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Lot 43
1936 Ford 'Maharaja' Duesenberg Roadster

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CHASSIS NO: 182885920

• Well-executed replica of the world famous ‘Maharaja’ Duesenberg
• Took 19 years to carefully create
• 502 cubic-inch ‘Big Block’ Chevrolet V-8; automatic transmission
• Custom steel chassis built by Fat Man Fabrications
• Equipped with air-conditioning, power windows, power steering and power disc brakes
• Custom-fitted luggage complete with picnic silverware and glasses


502 Chevrolet engine, four-speed automatic transmission, Fat Man Fabrications custom steel chassis, power-assisted disc brakes


After 19 years of planning and hard work, this one-of-a-kind replica of the famed Maharaja Duesenberg has been completed. Duesenberg was unquestionably the premier automobile manufacturer in the history of the United States until the company succumbed to the Great Depression and ceased production in 1936. The last Duesenberg ever made was a spectacular roadster built on Chassis Number 2614 for Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Holkar (1908-1961) of Indores India. The bespoke body was created in Croydon, England by coachbuilders Gurney Nutting. The gifted young designer John Batchley is credited for its elegant sweeping lines. Many collectors and classic car enthusiasts consider it the best-looking Duesenberg ever made. Before it left England for India, it was the sensational star of the 1936 London Motor Show with newspaper headlines proclaiming it “The Amazing Colossal Car”. Reportedly, when it was transported out of the jungle to be shipped to the USA in 1956, it was cradled in a sling between four elephants!

When Terry Cook of Delahaye USA first saw the famed Maharaja Duesenberg exhibited at the Louis Vuitton event in New York City in 1999 he was overwhelmed. The car is currently owned by retired Air Force General William Lyons in Orange County, California. Mr. Cook was allowed to photograph the car in his marble floor “garage”. Duesenberg constructed only a handful of these magnificent roadsters. In 2018, the legendary movie actor Gary Cooper’s similar 1935 SSJ Roadster sold at an auction in Pebble Beach for 22 million dollars.

Mr. Cook’s custom 1939 Lincoln was on display at the same Louis Vuitton event, giving him three days to analyze and further appreciate the stunning Maharaja Duesenberg. Studying the flowing lines, he realized the body was very similar to the 1939 Zephyr fiberglass Deco Rides convertible body he produced. Inspired, Cook began the nineteen-year task of creating a combination composite and steel 88% scale Maharaja. A steel replica J Model Duesenberg grille shell and front fenders were acquired, built by noted master fabricator Marcel Delay of California. Additionally, a steel hood and side panels were crafted, as well as a brass windshield frame.

This car is powered by a new 502 cubic-inch big block Chevrolet engine and four-speed automatic transmission and sits on a rectangular steel Fat Man Fabrications chassis with nine-inch Ford rear axle with an independent front suspension. This amazing car is equipped with a host of modern amenities such as power windows, power disc brakes, power steering, air-conditioning and a defroster. It has a black removable top, orange leather interior and custom-fitted luggage. The idea is to have an attractive, eye-catching Maharaja you could drive and enjoy. The trunk contains a beautiful set of matching, hand crafted, custom-fitted luggage complete with picnic silverware and glasses. This stunning replica of one of the world’s greatest cars offers a modern level of performance, luxury, comfort and convenience combined with the spectacular style and elegance of one of the greatest cars in history.

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