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October 23, 2022

1935 Duesenberg SSJ Speedster: Gary Cooper Was First Owner

The Duesenberg Model J is a luxury automobile made by Duesenberg. Intended to compete with the most luxurious and powerful cars in the world, it was introduced in 1928, the year before the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression. The Model J, available with a supercharger after 1932, was sold until Duesenberg Motors Company went bankrupt in 1937.

The short-wheelbase supercharged J, referred to by the public as the SSJ, had an extra-short wheelbase of 125 in (3,200 mm) and an engine delivering close to 400 hp (298 kW) through the use of the dual-carburetor “ram’s horn” manifold developed for the Duesenberg Special. The “ram’s horn” manifold has two branches, each of which splits into two more branches.

Only two were built; both had lightweight open-roadster bodies produced by Central Manufacturing Company, an Auburn subsidiary in Connersville, Indiana. At the rear, each short-wheelbase roadster had an external spare tire and smaller “later-style” round taillights.

The first short-wheelbase roadster was sold to the actor Gary Cooper in 1935. The other “SSJ” was lent by the company to actor and established Duesenberg customer Clark Gable in 1936. Cooper and Gable would race each other in the Hollywood Hills in these cars.

Here below is a set of amazing photos of 1935 Duesenberg SSJ speedster.




















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