Even in the most critical situations some people manage to find their profit. A stock broker named Smith acquires a considerable fortune. He needs a car of the highest performance with a spectacular bodywork. It will be a Duesenberg SJ LWB LaGrande phaeton, of course. LaGrande is the label by which Cord testifies that the bodywork is subcontracted by the group and not carried out by an independent.
The J-chassis has been the top-of-the-range since 1928. The Long Wheel Base version invites to the most extravagant bodies and especially for the open voitures de maîtres named phaetons. S indicates that the engine is supercharged.
The LaGrande phaetons are slightly different from each other but are divided into two variants, the dual cowl phaeton and the sweep panel phaeton. In the sweep panel phaeton the rear cowl is suppressed, offering an easier access to the rear seats and an extra comfort. This version includes on its entire width a folding interior windshield separating the rear seats for the use of the patron from the front seat of the driver.
The car delivered in 1933 to Smith is a sweep panel phaeton Duesenberg SJ LWB by LaGrande. The workshop that realized the body is unfortunately not identified. It has been known for several decades by members of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club under the name of Mexico City SJ.
It is in very good condition for a vehicle of its age. The body, engine and chassis are original but the supercharger did not survive a heavy early use and has been replaced by a replica in the correct configuration.
This car had already been introduced in my column. On October 10, 2008 at RM Auctions, it had not reached its lower estimate of $ 1.8M and had been sold post block for $ 1.7M including premium. I then commented that the times were hard : it was indeed the beginning of a major crisis in the market. It is estimated $ 2.5M for sale by Auctions America on September 2 in Auburn, lot 4140. Here is the link to the catalog.
SOLD for $ 2.3M including premium