3rd July 2013
Photoset with 22 notes
Murphy Duesenberg Model J Sport Berline
Walter Montgomery Murphy (1881-1961) founded his coachbuilding company in 1920 in Pasadena, California. They were known for their numerous creations on the Duesenberg Model J chassis, their impeccable craftsmanship and elegant custom coachwork.
The Sport Berline is a one-off, designed by Murphy’s brilliant young designer Franklin Hershey, built to Captain George Whittell Jr’s order as a gift for his mistress, Jessie McDonald of Los Angeles.
Whittell, the sole heir to the marriage of two California fortunes, was one of America’s most colorful millionaires and the purchaser of seven new Duesenbergs. His grandfathers had earned their wealth in banking and gold mining. George Jr never needed to work. A rebellious young man, he caused his parents a great deal of aggravation. Never one to do things by half measures, he charged through life at full speed and had a taste for fast cars, women and the high life.
This car was years ahead of its time. With its compact, close coupled body, slanted windshield, narrow pillars and all aluminum construction it was built entirely without structural woodwork - a revolutionary concept that delivered nibble, responsive handling.