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"Die Cast X", October 1, 2012

Double-Duty Duesenberg

TIN WIZARD’S 1935 “Mormon Meteor”

Wayne Moyer

1:43 | $290

David Abner “Ab” Jenkins had set many speed records at Bonneville in 1933 and ’34 with a Pierce Arrow, when Duesenberg offered to build him a new “record” car for 1935. With Augie Duesenberg’s help, the Duesenberg Special (never given a factory number) was built and fitted with a slender Herb Newport-designed, two-seat body with a laid-back grille, open-top fenders, and a long tapering tail. In 1935, the Duesenberg Special (now tagged “Mormon Meteor” by the press, in reference to Jenkins’ faith) covered 3,523 miles in 24 hours at an airplane-like average speed of 135.5 miles per hour. Tin Wizard’s white metal model of the car shows it as it appeared after its 2007 Pebble Beach-winning rebuild. The shape and every detail of this hand-built beauty are exactly right; its cream paint is flawless and everything from the grille and fender trim to the handles and hubcaps are chrome-plated pieces (and some references show the big “DUESENBERG” signage on the hood should be, as well). Ab’s name, the windshield wipers, and the “Duesenbird” mascot are photo-etched; the seats and inner panels are painted red, while the black dash is filled with detailed instruments. All the pedals and shift and brake levers are here; the sight of those grips, steps and controls, as well as the nigh-on-magical assembly and scale fidelity, has us thinking Tin Wizard is very aptly named.


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