Engineers and race car builders, August and Fred Duesenberg launched the company with their Straight Eight – later known as the Model A. Built in Indianapolis, the Duesenberg brand would become synonymous with automotive excellence, opulence, and engineering.
The company’s first production car was custom ordered by the Hawaiian industrialist Samuel Northrup Castle in 1919. After delays, he took possession in 1921 and would become the first owner of a Duesenberg passenger car.
Featuring custom coachwork by the Bender Body Company of Cleveland, Ohio this vehicle’s ultra-spacious interior was produced specifically for Mr. Castle’s seven-foot-tall stature. A host of mechanical advances for the time included four-wheel hydraulic brakes and the industry’s first overhead cam straight-eight-cylinder passenger car engine.
The 1921 Duesenberg Straight Eight remained in the Castle family for virtually 100 years until the decision was made in to entrust the Museum with its future stewardship.