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In Pictures: 1931 Model J Dual-Windshield “Barrelside” Phaeton by LeBaron

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This 1931 Duesenberg left a racy German Merc far behind in a high-stakes duel.

Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions

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It sold last month at auction for $1.3-million.

Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions

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Duesenberg brothers Fred and August began building cars in 1913 in Des Moines, Iowa, a long way from the glitter of Hollywood or the tracks of Europe.

Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions

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But their cars were well-engineered and fast enough to win the French Grand Prix in 1921 and the Indy 500 in 1924, 1925 and 1927.

Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions

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Duesenberg was taken over by E.L. Cord in the mid-1920s and this fast-mover challenged Fred Duesenberg to build “the best car in the world,” a machine capable of taking on the greatest of the European marques.

Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions

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In 1928, the Model J was unveiled at the New York auto show, living up to its Cord-inspired billing with a massive chassis supported on solid axles and powered by a 420-cubic-inch, dual-overhead-cam, four-valve-per-cylinder straight-eight that produced 265 hp, giving it a top speed of 190 km/h.

Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions

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The depression spoiled Cord’s plans to sell 500 Model J’s a year.

Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions

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The Duesenberg went through a series of owners and later collectors, becoming part of the Craven Foundation collection in Toronto in the 1970s, before being sold to the Roy Bowersox collection in Pennsylvania.

Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions

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Chrome wire wheels - 1931 Model J Dual-Windshield “Barrelside” Phaeton by LeBaron

Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions

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1931 Model J Dual-Windshield “Barrelside” Phaeton by LeBaron

Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions

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1931 Model J Dual-Windshield “Barrelside” Phaeton by LeBaron

Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions

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The interior is complemented by brown carpeting and accented by a Duesenberg eagle molded into the leather-upholstered panel behind the driver’s seat.

Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions

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It is also equipped with dual rear taillights and modern driving lights and seat belts.

Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions

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