The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum is excited to announce the donation of the 1927 Duesenberg Model X speedster donated by Rita & Peter Heydon of Ann Arbor, Mich. This automobile fills a gap in the history of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, tells and shows the evolution of design and innovation between the Model A Duesenberg and the famed Auburn Boat Tail Speedster.
Laura Brinkman, executive director of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, said, “We are grateful for this most significant donation to the museum’s permanent collection. The 1927 Duesenberg Model X speedster is the rarest of the rare and now it is home for all to enjoy. enerous donations such as the Duesenberg X from Rita and Peter Heydon are what make it possible for the museum to share this country’s automotive heritage not only today, but for hundreds of years into the future.”
Considered by many marque experts as the “rarest of the rare Duesenbergs,” the 1927 Duesenberg Model X speedster is a prototype built by Fred and August Duesenberg with coachwork by McFarlan of Connorsville, Ind. In order to help with sluggish sales in 1926, Duesenberg, Inc. attempted to venture into production cars and made thirteen prototype Model X chassis, four of which exist today. However, after purchasing Duesenberg, Inc. later in 1926, E. L. Cord had a different vision for the Duesenberg automobile and the remaining Model X chassis were converted for the upcoming Model J, or scrapped. The Model X speedster was a one-off design made for the 1927 New York Auto Salon.
“This automobile showcases a crucial change in automotive history and design and in the public understanding of the importance of manufacturing a car with both racing performance and elegant style,” said Aaron Warkentin, curator.
Sold in 1927 after the New York Auto Salon, the Duesenberg X speedster had several different owners until purchased by Dr. Heydon in 1997, in which he began research and restoration on the Duesenberg.
Upon completion of the restoration, the 1927 Duesenberg Model X speedster won many awards for its design, historical significance and expertly detailed restoration work. This includes a “Class Award” from the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2000, “Best of Show Award” at the A-C-D Club Reunion in 2000 and “First Place in Class” at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Lake Como, Italy in 2010.
Learn more about the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum at automobilemuseum.org