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Gallery-13 - Duesenberg

This month we return to the Duesenberg, we have been

there several time before, but over the next six months,

I will, hopefully - add a little more detail to what is already

recorded in previous Galleries.  The project, for my own

collection, is to build a set of four miniatures, the chassis

of which can be seen in the first shot.  I will not cover the

creation of the Duesenberg chassis, as these are all long

chassis and identical, and have been covered before. 

Incidentally there were four chassis lengths made for the

‘J’ and ’SJ’ Duesenbergs.  This the long chassis, a slightly

shorter chassis, which can be identified on a complete car

as it only has two sets of treads on the running board, the

long chassis cars have three.  An indication of the extended

length of this chassis over the shorter one is the length of the

short centre set of treads.  For me the longer chassis better

suits the body work created for these big cars, and I have never created a model on the short chassis.

The third length of chassis is the super short ‘SS’, with just two cars having been created on this, both designated ‘SSJ’ and both sweep panel Speedster bodied.  They look identical at first glance, but take a second look, and you will note the slight difference.  Film stars Carry Cooper and Clark Gable were the first owner, I have built several models of the Garry Cooper car, see here.

The fourth length of chassis was a one-off, a monster of a car and not very pretty, ‘J.578’ and know as the ‘Throne Car’ bodied by Bohman & Schwartz for a Father M.J. Devine, leader of a religious cult.  The rear quarter was removable, and the rear seat raised so he could be better seen by his followers,  he apparently did quite well from them, to be able to afford a Duesey special at the time of the great depression.

Each of the four models is unique to my collection, this first, the Derham Tourster ‘J.504’ is created with the top up, the other six, two tone green miniatures of ‘J.504’ that I have built,  show the car with a folded top down.  There is one other Derham Tourster miniature that I have created with the top shown in the up position, that can be seen here, ‘J.215’  but this is a replica body and the colour scheme is not original to the period.  The top for my models was in fact made at the same time and put to one side for just this model, but it has taken 25 years to get there - how time flies.

The top is formed from a sheet of copper, annealed and worked over a hard wood former.  There is a small tongue at the back with a matching slot along the top of the body moulding around the back of the rear seat.  The top clicks into this and sits on the two pins that are part of the top of the front screen, and is held in place by the two knurled screws locating the bottom pivots of the bows.  The bows are formed from flat nickel silver and laminated pear wood as parts that can be seen were of varnished wood. 

I have made tops that can be folded for the Model ’T’ Ford and the Russo Baultique, but these are small tops with bows close together, so that the fine silk used in them does not have chance to sag.  With these long extended folding tops I do not think it would be practical to make them working.  It might look very good when just completed, but when once folded and then opened, the creases so made would be all but impossible to remove or hide.  As the miniatures are made to last indefinitely I feel it best to decide at the start, is it to be up or down? - then fix it in that position.  If one is undecided, then make both - as I have recently done for my Weinberger Bugatti Royale.  Undo two screws and the top can be replaced with one up or down, which is much less hassle than trying to neatly fold a fabric one, full size or miniature.

The rest of the construction followed my normal practice, but can be interesting to see when broken down and the number of parts separated out.


For those looking for more information on the construction of the Falls of Clyde, I am running a ‘Log’ on the building of it on the ‘Model Ship World’ web site.

Check out < > and search for ‘Falls of Clyde’

Most of the photos will  be the same as here, but there will I hope be more insight into the actual working of the materials and building of the model.

Four photos are added at the start of each month and relevant text on the building.  It should be running for a considerable time to come, and hopefully will not repeat what I have here too much.