DUESENBERG, Frederick and August
Posted By: Chantel Schmitt (email)
Date: 5/6/2012 at 20:16:35
Fred and August Duesenberg were born at Lippedetmold, Germany, and came to the United States with their parents in 1885, Fred being eight and August five at the time. Fred began his career in 1895 working for an implement dealer in Rockford, and three years later the brothers opened a bicycle shop. In 1900 Fred began working in a garage in Des Moines, and four years later, with financing by an attorney named Mason, the brothers began building racing cars, called the Mason automobile. For the next several years Fred and August built and sold Mason and Mason-Maytag autos in Des Moines. The brothers formed their own corporation in 1918 and perfected engines and racing cars, winning top honors at the Indianapolis Speedway. In 1921 they moved to that city and began producing their famous automobile, which sold upwards for $30,000 each.
The Duesenberg's peak years were 1929 to 1932, ending when Fred was killed in an automobile accident. The number of automobiles produced was relatively small, but their owners included royalty and motion picture celebrities. Speed and endurance records set by the Duesenberg automobile remained unbroken for many years.
Vala, Michael F. The Story of Rockford, 338. M.F. Vala Publishing, Dubuque, IA. 1970.
Mason City Globe Gazette (May 22, 1957)
Floyd Biographies maintained by Kermit Kittleson.
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