Every Car Guy Should Have the Duesenberg Museum on Their Bucket List
Photo Credit To Steve Lewis
Every Car Guy Should Have the Duesenberg Museum on Their Bucket List

Every Car Guy Should Have the Duesenberg Museum on Their Bucket List

Located in Auburn, Indiana is one of the most breathtaking, elegant, and most exquisite museums in the world, here on the grounds of the Original Factory lies the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg Museum’s rich history.

The story of the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg’s rise to glory, and fall from grace, has been told and preserved within the walls and the grounds of this elegant art deco building for all to enjoy. There are so many amazing
artifacts, displays, and over 120 of the most beautiful pre-war cars in existence.

The marques of Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg have always been the epitome of style, and luxury. This amazing museum definitely lives up to the reputation of the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg name.

Duesenberg Museum

The 30’s art-deco decor of the magnificent showroom is beyond compare, each and every car in the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg Museum is impeccably, and meticulously displayed in true E. L. Cord fashion. From the time you first enter the showroom, you are transported back in time to the luxurious elegance of the 1930’s.

As you walk around the main showroom on the first floor, your senses take in all the aura and opulence of this amazing era in automotive history. As you examine each vehicle, you become drawn to the style and craftsmanship of some of the most luxurious cars built in the United States.

Duesenberg Museum

Rivaling Europe’s finest luxury cars, the Duesenberg is as equally impressive and luxurious as any Roll Royce or Bentley. The Duesenberg chassis cost around $8,500 until 1932 when the price increased to $9,500. The bodies were made both in the United States and in Europe, and finished by the coach builders to the owner’s specifications.

While about half of the Model J’s built were the Coachworks devised by Duesenberg’s chief body designer Gordon Buehrig. Others were from independent coach builders in the United States like Derham, Holbrook, Judkins, LeBaron, Murphy, Rollston (later known as Rollson), Walker, Weymann, and Willoughby.


Coach builders Fernandez Darrin, Franay, Gurney, Nutting, and Saoutchik provided the coaches from Europe. A finished Duesenberg base model would cost anywhere between $13,000 and $19,000 while 2 of the American bodied Model J’s came in at $25,000 each. If the owner requested more elaborate coachwork to be done the prices would be considerably higher. All this came at a time when a doctors yearly salary was around $3,000.

Duesenberg Museum

The Cord 810 and 812 were produced in 1936 and 1937 and were the first automobile built in America with front wheel drive and independent front suspension. The transmission was located in front of the engine, and this made it possible for the traditional driveshaft tunnel to be eliminated allowing a much lower ride height for the Cord, making running boards unnecessary.

The Pontoon Fenders were a striking styling queue with the hidden headlights, which were actually Stintson Aircraft Landing Lights. These were easily available to E.L. Cord since he owned the Majority of Stock in the Stintson Aircraft Company.

The most impressive part of the 1936 and 1937 Cord 810/812 was the coffin shaped hood and louvered grille that wrapped almost all the way around from one front door to the other. Gordon Beuhrig’s design of the Cord 810/812 remains timeless even 60 years later when in 1996 American Heritage Magazine dubbed the Cord 810 sedan “The Single Most Beautiful American Car”.

Duesenberg Museum

The 1935 Auburn 851 Speedster is one of the most beautiful open roadsters ever produced. The classic Auburn styling is electrified with trademark Auburn shaped grille all the way to the boat tail rear on the unbelievably
impressive 2-seat roadster designed by Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky.

Supercharged Auburn’s Dual Speed Columbia rear end when engaged, yielded a 4.5:1 ratio, and when disengaged became an easy going 3:1 ratio making the combination of the 3-speed Synchronmesh Transmission, and the Columbia rear end a total of 6-Speeds. One of the Auburn’s most famed accomplishments was a product of this combination allowing the Auburn to travel up to 100 miles per hour for up to 12 hours.

Duesenberg Museum

Duesenberg Museum

The upstairs of this amazing facility still houses E.L. Cord’s personal office, corporate offices, boardroom, and the design center where these stunning works of automotive art were designed and then became reality. Still on
display is a full-size blueprint of the Cord 810, as well as many of the tools and wooden bucks that were used to hand shape those incredible pontoon shaped fenders on the Cord 810/812.

Duesenberg Museum

Duesenberg Museum

Duesenberg Museum

If there is ever just one automobile Museum that should be on every car enthusiast’s bucket list, it’s the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, Indiana. The sheer beauty and elegance not only in the incredible automobiles on display but also the stunning 1930’s art deco styling of this magnificent museum.


The first step will undoubtedly take your breath away as you walk in the showroom, and every step that follows
will leave you reeling with anticipation of what your senses will be treated to. No matter where you live, don’t miss out on this fantastic look back in time to the short, but glorious history of the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg
automobile companies.

You might also enjoy:
4 Muscle Cars That Are Hard To Find
Chevrolet Hall of Fame Museum Decatur, Illinois
A Trip Down Memory Lane at the Classic Car Collection Museum

About The Author

Steve has been interested in all things mechanical since he was old enough to crawl. Growing up he ravaged many bikes, trikes, big wheels, lawn mowers, and anything else with wheels. By the time he was 12, he had already rebuilt his first engine and was working on rebuilding his first car - a 1963-1/2 Ford Galaxy 500 XL. At 16, he had moved into drag racing, street racing, and track racing. At 28, he got his first taste of dirt track racing, he continued that on and off for years. He is currently building a Big Block Powered 1976 Chevrolet Laguna S3 to return to drag racing. In between work and racing, Steve enjoys attending car shows and races. He writes articles about the places he's been, people he's met, and the things he's seen.

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