Dragone Offers Last Unrestored Duesenberg SJ


Dragone Auctions‘ second annual auction will take place Friday May 31,  at their showroom and auction gallery in Westport, Connecticut. In keeping with the Dragone Brothers’ vision, the auction will again feature rare, desirable, investment-quality vehicles from all facets of the collector market. “This year we are offering an incredible assortment of cars that have been stored away for decades,” stated Manny Dragone of Dragone Classic Motorcars.

Buyers will be able to purchase some truly unusual classic cars, military vehicles, boats, and even a German half-track motorcycle. The auction is also offering cars from the Helmut Christian Peitz Collection. Peitz was an incredibly talented man with expertise in tool making, manufacturing and engineering. His love for all things mechanical led him to assemble one of the most interesting collections in Europe.

Among some of the beautiful vehicles from the Peitz collection are a stunning 1927 Rolls-Royce Piccadilly Roadster, which was originally owned by J.P. Morgan, Jr.; a gorgeous one-off 1916 Locomobile Model 48 Coupe with coachwork by Locke; a 1916 Packard from the famous Austin Clark Collection and a 1907 Columbia Electric Park Surry that was in the Ford Museum for decades.

For racing enthusiasts, there’s also a 1979 Penske PC6 Indy racecar that was driven by Gordon Johncock in the Indianapolis 500. The collection also holds a stunning 1910 Renault Towncar, formerly owned by Madeline Astor, wife of John Jacob Astor who perished in the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912. The Astors used the Renault at their Beechwood cottage in their Newport, Rhode Island estate located on the famous Bellevue Avenue.

One of the stars of the show is a matching-numbers 1934 Duesenberg SJ chassis #J-514, Continental Touring Berline with coachwork by Rollston. As one of only five closed Duesenberg SJs built, this incredible time capsule has only 40,000 miles on it since new and is the last unrestored example of the original 35 SJs built. J-514 was originally owned by the wealthy New York socialite, Mrs. Henry Evans, who had this Duesenberg built for European touring. The original Rollston body still carries its ornate aluminum cast moldings and a specially built opening roof vent. It is clear that Mrs. Evans wanted only the finest as she paid an astounding $18,000 for her SJ, which traveled with her aboard the Queen Mary on several of her European tours. The car recently emerged from decades in storage and is in remarkable condition. “We were aware of the presence of this incredible example of American motoring for quite some time, but it took years of negotiations to bring it to the market,” stated Dragone. Duesenberg #J-514 has never been publicly offered for sale as it has only exchanged owners four times — and even then, only through private sales. Indeed, its last change of ownership was in the mid-1980s when it sold for $250,000, one of the highest prices paid for an original-condition Duesenberg. Today it is estimated to sell for $1.5–$2m.

Also featured in the auction are several cars from the John Mesloh Collection. Mesloh had a love for the beautifully crafted Chrysler Town & Country products from the 1940s. With their beautiful wood-grain trim appointments, the Chrysler Town & Country was the last of its kind. The auction features no less than three of these cars including a rare 1941 “Barrel Back” six-passenger wagon.

There’s also a 1929 Chrysler Model 75 roadster, a 1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Sportsman, and a V12-powered 1931 Cadillac Convertible Coupe. There’s also a 1952 Jaguar XK-120 coupe with an astounding 16,000 miles on it and a rare 1934 Ford roadster fitted with factory dual side-mounted spare tires and a 1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport.

The setting for the auction is again the Westport, Connecticut showroom and auction gallery of Dragone Classic Motorcars. The intimate setting allows for an event that is vastly different from the large arena-style events held each year. While the auction itself is a huge event, buyers can be assured that quantity does not replace quality. Just as last year’s event, the auction is limited to a select number of prime motorcars that truly represent the significance of the auction. According to Dragone, “When we started our yearly auction, we knew we wanted to focus on the quality aspect of our offerings and unlike other collector car auction events that go on for days and days, the Dragone auction will always be limited to the cars that we feel truly that cannot be found on market.”

This event marks Dragone Classic Motorcars second entry as an importnat annual classic car auction in the Northeast. The auction comes on the heels of the Dragone Brothers’ 35 years in the classic car business as buyers and sellers to prominent collectors and museums worldwide.  “Our first auction was a success and our second promises to be an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed,” said Dragone.

For more information contact:

Dragone Classic Motorcars

176 Post Road West

Westport,CT 06880



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