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A 1935 Duesenberg SJ wins “Best of Show” at Villa d’Este

The Duesenberg are clearly at the forefront when it comes to classic cars ready to take all the honors. Last year, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a Duesenberg Model J 1932 by Figoni won the prize. Here is another Duesenberg, a 1935 SJ this time, won top honors in the prestigious Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance on the shores of Lake Como, Italy.

Split into eight different classes, cars aspiring to Best of Show selection must absolutely win in their class. From there, they are nominated for the coronation. This year, the final list brought together an exceptional selection of cars including a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder by Pininfarina/Scaglietti, a 1933 Chrysler Custom Imperial CL by LeBaron and a 1938 Delahaye 145 Coupe Chapron by Henri Chapron. For the Design Competition, the honor went to Pagani with its latest creation, the Huyara Codalunga.

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Duesenberg Model SJ 1935 by Gurney Nutting

The Duesenbergs have always had an aura that few other cars have managed to have. This American brand created by two immigrant brothers from Germany has become one of the benchmarks in the history of the automobile as much for the luxury of the cars as for their performance. Each car was bodied to the specifications of the buyer, no two Duesenbergs are identical. In addition, the performances were phenomenal for the time thanks to the addition of the first supercharging on the 8-cylinder in-line engine which developed no less than 320 horsepower from 1932. It is not for nothing that many 1930s stars like Gary Cooper, Greta Garbo and Clark Gable rode Duesenberg.

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Duesenberg Model SJ 1935 by Gurney Nutting

It is therefore among 160 different vehicles that this Duesenberg SJ 1935 by Gurney Nutting won the “Best of Show”. The car is owned by American William Lyon. The latter received the prize from the hands of Helmut Käs, head of the BMW Classics department and president of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, as well as Wilhelm Schmid, owner of the prestigious exhibition brand A. Lange und Söhne. In addition to the trophy, the recipient received an A. Lange und Söhne Chronigraph 1815 watch created specifically for the car that would win the “Best of Show 2023”.

The next edition of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este will be held from May 17 to 19, 2024.


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