Brooklands: The Single Seater Duesenberg


1927 Duesenberg chassis 1931 Clemons 8 cylinder 4.25 litre engine

This car was one of seven built by Duesenberg in 1927 for track racing in the United States, and the only one to survive. In 1933 the 1-litre Duesenberg engine was replaced with a 4-litre Clemons engine for Count Carlo Felice Trossi, President of the Scuderia, who ordered the Dusenberg to compete in European races after Alfa Romeo pulled out of their racing partnership.

The Duesenberg Image: Brooklands Museum (click to enlarge)

The Duesenberg
Image: Brooklands Museum (click to enlarge)

The modified Duesenberg arrived in Italy in August 1933 and was entered for the Monza Grand Prix, painted in Ferrari red with the prancing horse emblems on the scuttle and Count Trossi driving. In the first heat it ran strongly in second place close to Count Czaykowskis Type 54 Bugatti, but on lap 7 there was a cloud of smoke from the exhaust and it retired with water running out of the exhaust pipe.  Although the Scuderia repaired the damage, it was not raced there again and lay unused for nearly a year.

In 1934 Whitney Straight hired the car from Ferrari and brought it to Brooklands for the express purpose of breaking the 140.93 mph Brooklands Outer Circuit lap record set by John Cobb in the 24-litre Napier-Railton.Whitney Straight recorded a fastest lap of 138.15 mph. He failed to establish a new unlimited record, but achieved the Class C (up to 5000 cc) record and set the second fastest lap achieved on the Brooklands Outer Circuit at the time.In 1935 R L (Jack) Duller acquired the car and it was raced it at Brooklands by a variety of drivers including Mrs. Gwenda Stewart. It competed regularly in BARC races right through to the last one on the eve of World War 2, 7th August 1939.  It regularly covered flying laps at an average speed of over 130 mph. It is the 5th fastest car ever to run at BrooklandsThe Duesenberg never raced after the war and was owned by Denis Jenkinson from 1950.Bequeathed to Brooklands Museum by the late Denis Jenkinson.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *