Friday, May 11, 2012
"Challenged to design the best car in the world"
The new engine was placed on the freshly designed Model A chassis and was not only the first U.S.-built straight eight, but also had the first four-wheel hydraulic brakes offered on a U.S.-built automobile. The car was an engineering success but a commercial failure. In 1926 transportation industrialist E.L. Cord purchased the Duesenberg company and challenged Fred to design the best car in the world. Following over two years of development, the Model J was introduced to much fanfare. The 420 cid Model J engine produced a respectable 265 horsepower with the help of dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder; top speed was well over a hundred miles an hour. The initial price of the bare chassis was $8,500 with the cost of coachwork most often doubling that price.