1935 Duesenberg Model SJ auctions for $4.5m at Amelia Island

A stunning example of the 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ has sold as the top lot at RM Auctions' Amelia Island sale on March 9.

1935 Duesenberg Model SJ
This is the only supercharged example ever produced, its bodywork by Walker LaGrande

Described by the auction house as "arguably the most beautiful convertible coupe on the Duesenberg chassis", the 320 bhp Model SJ sold for an outstanding $4.5m. It is one of only three ever produced and the only supercharged example. It is still equipped with its original supercharger.

The Model SJ was produced as body designer J Herbert Newport's answer to the still elegant, yet outdated, design of the Model J, which had first been seen in 1929. While Duesenberg was still the most mechanically desirable brand on the market, the company's designs had failed to progress with modern advancements.

As such the Model SJ appeared with deeply skirted and rounded fenders, conforming to modern streamlining techniques, with significant advancements to the convertible top, which was now semi-automatic. Retaking its title at the top of the market, the Model SJ boasted a DOHC inline eight-cylinder engine with three-speed transmission.

1933 Stutz DV32
The DV32 - 'as fine an epitaph as any automaker would ever write for itself'

In October 2012, a further two Model Js sold at the AACA Eastern Regional Fall Meet, a 1931 "Barrelside" Phaeton at $1.3m and a 1929 Sport Sedan for $792,000.

The second highest bids of the March 9 sale were seen by a 1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria by Rollston, which sold for $1.5m. The ultimate classic era Stutz, the DV32 was the last car produced before the company failed and is incredibly rare, with this example owned by noted collectors since the 1950s.

Also starring was a 1958 Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster, which achieved $792,000, falling behind a 1955 300SL Gullwing that made $910,000.

In January, actor Clark Gable's 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing sold for an impressive $2m as part of Barrett-Jackson's Scottsdale auctions.

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