Beautiful tribute to the iconic Duesenberg Murphy ‘disappearing top’ roadster
Based on a modified Ford E350 chassis; retains Ford Triton V-10, automatic transmission
Equipped with power steering, air conditioning, air ride suspension, and removable top
Steel and fiberglass construction; stunning detail and build quality
Custom 20-in billet aluminum wheels
In the early 2000s, the owner of a genuine Duesenberg Model J was inspired to create a thoroughly modern, usable, and road-worthy tribute to one of the most desirable of all Model Js: The “disappearing top” roadster by Murphy. To turn his dream into a reality, he enlisted the help of experienced designer and prototype builder Steve Pasteiner of Michigan-based Advanced Automotive Technologies, who eagerly accepted the challenge.
Finding a suitably large platform to match the scale proportions of the 1930s original was the first hurdle the team had to overcome. The solution came in the form of a one-ton Ford E350 van which, importantly for the designers, utilizes the proven “Twin I-Beam” front axle, allowing them to mimic the original Model J’s solid beam front axle. AAT acquired a brand new E350 to serve as their donor and then stripped it to a bare frame, which was then narrowed and modified with a custom-built rear section to fit the Ford rear axle with a custom four-link arrangement and air ride springs. The team retained the E350’s existing Triton V-10, rated for over 300 horsepower and 420 pound-feet torque in standard form, and moved it rearward by more than a foot to accommodate the long-bonnet proportions of the authentic Duesenberg design.
The team at AAT then crafted a gorgeous, authentically detailed Murphy-inspired body out of fiberglass and steel. The marvelous finish quality reflects the meticulous care paid to every aspect of this extraordinary project, and the coachwork reportedly boasts impressively solid action of the doors, precise panel gaps, and thoughtful period-appropriate details like the piano-hinged covers over the side windows. While the body is true to scale and form of the original Murphy roadster, Pasteiner and his team took some liberties with the detailing to give this car its unique identity.
The finely trimmed interior features gorgeous red leather seats and door panels accented with grey carpets and a body-color dash. Classic Instruments gauges set in a polished, engine-turned alloy fascia balance contemporary style and function with timeless looks. Modern equipment includes power windows, air conditioning, a full high-end audio system, and manual controls for the air ride system.
This astonishing Duesenberg tribute is a rare example of modern technology and Classic Era style blending seamlessly. Designed and built by a talented and vastly experienced team, this fabulous automobile cruises effortlessly and is suitable for long-distance touring, shows, or simply for casual weekend runs to the local shops. Wherever it goes, there is little doubt this extraordinary machine will draw a crowd of admirers.
Please note that this car is built on a 2007 Ford Econoline E-350 chassis and is titled as a 2007 Ford.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/0620.