Surprisingly, one of the most beautiful bodies of Duesenberg was not created in the US but was made to order in England.
This speedster with chassis number 2614 J-585 has a really interesting history. The voluptuous speedster body was designed by A. F. McNeil and built by J. Gurney Nutting & Co. Ltd. in the fashionable Chelsea district in London for Maharaja Holkar of Indore, India and commissioned through a British sales agent R.S.M Automobiles Ltd of London.
Now about that futuristic master dandy (which he really was!), Maharaja Yeshwantrao Holkar II. He ruled Indore State from 1926 to 1961. Yeshwantrao Holkar was known as a true automobile connoisseur with probably the most extraordinary collection of cars in India! Not to forget that he was also a major international collector of the finest art, such as architecture, artefacts and jewelry, all designed in the futuristic ‘Modern style’ or Art Deco, which was also to be found in his cars.
Maharaja always had a passion for the best cars. His stable include several Rolls Royce's , Bentley's, Delage D8S by Figoni, Pierce Arrow, Bugatti, Bentley, Hispano Suiza etc. In 1936 at the age of 27, the Maharaja ordered three superb cars, a 4.5-litre V12 Lagonda drophead coupé, a Bentley Aerofoil coupé, and this open SJ Duesenberg, all finished in the striking Holkar colours of Sunglow orange and Black.
Destined for a life of royalty, the Gurney Nutting Speedster was built with unique, lavish features including a like chrome flagsticks, as well as red and blue lights on the front fender to indicate whether the Maharaja (red) or Maharani (blue) was driving the vehicle.
Upon its completion, the Duesenberg was delivered to the Maharaja’s mansion in Santa Ana, California due to fears of Japan invading India. After the tension in the region dropped, the automobile was shipped to India, then disappearing over time and thought to be lost until its rediscovery in 1959. The outstanding car was brought back to the U.S., eventually acquired by General Lyon and now resides in the Lyon Air Museum - Santa Ana, CA.
TSM (True Scale Models) has released a very accurate and beautifully made resin-cast model of the car in its current form that’s as gorgeous as the original. The two-tone paint is excellent and every piece of trim, even the tiny Maharajahs flags, is done with plated or photo-etched parts. If it’s visible in photos, its visible—and to scale—on the model! Interior detail is done to the same level, with accurate upholstery, black-painted relief interior handles, fully detailed instruments, pedals, built-in license plate holder, dual fuel tanks, and single-bar bumpers. This is a beautiful model of a drop-dead gorgeous car. The only inaccurate detail is a little bit oversized Duesenberg ornament on the radiator.
Unfortunately this beautiful model is sold out. TSM also produces this type in Silver Old-Time livery, but it's not pretty at all. The Duesenberg collectors must have this Maharaja Sunglow orange and Black. Happy collecting!
|Year of Production:||2012|