Jay Leno's 1934 Duesenberg Coupe is one classy broad.
When people think of American luxury cars, they tend to bring up the name Cadillac, but those who really know their history will bring up another name. The now-defunct Duesenberg was founded back in 1913 by brothers August and Frederick Duesenberg in Minnesota, a company famed for building some of the most luxurious cars the world has ever seen. Forget about the Rolls-Royce Phantom, these cars represented the pinnacle of American motoring, and a short chassis SSJ model sold for an astonishing $22 million back in 2018. It's safe to say that Duesenberg cars are a rare breed. Car enthusiast and all-round gearhead Jay Leno recently showcased a 1934 Walker Coupe, providing a fascinating insight into the world of these highly collectible cars.
What makes this Walker Coupe so special is that it was the first and only Duesenberg to feature aerodynamic body styling, and was specially built for Lilly Pharmaceutical based in Indianapolis. Since money was no object for CEO Josia Lilly, Duesenberg went all out with this specific car, and it turned out to be the most expensive Duesenberg ever produced.
The car eventually ended up as a tow truck but was rescued by Leno and his team. The gorgeous grille alone cost $1,200 back in the 1930s, and as is to be expected from cars of this age, the Walker Coupe weighs a lot: the frame alone tips the scales at 4,400 lbs. Leno points out that the leather top had to be replaced every time it rained. Under the hood lies a 420 cubic-inch straight-eight engine producing 265 horsepower which is connected to a three-speed transmission. That's not much to move a car of this size, but the Walker was still a fast car for its day.
The interior of this classic beauty features brown cloth seat upholstery, two glove compartments with two fire extinguishers, a compass, an altimeter, and a myriad of chrome switches and buttons. The aviation-themed cabin was perfectly suited to the time and was partly inspired by Charles Lindberg's flight across the Atlantic in the late 1920s.
After discussing the various features, Leno takes the car out for a drive and shows how laughable the interior space is. That is a trifle when you see how good it looks on the road. This car is truly priceless, but expect a price tag of over $20 million.