Rare Duesenberg Wins FIVA/HVA Preservation Trophy at Amelia Island Concours.
The FIVA/HVA Preservation Trophy is given to those ultra-rare, historic vehicles that retain much, if not all, of their original mechanical components, body, interior and finishes. At the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance last month, this elite-status recognition went to Gary Bahre for his 1940 Duesenberg SJ Town Car Cabriolet by Rollson.
This long-wheelbase, supercharged chassis was assembled by the Duesenberg factory in late 1937, but was not completed by Rollson until April 1940 due to a series of intriguing events. First owner, Rudolph Bauer, was a famous German artist and contracted Rollson—an offshoot of the famous Rollston Company coachbuilders—to create this spectacular coachwork based on design drawings he provided. Bauer was imprisoned by the Nazi regime and later rescued by art collector and connoisseur Solomon Guggenheim, who brought him to the United States where the artist spent the rest of his life.
Driven less than 11,000 miles, Bauer’s special Duesenburg—known today as the “Bauer Car”—is now over 70 years old and still as immaculate and stunning as the day it was finished.
Under its original, black silk convertible top, the coachwork retains all its original paint and bright work and is near flawless. The interior features its original violet carpet and striking leather upholstery, which was re-dyed in recent years. Under the hood, the engine and drive train are in the same condition as delivered. The car also still rides on its rare and original Vogue double whitewall tires.
FIVA President and Chairman, Horst Brüning, was on hand to present the FIVA/HVA Preservation Trophy. Other Preservation Trophy judges included the HVA’s Mark Gessler and renowned collector Fred Simeone.