1930 Duesenberg Model J

Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe by Murphy
$107.3M, record prices at Gooding & Company Pebble Beach 2021
Friday, 13 August - Saturday, 14 August 2021
Sale Price
$3,000,000 - $4,000,000
Est. Range
14 August 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Concours restoration
Gooding & Company
Auction House
Chassis no. 2369; Engine no. J235. Maroon over beige leather. 420/265hp eight, 3-speed, wheel covers, Firestone blackwalls, dual chrome horns, cowl lights, suicide doors, two rear-mounted spares with cloth covers, wood running boards, altimeter, Jaeger clock.

Evaluation: Represented as one of three dual spare convertible coupes by Murphy and one of two extant. Known ownership history. ACD certified. Bought new by New England socialite Esther Fiske Hammond. Won its class at Pebble Beach in 2019 with a 100-point score. It shows little to no use since then, and who are we to argue with the Pebble judges? It’s gorgeous top to bottom, and the engine bay looks like jewelry.

Bottom Line: A rare body style and immaculate condition proven at the country’s premier concours made this Model J one of the highlight’s of Gooding’s 2021 Pebble Beach auction and it was the third most expensive prewar car of the week behind an ultra-rare Mercedes-Benz 26/120/180 S Type at Bonhams and a Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix car that was also at Gooding.

by Andrew Newton
30 August 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.