It appears she spent a long time there. She gifted the then 21-year old car to her doctor’s wife in January 1950. The missus kept it for 30 months (maybe she wanted something newer?) before selling it in June 1952 to another woman. She kept it for nine years before selling it to Katherine Hedburn in April 1961.
It would stay in her and her husband’s collection for 54 years before finally being sold to a man, thus ending its reign of female ownership probably unmatched in automotive history. Oprah really should have bought this car.
So, what did the unidentified Florida owner get for his money? A car with unique coachwork by the Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena, California that was further customized by its original owner.
She needed a Packard trunk rack framed with chrome, and a Packard trunk fitted with four cases – a dress case, two overnight cases and a hat box. It was one of 60 convertibles the Murphy company would make for Duesenberg between 1926 and 1932 when production of the car ceased.
Mechanically, the Duesenberg J Convertible Coupe had a Lycoming-built 420-cubic-inch straight-eight producing 265 horsepower at 4,200 rpm. At the time that made it the most powerful engine on the market.
Since its original days, the body has never been removed from the chassis and much of the car remains as it was delivered from new, including paint. In September 2005, according to Morphy Auctions, the gas tank was removed and cleaned and the interior treated.
At the same time, the head was removed (without removing the fenders), the valves lapped, and the valve stem tolerances set. The pan was dropped and new rings installed. In all, she is a fantastic specimen and looks to be in marvelous conditions, worthy of its price.