Ex Gary Cooper 1935 Duesenberg SSJ: America’s most significant car becomes the most expensive as well – sold for $22M.
This year’s Gooding & Company Auction during Monterey week saw a new world record. Most likely America’s most significant car ever built was sold for $22 million. CARCULTURE.TV’s own automotive legend Ed Fallon had a chance to speak to top Duesenberg expert and restorer Brian Joseph of Classic & Exotic Service, about the Ex Gary Cooper 1935 SSJ – just prior to the auction that yielded this spectacular result.
This Duesenberg is unrestored and well-preserved, which adds incredible value. It is one of only two. The other one was built for Clark Gable. After Cooper’s ownership the car went through several famous owners including collector D. Cameron Peck, who at that time owned Gable’s SSJ as well. Later he passed the car on to Briggs Cunningham, who souped up the 7 liter engine to 400 HP. Finally, the Cunningham car collection was sold to Miles Collier in 1986 (32 years ago) including this fabulous automobile.
Now the Duesenberg was sold to raise money for Miles Collier’s Revs Institute to launch Revs 2.0. The Revs Institute has been called America’s best car museum by ‘Road and Track’. Miles’ goal is to “take the Revs mission out to the world,” he says, to broaden understanding of the automobile’s sweeping impact on the 20th Century at a time when electric, connected and driverless cars promise another sea-change in the 21st. “We plan to educate, energize and enlist car lovers, men and women, in discovering the world of the automobile past, present and future.”
The Revs Institute’s website states: “Among the new initiatives to fund this mission are a nationwide chain of collector-car storage garages where enthusiasts can park and care for their prized possessions, a new online magazine celebrating great automobiles — past, present and future — and the people and events that define car-culture and lifestyle, and other businesses whose profits will fund the non-profit Revs Institute’s various programs.”