While visiting the Martin Auto Museum in Phoenix, I was intrigued by this 1930 Duesenberg Model J. Before I get into the specifics of this car, I want to talk a little bit about the history of Duesenberg and what makes them so special.
The Best of the Best
When it comes to prewar American cars, Duesenberg stands out from other manufacturers like a golden thumb. They built outrageously expensive cars for the fabulously wealthy. A completed Duesenberg cost between $13,000 and $19,000 at a time when the average U.S. physician earned less than $3,000 a year. That same car would cost $258,134.54 car in 2012 dollars!
After their earlier Model A and Model X, Duesenberg set out to build a car that would compete with the most powerful and luxurious cars from Europe. Known as the Model J, this car represented the finest in American crafstmanship, engineering, and elegance.
One of the forgotten names of the American car business is DeSoto. First launched by Chrysler in 1928, DeSoto was an all-new brand that would compete with Buick and Studebaker in the mid-market segment.
Due to their affordable price, DeSotos were popular right from the start. The 1929 models set a first-year sales record that stood for 31 years! DeSoto hit the peak of their popularity in 1956, when they had grown to become the 11th largest US automaker.
One of the cars that propelled DeSoto up the sales charts was this 1955 DeSoto Fireflite. It caught my eye on a recent visit to the Martin Auto Museum in Phoenix.