It set a 24-hour speed record in 1935, hitting 135.58 miles per hour. Sixty-nine years later, The Duesenberg SJ Special "Mormon Meteor" sold for $4.45 million at a Pebble Beach Auction held by Gooding and Company. Now owned by Harry Yeaggy of Cincinnati, it's won the approval of the seersucker'd set at Pebble, taking this year's Best in Show award. The SJ Special isn't the average Duesenberg, any of which are far from the bell curve's center. The supercharged stock engine had been replaced by Augie Duesenberg and salt racer (and eventual Salt Lake City Mayor) Ab Jenkins, who adapted a 1,650 cubic-inch Curtiss Conqueror V12 to the Special's Duesenberg chassis and body. It's since been returned to its more civilized, Deusy-powered iteration by Noted Duesy restorer Chris Charlton of Maine, replete with imposing chrome "DUESENBERG" deco type along the hood and a chrome "Ab Jenkins" script on the cowl. Raise a julep in its honor. [Mormon Meteor]
57th Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Names Duesenberg SJ Special (Also Known as the Mormon Meteor) 'Best of Show'
Classic Cars from 12 Countries and Throughout the U.S. are Showcased During Competition Along California's Monterey Coast
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (Aug. 19, 2007) - The 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links® hosted some of the world's rarest vintage vehicles and thousands of spectators Sunday at the 57th Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The Concours competition, which included judging in 24 classes, culminated when a 1935 Duesenberg SJ Special, owned by Harry Yeaggy from Cincinnati, Ohio, was named "Best of Show."
The winning car, also known as "The Mormon Meteor," is a supercharged speedster that was raced by Utah's Ab Jenkins (the former mayor of Salt Lake City) and then driven on the city streets. The car, which set a 24-hour speed record (135.58 miles per hour) in 1935, sold for a record $4.45 million at the 2004 Pebble Beach Auction conducted by Gooding & Company.
"I'm trying to catch my breath," said Yeaggy on the winner's ramp. "I knew I had a great car. I love the styling and the art deco look, and it's a performance car. It's just elegant from every different direction. For me to get a performance car and a beautiful car is a perfect combination. In my opinion, this is the most significant American car ever built.
"I'd also like to give loads of credit to Chris Charlton, who did the restoration work."