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Vintage Vroom with a View: The INR 33 crore ‘Disappearing Top’ Duesenberg Makes a Grand Reappearance

In an event echoing the grandeur of its own history, the 1930 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ Convertible Coupe, crafted by Murphy, is set to turn heads and open wallets at RM Sotheby’s Florida auction. With a price tag fluttering between $3.5 and $4 million (approximately INR 33.16 crore), this automotive marvel isn’t just a car; it’s a rolling testament to luxury, rarity, and the golden era of motoring.

This particular Duesenberg, chassis number 2369, is not just any vintage car. It’s a prized collector’s dream and one of only two surviving models boasting original rear-mounted spares. This design choice, a deviation from the common side-mounted spares, accentuates its sleek hoodline and showcases the formidable engine beneath.

The car’s storied past is as intriguing as its engineering. Originally ordered by Esther Fiske Hammond, the rebellious granddaughter of the Jordan Marsh department store magnate, this Duesenberg was a symbol of her opulent lifestyle in Santa Barbara and Pasadena. Hammond, known for her lavish parties and penchant for luxury, had the car custom-built by the Walter M. Murphy Company, ensuring its unique ‘Disappearing Top’ and dual rear spares.

From its creation to its recent restoration, this Duesenberg has journeyed through the hands of various owners, each adding a chapter to its rich history. The car’s journey includes a heartfelt sale to a chauffeur’s son and a rescue from obscurity by the Central Texas Museum of Automotive History. Yet, it remained largely unseen, a hidden gem in the world of automobile enthusiasts.

The most recent chapter in this Duesenberg’s life is its magnificent restoration by Randy Ema, Inc., a name synonymous with Duesenberg history and craftsmanship. This restoration wasn’t just a refurbishment; it was a resurrection. Ema’s meticulous work returned the car to its original grandeur, re-emphasizing its rear-mounted spares and restoring its mechanical components to pristine condition.

The restoration’s success was immediately evident with the car clinching double awards at its debut in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It’s not just a restored car; it’s a reborn legend, ready to conquer the concours circuits once again.

As it gears up for its next chapter, the Hammond Duesenberg presents a rare opportunity for collectors. With its ‘Disappearing Top’ and unique rear spares, chassis number 2369 isn’t just a car; it’s a piece of history, an artwork on wheels, ready to dazzle a new generation of car enthusiasts and collectors.

Please note, despite its 1930 origins, this lot is titled as a 1933. The Duesenberg awaits its next owner, ready to roar into the spotlight and carve new paths in its legendary journey.

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