Brothers Fred and Augie Duesenberg were self-taught engineers and built many experimental vehicles.
In 1913, they founded Duesenberg Motors Company, Inc. in St. Paul, Minnesota, to build engines and race cars. Duesenberg cars were considered some of the very best cars of the time, and were built entirely by hand.
The body and interior trim of the car was custom made by a third-party coachbuilder to the owner's specifications. The dashboard included mechanically timed lights reminding the driver to change the oil and inspect the battery.
Company slogan was "The only car that could pass a Duesenberg was another Duesenberg - and that was with the first owner's consent."
This claim was reinforced by the powerful supercharged SJ model boasting 320 horsepower, capable of achieving 104 mph in 2nd gear with top speed of 135-140 in spite of unsynchronized transmissions.
Duesenbergs commonly weighed in around 2 -1/2 to 3 tons due to a wide array of custom coachwork.
The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club was founded in 1952 and has 1,800 members worldwide.