American cars, especially classic muscle cars, continue to be hot items at Barrett-Jackson's and RM Auctions' annual Arizona events.
1937/40 Duesenberg Model SJ Cabriolet
1937/40 Duesenberg Model SJ Cabriolet
Sold for: $2.8 million

Description: The last Duesenberg ever built, this car has been driven only 10,000 miles since it was made. It has a 320-horsepower supercharged straight-eight engine and a three-speed transmission. The body was built by the firm of Erdmann & Rossi.

The car was ordered by the German abstract artist Rudolf Bauer in 1937 during one his frequent trips to the United States where he was helping Solomon Guggenheim select pieces for a growing collection of modern art.

Shortly after returning to Germany, Bauer was imprisoned. The Nazi government had, up until that point, tolerated Bauer's art despite the fact that abstract work had been officially labeled as "degenerate" and "criminal." Guggenheim paid for Bauer's release and deportation to the United States, where he lived the rest of his life.

Duesenberg was founded by German immigrants Fred and August Duesenberg. Duesenbergs were usually ordered with custom coachwork done by other companies, as in this case.

The car still has an original war-time gas rationing stamp affixed to the side window.

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