May 2006: Duesenberg Estate
DAN RIPLEY”S ANTIQUE HELPER TO AUCTION DUESENBERG ESTATE
(Indianapolis, Indiana). Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper is pleased to present a once in a life time collecting opportunity this May 6 with the estate of Indiana native D. D. “Denny” Duesenberg (1914-2005). Featuring art and artifacts from his personal collection, primarily originating from the personal collection of Mr. Duesenberg’s father, Frederick S. Duesenberg (1876-1932), President and Chief Engineer of Duesenberg Automotive and Motors Company (1920-1929), and Duesenberg, Inc. (1929-1937), manufacturer of highly-reputed Duesenberg Motor Cars, Racing Cars, Marine Engines and Aviation Engines of the 1910’s to 1930’s.
Offered as part of Antique Helper’s May 6th Entertainment, Sports and Memorabilia Auction, the cross-over interest of this sale is multiple. From racing and automobile enthusiasts, to American History Buffs, to collectors of art, antiques and Americana, this promises to be an exciting, old-fashioned “Doosie” of a sale.
Coming from Germany in 1885, brothers Fred and Auggie Duesenberg were self-taught engineers who gained early fame with their first car, know as Mason, winning several regional races and hill climbs in Iowa. The Duesenberg Motor Company was founded in 1913 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Their business and engineering prowess growing, the brothers manufactured Aviation engines in Elizabeth, New Jersey during the First World War.
With Driver Eddie Rickenbacker at the wheel in the 1914 Indianapolis 500, the Duesenberg Auto Company began a winning streak that consistently placed the powerful cars among the frontrunners. Making record-breaking wins in the early days of both the Indianapolis 500 and the French Grande Prix, the Duesenberg was an automobile highly regarded for its power and speed. Equipped with a $6,500 price tag in 1922, this car was more costly than any other high-powered cars of the era, including the Pierce Arrow and the Packard. Even so, the cars were never profitable.
In 1926, Erret Lobban Cord bought out the Duesenberg Motor Company, adding the company to his Indianapolis-based Auburn-Cord merger. More interested in Fred and Auggie’s engineering talents than in the Duesenberg Motor Cars, by 1937, only 650 Duesenbergs were manufactured. Even so, some of the most famous Duesenbergs were manufactured during this period and, 70 years later, continue to hold three world records for one hour, twelve hour and twenty four hour runs. Known for their care in craftsmanship as well as for their adept engineering, each one is considered a masterpiece.
Among the items offered in the May 6 auction will be racing memorabilia and photographs, many depicting the Duesenberg brothers and drivers, letters, scrapbooks, speedway pins and memorabilia, advertisements, awards and documents all relating to Duesenberg history. Even more enticing to Duesenberg fans will be the offering of a collection of Blue prints, 1919-1930, including designs for Duesenberg automobile components. Also in this sale will be estate items including decorative and fine art, collectibles, antique toys, and more.
“This is going to be a major event,” says Dan Ripley. “We are expecting huge attendance, as this is our first two-ring sale.” The auction takes place on Saturday, May 6th at 10 AM. Preview is scheduled for Friday, May 5, from 10 AM-6 PM. Antique Helper is located at 2764 East 55th place, just south of Broad Ripple and two blocks east of Keystone Avenue in Indianapolis. For more information, please call 317-251-5635 or visit our website at www.antiquehelper.com