October 03, 2005

Today in Automotive History

1912 A Duesie of a racing legacy

In the first professional racing victory for a car fitted with a Duesenberg engine, race car driver Mortimer Roberts won the 220-mile Pabst Blue Ribbon Trophy Race, held in and around the village of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. The engine was designed by Frederick and August Duesenberg, two brothers who had immigrated to Iowa from Germany in the late-nineteenth century. After honing his mechanical talents by repairing early automobiles, Frederick Duesenberg became enthralled with the prospect of motor racing, and with his brother August opened an automobile shop. After establishing their reputation with engines and other racing parts, the Duesenberg brothers began construction of the first complete Duesenberg racing cars. The first great racing triumph of one of their cars came in 1921 when a Duesenberg was driven to victory in the 24-Hour event at Le Mans, France. The mid-1920s found the Duesenbergs in the racing world's spotlight, especially at the Indy 500, where their cars won the event outright in 1924, 1925, and 1927. But the Duesenberg's most significant contribution to automotive history came after automobile manufacturer E.L. Cord bought Duesenberg Motors in 1926, with the sole purpose of obtaining the design expertise of Fred Duesenberg. Cord wanted to produce the most luxurious car in the world, and in 1928, the Duesenberg-designed Model J was presented, widely considered to be one of the finest automobiles ever made.

Posted by Quality Weenie at October 3, 2005 08:28 AM | TrackBack