Under The Hood

Duesenbergs set to race at ACD Club Reunion

I’ve often wondered if Sunset Boulevard ever saw Gary Cooper’s SSJ bumper to bumper with Clark Gable’s near twin, roaring down the thoroughfare with the exhaust cut-outs open and the exhaust pipes near an orange glow. Or if the two met on a dark, two-lane road just outside of LA to face off their otherwise-matched Duesenbergs just to see who was the better driver.

If we don’t know now, we’ll never know if that actually happened. But we will have a chance to see Duesenbergs at speed once again, this year during the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club‘s Reunion in Auburn, Ind. The Labor Day event has enough allure to pull me out of my desk to hear the sweet bark of a Duesenberg straight-eight with the ACD Automobile Museum as a visual backdrop. If more than 50 years of great cars hasn’t been enough to get you to pack up the car and head to the event, this should:

Ab Jenkins Memorial Duesenberg Exhibition of

Speed & Stinson Fly-in Sept. 3.

 The event is part of opening day activities at the 55th Annual Interstate Batteries Auburn Cord Duesenberg Reunion (www.acdmeets.org) in Auburn, Ind.  Simply referred to as “The Reunion,” the weekend event is a national festival attracting collectors dedicated to the restoration and preservation of Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg automobiles.  For the first time ever at The Reunion, Duesenbergs will line up to race!

            The Ab Jenkins Memorial Duesenberg Exhibition of Speed & Stinson Fly-in presented by Interstate Batteries begins at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 3, on the runway at nearby Kendallville (Ind.) Airport.  Prior to the Duesenbergs speeding side-by-side down the runway, a special fly-in of vintage Stinson aircraft is scheduled to kick off the race.

            “Interstate Batteries is proud to showcase these beautiful Duesenbergs and pay tribute to one of the great pioneers in auto design and racing,” Interstate Batteries Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Dennis Brown said.  “This exhibition of speed and special vintage airplane fly-in will be one of the highlight events of The Reunion, and Interstate Batteries is excited to be a part of this entertaining weekend.”

The namesake of the Ab Jenkins Memorial Duesenberg Exhibition of Speed & Stinson Fly-in, Ab Jenkins, established numerous speed records in a Duesenberg at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.  In addition, Jenkins worked with brothers Fred and Augie Duesenberg on the design of many of the Duesenberg models.

The Ab Jenkins Memorial Duesenberg Exhibition of Speed & Stinson Fly-in is a national stage for collectors to experience the famed automobile’s specifications, coachwork, performance – and speed!  Spectators can see the cars parade with a police escort prior to the races in the 18-mile Duesenberg Cavalcade from the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn to the Kendallville airport.           

            “The Reunion is the most prestigious event for collectors of these magnificent automobiles and annually attracts thousands of participants and spectators from all across America,” Brown said.  “This is a great opportunity for Interstate Batteries to support one of the iconic brands in American automobile history.”

            Interstate Batteries is also presenting a special display of Duesenbergs during The Reunion.  A year ago, the Interstate Batteries Special Exhibition featured Mason & Maytag motorcars and was a spectator favorite.  The 2010 exhibit spotlights the automobiles powered by the Duesenberg “walking beam” racing engines fitted in an extraordinary rare passenger car.

Check out more on the ACD Club.

Read about Duesenbergs and Auburns in The Best of Old Cars: Prewar

Read about long-hidden Duesenbergs in “Lost and Found”

Read about unrestored Duesenberg cars in “Only Originals”

Read about Duesenbergs in Old Cars Report and Old Cars Weekly

Read the Duesenberg Old Cars Report

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