Product no.: HL-115
There’s never been another American car like the Duesenberg Model J. Introduced in 1929 just as the stock market crashed, the Model J was exclusive and wildly expensive. A bare chassis was $8,500, or $120,000 today. In 1932, the price went to $9,500, and that’s all you got; Duesenberg did not build bodies. Built in Indianapolis, the cars were engineered by Fred and Augie Duesenberg, whose technically advanced race cars won the Indy 500 and everything else. The company sold only 481 Models J, JN and SJ.
The Düsenberg Model J Walker-LaGrande Coupe was designed by J. Herbert Newport and built by the A.H. Walker Co., with a LaGrande nameplate. LaGrande was Duesenberg’s captive coachbuilder. It cost $25,000, or more than $475,000 today. The first owner was Josiah K. Lilly, heir to the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. He kept it on his private Indianapolis estate—the site that’s now the Indianapolis Museum of Art.