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Donnie's Duesie: 1920

Donnie's Duesie: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Donnie Moore in Duesenberg." Last seen here a year ago. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Incredible stuff

Nobody was braver - more insane? - than the board track racers. If you want a definitive look at this era, read Dick Wallen's terrific book, "Board Tracks: Gold, Guts and Glory," which is still in print.

More to the Point!

I wonder where Donnie's Duesie is now -- somewhere in Laurel near the old race track?

A minor observation....

This car may well have been driven on a boardwalk surface, but if so then it was also equipped for racing on a dirt track: note the mesh grille protecting the radiator from being damaged by flying stones.

Get him a phonebook

He can barely see over the hood. Is that for better aerodynamics or is he just short?

Duesie x 2

A few years back one of my clients, a high roller, attended a classic auto auction and came home with two Duesenbergs, having parted with $1.5 million.

No power steering needs big steering wheel

The large wheel provides a lot of mechanical advantage when turning. Reminds me of buses when I was a kid. They all had enormous steering wheels and the drivers would start their turns early and turn and turn and turn the wheel to get around corners. If you ever saw Jackie Gleason in the Honeymooners in the driver's seat of his bus, that is the type of steering wheel buses had way back then.

That steering wheel is enormous!

And how did he ever see over that dash and hood?

On the road again

The one thing that jumps out of this picture is that this high performance racecar is wearing D.C. license plates. You could drive it around town -- loud pipes, no headlights, just go for it. Must have been a ball to drive.

Keeping the wall up

I find it amusing how many of these old photos have a guy in them, leaning up against a wall or door frame exactly like the guy in the background here.

That car must have been one wild ride. With his low seat position it seems that he'd have poor visibility of the road ahead of him too.


Nice contradiction. Body work on the car appears less than concours.

Friction shocks

It has friction shock absorbers front and rear. Note the discs with the stars at each corner for adjusting the preload.

Drive Slow!

Is that a dare?

Give it up for Donnie.

I'd give my left wheel nut for that car.

No Stopping

This looks like a heavy, powerful car. There are no brakes in front. Modern cars have 70 percent of their braking power in front. Perhaps this car was only intended for the wooden racetrack shown earier this week.

Location, Location?

I'd guess a large apartment complex in the NW side of D.C. The units on the end of the wings have sleeping porches rather then balconies. We're seeing it from the back so hard to pin down exact location!

[It's the Wardman Park Hotel on Connecticut Avenue, built in 1918. With 1,000 rooms, Washington's biggest. Later the Park-Sheraton. Torn down in 1979 and replaced by the even bigger Marriott Wardman Park.- Dave]

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