We have been incredibly fortunate this weekend to receive a visit from Lew Wallace, Jr.’s 1930 Duesenberg, currently owned by Jack and Drena Miller of Georgia. The car was custom built for Lew, Jr. at an estimated $16,000 or more–and in 1930 that was a lot of money! As the Great Depression deepened, the Duesenberg was sold, but fortunately it has been preserved and restored for us to view today.
The car weighs 6100 pounds and gets about 10 to 11 miles per gallon. The 8-cylinder engine features double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and a mechanical computer. Standard features on the Duesenberg include power brakes, an altimeter, and a chronograph.
Lew, Jr.’s son William Noble Wallace related in an email the following story about the Duesenberg:
The family chauffeur, Arthur Slaughter, was an auto expert. One time he was driving the Duesy alone from Burt Lake back to Rye, a 700-mile trip. The shortest distance was through southern Ontario, from Port Huron-Sarnia to Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Enroute Slaughter was pulled over by a Canadian provincial policeman on a motor cycle. Slaughter, always careful to stay within speed limits, was startled. The officer told him the stop was one of curiosity. He’d never seen a Duesenberg before. Could he, maybe, drive it a bit? “Sure,” said Art. And the officer stepped in and drove it around for awhile.
Art told that story to me but I think he kept it from my father.
We’re very grateful for Jack and Drena Miller’s generosity in bringing the Duesenberg to visit us this weekend, and to Mike Shotwell for researching the Duesenberg’s history.