Franklin Mint 1:24 1930 Duesenberg J Tourster/Phaeton by Derham - Yellow & Green (Discontinued)

Reviewed by:   John Luthi
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"It's a Duesy!" was the shout of recognition during the depression years, when Fred Duesenberg's masterpiece and the E.L. Cord Empire's flagship went motoring among the masses. Designed and built in Indianapolis, fewer than 500 of these large, powerful, sophisticated road cars were produced, between 1929 and 1937. Models SJ (supercharged) and J (normally aspirated) were offered, usually on wheelbases of 142.5" and 153.5". Many survive today as showpieces of the rich and famous; i.e., nothing changes!

To me, the arch-typical Duesenberg J or SJ is the longer wheelbased detached-trunk dual-cowl phaeton, with coachwork by La Grand, Derham and others. One such Derham-bodied Model J was purchased new by screen star Gary Cooper, in a fetching mint green and yellow ensemble with matching interior appointments, and is the subject of one of FM's earliest 1:24 replicas. It must be a decent seller, as it has been a catalog staple since 1987. A burgundy and tan Derham J, identical except for hues, is available also.

The replica is obviously of earlier origins, its features lacking the ultimate finesse of recent precision diecasts; yet still offers the connoisseur collector a bevy of intricate parts, very acceptable under-hood, chassis and interior detail, choice of up or down soft-tops - and sheer elegance in the display cabinet. Mine resides quite happily next to Clark Gable's Duesy SSJ from Danbury, in a grouping of pre-WWII prestige cars. The issue price is $135. DISCONTINUED 12/31/2000. (09/06/1999)

(05/17/2000)
 


Franklin Mint 1:24 1930 Duesenberg J Tourster/Phaeton by Derham - Yellow & Green (Discontinued)