Jason / Date: September 13, 2022 / Tags: classics

Duesenberg: Built to Outclass, Outrun and Outlast

(RareCarMarket.com) – The automotive industry has produced some pretty spectacular cars over the years. While some manufacturers wanted to budget vehicles available to anyone, others strived to be the best of the best. Duesenbergs embody that desire, with engineers building them to be the nicest, fastest, and longest-lasting cars of their time. 

These legendary vehicles were the work of the Duesenberg brothers, Fred and August. The pair originally worked on farm equipment before opening a bicycle shop and eventually installing a single-cylinder motor on their bikes. In 1905, Fred developed a two-cylinder automobile, and the Mason Motor Car Company manufactured them. The brothers later joined forces with the Loew-Victor Manufacturing Company’s managing director J. R. Harbeck in 1916. 

Between 1921 and 1937, the Duesenbergs had a contract with Duesenberg Auto & Motors, Inc. in Indianapolis, Indiana. During that time, their automobile ruled the road as the fastest and classiest. 

With an enormous $8,500 price tag, over $150,000 today when adjusted for inflation, the Duesenberg was popular among the wealthy, including Samuel Northrup Castle, who worked with the company to buy the first one. Castle also had Bender Body from Cleveland, Ohio, create the body of his vehicle to fit his needs as he was seven feet tall and weighed around 300 pounds. The body was taller than other Duesenbergs and a truly unique car. Following his death, it went to his great nephew. The family has handed the car down through generations until it landed in the hands of the current Castle family. 

The family drove the car to shows, but outside of that, it saw little road time. In 2018 and 2019, the family considered donating the Castle Duesenberg before they eventually decided to donate it to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, where it remains to this day. 

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