1921 Duesenberg Straight Eight (Castle Duesenberg)

1921 Duesenberg Straight Eight (Castle Duesenberg)

HAER Number



Auburn, IN

Date(s) of Construction


Original Owner and Use

Samuel Northrup Castle – Hawaii

General Use

Present Owner and Use

Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum

Display and limited exhibition

Designer / Engineer / Builder

Duesenberg Automobile and Motors Company, Inc.

National Historic Vehicle Register
No. 27

This vehicle has been selected based on the following criteria:

Associative Value – Events – A vehicle associated with an event or events that are important in automotive or American history.

This Duesenberg represents the launch of the most revered luxury car manufacturer in history. It correlates to the important era of the opulent craftsmanship in custom coach building and pioneering engineering.


Associative Value – Person – A vehicle associated with the lives of significant persons in automotive or American history

Samuel Northrup Castle is a considerable figure in the modern history of Hawaii. Stemming from a family that launched industrialization on the island he went on to be considered one of the state’s top engineers and industrialists. He served as a leader in many of the islands’ most prominent companies including Castle & Cooke, founded by his grandfather. Notably, as a public figure in the state, he was well known for his appreciation of fine automobiles.


Design or Construction Value – A vehicle that is distinctive based on design, engineering, craftsmanship or aesthetic value.

Duesenbergs represent the pinnacle of design, engineering and craftsmanship for the period for which they were built. The first car sold by the company is no exception. It features state-of-the-art automotive technology and is the first production passenger car featuring important advances like hydraulic brakes and an overhead cam, in-line eight-cylinder engine. The magnificent hand-crafted body is distinctive and ahead of its time. It would look as fitting as a car built 10 years later.  It is further remarkable given the massively large cabin, custom built for its original customer.


Informational Value – A vehicle of a particular type that was the first produced, last produced, has an element of rarity of its type,
or is among the most well-preserved or authentically restored surviving examples.

As the first production Duesenberg passenger car maintained by the same family for virtually a century, the Castle Straight Eight provides a unique insight into the genesis of the distinctive marque.




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