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October 3, 1912 – Duesenberg wins its first race

Generally, drinking and driving don’t go together, unless you’re an observer of a race. Hopefully that was the case on this day in 1912 when the Pabst Blue Ribbon Trophy race was help in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, a short drive from Milwaukee, where PBR was established. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this race is that it was the first time a vehicle equipped with a Duesenberg engine won a professional race. After immigrating from Germany to Iowa in the late 19th century the Duesenberg brothers became enthralled with motor car racing. Frederick and August were associated with Mason Racing Cars, based in Iowa between 1906 and 1913. It was while working there that the brothers designed the engine that was fitted to driver Mortimer Roberts racecar, in which he won the 220 mile race. In 1913 the brothers opened their own plant to produce whole race cars in St. Paul, Minnesota. They didn’t officially establish Duesenberg Automobile and Motors Company until 1920. They achieved great success in racing and in 1926 they were approached by E.L. Cord, or Cord automobiles, who wanted to purchase the company. He did and he would go on to produce the famous Duesenberg Model J and SJ models. By 1929 the vehicles were selling for as much as $20,000, when a brand new Ford could be had for around $500. The Cord empire fell apart in 1937, taking the Duesenberg name with it. Pics1924 Duesenberg racecar1935 Model SJ LaGrande Dual-Cowl Phaeton By Stahlkocher – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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