Arguably, many of the greatest things in life begin with humble beginnings. The same is true with the Duisenberg Motor car. You may have heard the phrase “It’s a Doozie” or “It’s a Doozie”. These are all references to a large, well-known car and automobile manufacturer – the Duisenberg.
The Duisenberg began life as Auburn-Cord-Duisenberg. Ernest Lobban Cord began his career in the automotive industry in the most humble way – as a simple repairer of Model T Ford cars. Arguably, this start of the Duisenberg line met with even quite mixed fortunes. – Mr Cord says he became a millionaire three times before he even reached the mature and experienced age of 21 – losing his entire fortune on each of the three times. Finally, at the ripe old age of 30 and with lasting and real wealth, Mr. Cord joined the failing Auburn company as “General Manager”, purchased a substantial share of the company and proceeded to bring Auburn back to the path to financial security and wealth.
Along with being a smart engineer himself, Cord had the greatest ability and ability to spot great talents and talent in others. As a result, he scouted, hired and employed classic notables and famous legends of the automotive trades such as Gordon Buehrig, Harry Miller and Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky. Then Mr. Cord quickly purchased control of the Lycoming engine factory and the Duisenberg company itself.
The Deisenberg brothers, Fred and August originally started out building bicycles in their adopted “hometown” of Des Moines Iowa, before entering the sport of auto racing, building their first race car in 1903. The Duisenberg company itself was established in 1912 to build racing cars, and their success inevitably led to the manufacture of standard road cars. The first of the Duisenberg line of standard engined road cars and driverless racing cars was the Model A tourer. The Model A “Tourer” is dated 1920. Duisenberg road were more than heavily based on the knowledge and expertise gained through motor racing itself and were excellent examples of the advanced engineering and automotive mechanical technologies of the time. The Duisenberg line of automotive products quickly established a more than solid and well-deserved reputation on the roads, just as the Duisenberg racing cars had accumulated a multitude of speed and race records. Amazingly, the Duisenberg racing group had won the venerable Indianapolis racing victories in the years 1924, 1925 and 1927.
Arguably, Mr. Cord’s relentless leadership and empire-building ambitions had spawned a most effective combination, and Auburn-Cord-Duisenberg continued to thrive in no uncertain terms. Unfortunately, Cord’s timing was particularly bad, and all of his plans came to fruition in the same fateful year – 1929, the same year as the great stock market crash. Miller, himself, patented his version of “Front Wheel Drive”
The following year – 1929 – in which for the first time the Cord nameplate itself was used – the L29 was introduced and released for sale. Designed by Carl van Ranst, it carried Miller’s front axle setup. Next came cars as fast and fickle as the Auburn Speedster, which had the distinction of being the first line of cars that declared and guaranteed that each car was individually tested at 100 miles per hour.
Hence Duisenberg’s reputation as beautiful motor cars of high speed as well as beauty was born, cultivated and maintained. It is no coincidence that the name Duisenberg carries such a reputation and notoriety among car enthusiasts.
The expression “It’s a Doozie” was well deserved.
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