The Duesenberg SSJ
Every Duesenberg is unique, but the SSJ's are even more so. Only two were made on this
short wheelbase chassis. Short is a relative term: At 125 inches, the wheelbase is
longer than my entire 1960 Mini was, but it is considerably
shorter than the "standard" 142" or 153" wheelbase Duesenberg chassis.
This is a picture of my ERTL 1:18 scale Gary Cooper SSJ (J563 / 2594). It's the only
Duesenberg in my collection with black-wall tires! Check
Bob's Diecast for your copy!
other SSJ (J567, / 2595) is generally referred to as Clark Gable's. My ERTL diecast of
the "Gable" SSJ can be seen here.
I visited Gable's "other" Duesenberg at
the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, CA.
In the early 1970's Cooper's SSJ was displayed at
the Briggs Cunningham Automotive Museum in Costa Mesa, CA. (See a video of
here.) While I was at
Cal Tech I used to visit this car frequently. I found this car again
on a 1990's visit to the (now closed) Collier Automobile Museum in Naples,
FL. It was like visiting an old friend! Check the 2004
Concours page for a picture of this car being driven by Miles Collier! If you know the whereabouts of
this SSJ now,
drop me an email! I'd love
to know where it is now!
UPDATE As of 10/08 it is apparantly still owned by Miles Collier. A few readers
emailed me with the story of a "Duesenberg Road Trip."
Cooper's other Duesenberg (J431/2425) was at
Plantation. The Franklin Mint produced the 1/24th scale diecast
that I have in my collection.
Another ex-Briggs Duesenberg, a
short (142") wheelbase J dual cowl phaeton, was also at the Collier
museum. That car had a deep
cranberry paint that appeared to change color as the sunlight changed
during an afternoon's visit. I think that this was the car that Union
Carbide used for a poster they gave out several years ago. The poster hangs,
framed, in my office at home.
The display card at the Collier Museum gave
the chassis number as #2349. Elbert's book (2) lists that chassis as a LeBaron Dual Cowl Phaeton Swept Panel, originally powered by J325. The
Duesenberg Registry (1) gives the same serial numbers and also comments
upon the cranberry paint!
Note The website ultimatecarpage that has some very nice images of both SSJ's
together and gives both engine and chassis numbers for both cars. The recent book showing photos from the ACD archives
(3) confirms the "Gable" SSJ as J567.