Wednesday, August 5, 2015

1933 Duesenberg Boatail SJ (The Weymann Speedster)

Here are some images of Bandai's 1/16 scale 1933 Duesenberg Boatail SJ (The Weymann Speedster).

From the Entex instructions"
"One of the most impressive Duesenbergs assembled", said road and track of the 1933 Duesenberg Boattail SJ "Weymann Speedster".
This car, one of only 35 SJ's built, is a higher powered version of the 1932 Model J. The SJ is one of the first U.S. production automobiles to incorporate
a supercharger. body was designed by Gordon Buehrig and executed by Weymann American Body Company of Indianapolis, Chassis Serial No. 2537 and Engine serial No. J-508.
The car's 153.5 inch wheelbase qualifies it as one of the largest two seaters built. The single carburated 429 cu. in., duel-overhead cam, straight eight engine is boosted by a centrifugal
engine driven water heated supercharger. This power package produced 320 BHP at 4750 rpm and could propel the Speedster from 0 to 100 MPH in 17 seconds. Top speed in first gear was 85 MPH and a maximum speed of 129 MPH was claimed.
Among the many innovative features is a self contained lubrication system for engine and chassis that is automatically actuated every 75 miles from an odometer signal.
Four wheel vacuum boosted hydraulic brakes of 15 inches in diameter  and 3 inches width provided the stopping performance for this heavy car.
The boattail deck compartment houses the spare tire, tools and has room for considerable luggage. The large fire engine siren and red light mounted in front of the grille were installed at the factory for the cars original owner. Captain George Whittel of Lake Tahoe, California
who was an honorary Fire Marshall. Due to its tremendous crowd appeal the car was hardly ever driven and was sold to the Harrah collection with approximately 1400 miles on the odometer.
It has been shown throughout the United States and is one of the prize displays of the Harrah collection in Reno Nevada.


Darryl Sherman said...

WZ,WOW,simply breathtaking,you da man!!!

Warren Zoell said...

Thanks Darryl! Much appreciated!

Jesse said...

you're view of the man, and the machine are a bit unique. Here is what everyone else knows.

One of history's rare Bon Vivants, Captain George Whitell... he was the only living son of a San Francisco Nob Hill family wealthy from the gold rush, and amassed a fortune of over 50 million at the time of the great depression, but was brilliant in cashing out his stock holdings before the stock market crash. He was a pilot, a lion tamer, an honorary fire marshal, and a decorated war hero.

He bought 2 Deusenburgs new in 1929, and owned a total of 6.

Born into great wealth, Whittell barreled through life at full-throttle, collecting exotic animals, elegant automobiles and boats, beautiful women, contentious lawsuits and 27 miles of Lake Tahoe's Nevada shoreline along the way. He was one of the more notorious playboys of California and Nevada, indulging in a succession of marriages and liaisons that fueled the region's gossip mills. A recluse in his later years, Whittell shunned publicity, and, in doing so, inspired speculation about his every move. By the time of his death in 1969, he had become the stuff of legend.

One grandfather invested in the gold rush claims, the other opened a merchants bank. Both made an incredible amount of money and passed it along to their heirs. When his mother inherited she received 9 million. That was a hundred years ago money.

George graduated high school and joined the Barnum and Bailey Circus, met Frank Buck, and bankrolled the both of them with his allowance. Yes, his allowance. This was more than enough to get these new partners into the African Safari business, sideline of animal capture for American circus supply.

Just before the 1906 San Fran earthquake, George was back in town, and with great automobiles... and a friend that later went on to own Seabiscuit, Charles Howard, became heroes by saving friends and family and possessions during the subsequent fires that destroyed San Francisco

Just before WW1, George was in Europe, learning 7 launguages fluently and enjoying Paris and universities.. .his parents purchased him a captaincy in the Italian Army. He served as an ambulance driver on the front, transferring later to the French Army and to the U.S. Army when the United States entered the war in 1917. Distinguishing himself for "valor under fire", George was decorated by the Allied governments.

His father left him a 30 million dollar inheritance, in 1926 money.

The stock market crash, which his 50 million dollar withdrawal may have influenced, left many selling property, and George took advantage of the sale of Carson and Tahoe Lumber and Fluming Company and other landholders who had not fared well in the stock market crash. Eventually acquiring from them over 40,000 acres of land on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, including 27 miles of the shoreline. He had the Thunderbird Lodge built, and the 55 foot speedboat Thunderbird commisioned (Only getting 83 hours of enjoyment of it in a half dozen years before storing it for 25 years, and then selling to to Harrah), and a small guest house was built for card games with his friends like Howard Hughes, and Ty Cobb

Among his collection of vehicles of note were a DC-2, outfitted for his private use, a Grumman Duck seaplane, six of the most uncommon Duesenberg motorcars, a 145' pleasure yacht and the legendary 55' speedboat, Thunderbird.

Whittell's 1933 Duesenberg, a Weymann Fishtail Speedster, was amazing, but because he was told it looked like a Holstein cow, George drove it only once in 30 years. Yup, just one ride in the car. The 2nd owner was the Harrrah collection

Your take, that it was so popular, he didn't drive it... is hilarious. Your note that he was only a fire marshall, is rather quaint.