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Duesenberg ‘122-30’ (1930)

by Michael Ferner

Augie’s Duesenberg, by contrast, was a thoroughbred racer, through and through. His idea was to start with the now obsolete Type 122 (originally from 1923!), “stretch” it to provide room for a riding mechanic, and fit a modified Type 91 engine, shed of its supercharger. By using new blocks and stroking it, Augie was able to get the little engine out to two and a half litres, starting from one and a half! As usual, engine specs varied considerably from one example to the next, and superchargers were now and then added when the rules allowed it (e.g. on dirt tracks). Four of those cars were built in 1930, but their actual racing record is somewhat confused. Still, one of them (chassis ‘3’) can be traced with some confidence over a period of more than ten years, starting in 1923 (it was originally the Wilcox and Boyer “death car”), as it was usually entered under the name “Buckeye”, or sometimes Buckeye-Duesenberg – the intention here clearly being to establish a (racing) car make of its own, although there is no evidence that the car actually differed from its siblings, if one accepts the fact that no two Duesenbergs of that era were ever really alike.

Generally speaking, these cars were fairly successful, and kept the name Duesenberg in racing for a few years longer. In most cases, the original engines were replaced before long, and one of the cars ended up in Romania, of all places, with an 8-cylinder Clemons powerplant. Two of the others were fitted with 4-cylinder Miller engines, which added a few years to their competitive lives, and one may have served as the basis for a single-seater that appeared at Indy as late as 1938 – the last hurray!

Duesenberg ‘122-30’, chassis ‘1’
- 1930 #8 Duesenberg, blue/silver, Duesenberg 143, A. R. Duesenberg, Babe Stapp (ret Indy, ret Detroit, ret Altoona, dnq Akron) => sold to H. C. Hartz
- 1930 cont. #8 Duesenberg, blue, Duesenberg 150?, H. C. Hartz, Lou Meyer (8th Altoona), Billy Arnold (ret Syracuse)
- 1931 #34 Duesenberg, blue/white, Duesenberg 150, H. C. Hartz, Fred Frame (2nd Indy, 9th Detroit, 4th Altoona, dns Altoona, ret Syracuse)
- 1932 #2 Duesenberg, white/blue/black, Duesenberg 150, F. Frame, Billy Winn/Jimmy Patterson (9th Indy), Fred Frame (3rd Detroit, 10th Chicago, ret Syracuse, 9th Detroit)
- 1932 cont. #2 Miller-Duesenberg, silver?, Miller 220, F. Frame, Fred Frame (ret Oakland)
- 1933 #24 Frame-Miller-Duesenberg, grey, Miller 220, F. Frame, Paul Bost (ret Indy), Fred Frame/Freddie Winnai (7th Detroit), Freddie Winnai (dns Syracuse)
- 1934 #35 Frame-Miller-Duesenberg/De Paolo Auto Service, grey/blue, Miller 220, F. Frame, Rex Mays (ret Indy), Bill Cummings/Fred Frame (8th Los Angeles)
- 1935 #27 Gyro Duesenberg, yellow, Miller 220, H. C. Hartz, Freddie Winnai (ret Indy), Fred Frame (7th Saint Paul), Fred Frame/Babe Stapp (13th Syracuse), Ken Fowler (5th Altoona), George Barringer (5th Langhorne)
- 1947 #22 Pauley-Vogt V8, ?, Ford V8, J. E. Pauley, Red Byron (dns Indy, 9th Langhorne), Fred Carpenter (ret Goshen)

Duesenberg ‘122-30’, chassis ‘2’
- 1930 #12 Duesenberg, cream/gold, Duesenberg 150, H. W. Maley, Deacon Litz (ret Indy, 2nd Altoona, dns Akron, 2nd Altoona)
- 1931 #5 Maley, rust/black, Duesenberg 150, H. W. Maley, Deacon Litz/Bill Cummings (ret Indy)
- 1932 #65 Foreman Axle Shaft, grey, Duesenberg 150, H. W. Maley, Freddie Winnai (8th Indy, 9th Chicago)
- 1933 #37 Foreman Axle, grey/red, Miller 255, H. W. Maley, Lou Moore (3rd Indy, 3rd Detroit, 6th Syracuse)
- 1935 #10 Miller, white?, Miller 255, J. M. Winn, Billy Winn (1st Springfield, 1st Syracuse, 2nd Langhorne) => sold to C. L. Gardner
- 1935 cont. #18 Gardner, ?, Miller 220, C. L. Gardner, Chet Gardner (ret Los Angeles)
- 1936 #6 Gardner, sky/red, Offenhauser 255, C. L. Gardner, Chet Gardner (ret Indy, 8th Goshen, ret Syracuse), Chuck Tabor (11th Vanderbilt)
- 1937 #31 Burd Piston Ring, blue/red, Offenhauser 255, C. L. Gardner, Chet Gardner/Billy Winn (11th Indy)
- 1939 #57 Gardner, ?, Offenhauser, F. M. Gardner, dna Indy

Duesenberg ‘122-30’, chassis ‘3’
- 1930 #18 Buckeye, green, Duesenberg 150, J. H. Booth, Chet Gardner (ret Indy, ret Detroit, ret Altoona, 3rd Akron), Phil Pardee (9th Altoona, ret? Syracuse)
- 1931 #25 Buckeye, black/red, Duesenberg 150, J. H. Booth, Ernie Triplett (7th Indy), Francis Quinn (6th Detroit), Tony Gulotta (5th Altoona), Deacon Litz (7th Altoona, ret Syracuse)
- 1932 #24 Bowes Seal Fast, white/black/red, Duesenberg 150, J. Rutner, Deacon Litz (ret Indy)
- 1933 #65 Kemp, white/purple, Duesenberg 150, J. Kemp, Freddie Winnai/Terry Curley (ret Indy), Chet Gardner (dns Detroit)

Duesenberg ‘122-30’, chassis ‘4’
- 1930 #47 => #6 Duesenberg, silver?, Duesenberg 150, A. R. Duesenberg/H. W. Maley, dnp Indy, Bill Cummings (3rd Detroit, 4th Altoona, 1st Syracuse)
- 1931 #6 Duesenberg, silver?, Duesenberg 150?, A. R. Duesenberg/H. W. Maley?, Wilbur Shaw (dns Indy, 11th Detroit, 3rd Altoona, dns Altoona, ret Syracuse)

N.B. it may be noted that there are actually only two races in which all four cars appeared – in fact, chassis ‘2’ & ‘4’ may have very different histories during 1930 & 1931!

Last updated by Michael Ferner on 27 Aug 2016.

All text is copyright Michael Ferner 2016 - 2019.