Museum Gets 'Rarest of The Rare' Donation

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The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum has received a one-of-a-kind gift. A Michigan collector has donated the only 1927 Duesenberg Model X Boat Roadster prototype in existence, which is now on display at the northeast Indiana attraction. January 25, 2015

News Release

AUBURN, Ind. - The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum is excited to announce the donation of the 1927 Duesenberg Model X Boat Roadster donated by Rita & Peter Heydon of Ann Arbor, Michigan. This automobile fills a gap in the history of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum tells and shows the evolution of design and innovation between the Model A Duesenberg and the famed Auburn Boat Tail Speedster.

Laura Brinkman, Executive Director of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum said “We are grateful for this most significant donation to the museum’s permanent collection. The 1927 Duesenberg Model X Boat Roadster is the rarest of the rare and now it is home for all to enjoy. Generous donations such as the Duesenberg X from Rita and Peter Heydon are what make it possible for the museum to share this country’s automotive heritage not only today, but for hundreds of years into the future.”

Considered by many marque experts as the “rarest of the rare Duesenbergs,” the 1927 Duesenberg Model X Boat Roadster is a prototype built by Fred and August Duesenberg with coachwork by McFarlan of Connorsville, Indiana. In order to help with sluggish sales in 1926, Duesenberg, Inc. attempted to venture into production cars and made thirteen prototype Model X chassis, four of which exist today. However, after purchasing Duesenberg, Inc. later in 1926, E. L. Cord had a different vision for the Duesenberg automobile and the remaining Model X chassis were converted for the upcoming Model J, or scrapped. The Model X Boat Roadster was a one-off design made for the 1927 New York Auto Salon.

“This automobile showcases a crucial change in automotive history and design and in the public understanding of the importance of manufacturing a car with both racing performance and elegant style,” said Aaron Warkentin, curator.

Sold in 1927 after the New York Auto Salon, the Duesenberg X Boat Roadster had several different owners until purchased by Dr. Heydon in 1997, in which he began research and restoration on the Duesenberg.

Upon completion of the restoration, the 1927 Duesenberg Model X Boat Roadster won many awards for its design, historical significance and expertly detailed restoration work. This includes a “Class Award” from the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2000, “Best of Show Award” at the A-C-D Club Reunion in 2000 and “First Place in Class” at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Lake Como, Italy in 2010.

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum - where the world’s finest cars of yesterday live today! Over 120 classic, antique, vintage and special interest cars are displayed with other automotive related exhibits on three floors. The museum is located in the original 1930s national headquarters of the legendary Auburn Automobile Company and is a National Historic Landmark. The museum is open from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Last admission one hour before closing. Visit the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, a place where automotive history comes to life! Shop the Museum Store Online today! automobilemuseum.org

Source: The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum