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FrontRunners: Perfect Marques

Soon after Errett Loban Cord purchased the Duesen-berg company from brothers Fred and August Duesenberg in 1926, he produced an extraordinary series of high-speed touring cars. The Depression cut short the Duesenberg Model J’s production run after the company had built only 481 examples, but during its heyday, the car featured a combination of opulence and performance (one soared to 152 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1936) that led many to consider it the ultimate American automobile. On January 19, at RM Auctions’ sixth annual Vintage Motor Cars in Arizona sale (www.rmauctions.com) at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, a supercharged 1938 SJ LWB Duesenberg will be offered for an estimated $1.9 million to $2.5 million. The car is one of only four Duesenberg limousines with a body made by the venerable coachbuilding firm Rollston (which the Depression laid low as well). The sale also will include a 1971 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda convertible with a 426 cu in engine and pistol-grip 4-speed transmission, valued at $2 million to $3 million. The odometer on this example of what has been called the King Kong of muscle cars reads a verifiable 282 miles.

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