The 1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster by Derham: A Classic Masterpiece


The 1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster by Derham stands as a symbol of luxury and engineering excellence from the golden era of automobiles. Unveiled at the 1929 New York Auto Salon, the Model J captivated audiences with its impressive design and powerful performance.

Engineering Marvel

Engine and Performance

The heart of the Model J is its 420 cubic inch inline eight-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts, delivering an astonishing 265 horsepower. This made it twice as powerful as most of its contemporaries, ensuring it stood out in the competitive automotive market.


Chassis and Brakes

Built on a robust 143½-inch wheelbase chassis, the Model J featured four-wheel hydraulic brakes, providing superior control and safety. The engineering precision and attention to detail in its construction were unparalleled at the time.

Design Excellence

Coachbuilders’ Delight

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, elite coachbuilders, including Derham, Holbrook, and Murphy, sought to work on the Duesenberg Model J chassis. This collaboration resulted in a range of exquisite body designs that highlighted the versatility and beauty of the Model J.


Derham’s Contribution

Derham’s Tourster design is particularly noteworthy, epitomizing the elegance and sophistication associated with the Duesenberg name. These four-door phaetons combined luxury with practicality, making them a favorite among affluent buyers of the era.


The Duesenberg Model J remains a coveted classic, representing the pinnacle of American automotive design and craftsmanship. Its legacy is preserved through the meticulous restorations and the passion of classic car enthusiasts who continue to celebrate its history.


The 1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster by Derham is more than just a car; it’s a testament to an era of opulence and technical innovation. Its enduring appeal lies in its blend of power, beauty, and historical significance, making it a cherished piece of automotive history.

Photo Source: RM Sotheby’s

Our mission is to take you on a thrilling ride down memory lane, exploring the history, design, and unforgettable moments that define the golden era of automobiles.

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