Book reviews, June 1982, June 1982

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“Duesenberg — The Pursuit of Perfection”, by Fred Roe, 286 pp, 9 1/4″ x 7 1/2″ (Dalton Watson Ltd., 76 Wardour Street, London, W1V 4AN £27.50)

This is another of Dalton Watson’s high-class mainly pictures books (this one is packed with splendid Duesenberg pictures, beautifully reproduced, starting with the 1905 to 1913 cars of the Mason period and continuing to the end of the fabulous Model-J).

Because many of the cars depicted so beautifully are racing or high-performance road-equipped cars and because the make has tended to be neglected here, this new title is a worthy addition to motoring history. One could be excused for thinking that every known Model-J Duesenberg has been included (perhaps it has!) and the book ranges wide, including data on the early side-rocking-lever valve-gear Rochester-Duesenberg engines and the various cars in which these were installed, and the later Model-A Duesenberg motor. The racing and record-breaking cars are well covered and there are engine drawings, and photographs of mechanical components, factory interiors, dates, tables, power curves, etc.

The bulk of the book is devoted to the handsome Model-J, however, with special bodywork, illustrious owners, and so on, with a long technical description of this chassis, from a 1929 issue of the Accessory and Garage journal forming Appendix III. The other rather brief appendices are about serial and engine numbers from 1920-1937 and details about the eight original Derham tourers, the colour frontispiece depicting a rebuild of one of these cars, from three derilists, photographed outside the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana.

There are more than 550 pictures in this art-paper treat for American-car “buffs”. — W.B.