A one-of-a-kind car was named Best in Show at the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours event in California on Sunday, but it used to be two cars.
The American 1932 Duesenberg Model J features a body that was designed by Figoni et Falaschi in the era’s sport torpedo style, which were open-top sports cars with hoods raised to the level of their waistline for a streamlined look.
It was common at the time to purchase a stripped chassis from a luxury automaker and then have a custom body created by a specialist coachbuilder added, and this is the first and only Duesenberg married to a Figoni et Falaschi body.
Peruvian sugar heir Antonio Chopitea was the first owner of the car and competed with it in road racing and concourse events, according to Hagerty.
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A later owner then had a new body designed in the 1960s and swapped the Figoni et Falaschi body onto a different Model J chassis.
Three years ago vintage car and boat collectors Lee and Penny Anderson acquired both cars and reunited the original body and chassis through a full restoration.
“This rare Duesenberg marries American might with European style,” Concours Chairman Sandra Button said. “It did well in some early rallies and concours. Then, its history took a turn, with chassis separated from body. The story of its resurrection is one of pure passion.”
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The Duesenberg was the first American car to win Best in Show at the Pebble Beach event since a 1934 Packard in 2013. It is the brand’s seventh to take the honor, making Duesenberg the most successful American marque to date.
It is difficult to estimate the value of such a unique car, but a 1930 Model J with coachwork by California’s Walter M. Murphy Company was auctioned at the 2021 Gooding & Company event in Pebble Beach for $3,965,000.
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Lee Anderson told Hagerty he would not rebody the other chassis, “so that people don’t get confused.”