Car enthusiasts and students in auto mechanic courses alike will be happy to know that the Dusenberg Drag Race is returning this September. If you can make it down to Auburn, Indiana, you can see cars race that were on the roads in the 1920s and 30s, before mechanic colleges or positions like automotive service advisor even existed.
What is a Dusenberg?
If you’re wondering what sort of car a Dusenberg is, you’ve probably seen them in movies and in vintage pictures of celebrities. Howard Hughes drove one, so did Clark Gable, Al Capone, Greta Garbo and the entire Wrigley family.
It was a symbol of American wealth and automotive power. Big, ostentatious, the word doozie is even supposed to be a derivative of the car’s name.
It was the creation of two brothers, Fred and Augie Dusenberg, originally from Germany, who moved to Iowa and decided to start making cars. Their company was later sold to E.L. Cord and moved to Auburn, Indiana, where they achieved significant success.
Dusenberg stopped production in 1937 due to Cord’s unrelated financial difficulties. There have been several attempts over the years to revive the brand, but none have succeeded.
Have a look at a Dusenberg in action:
What Happened in 2010?
Every Labour Day, Auburn, Cord and Dusenberg vintage car enthusiasts and collectors gather in Auburn, Indiana to share their love of these classics. In 2010, Kansas resident and proud Duesenberg owner John Baeke took over the event. In order to improve attendance, which had been dwindling in recent years, he looked to the Dusenberg’s history.
This vintage automobile wasn’t just a favourite of the wealthy, it was also quite the race car, having won Le Mans and even the Indy 500 a few times. Baeke decided on an idea to hold a Dusenberg drag race on a nearby airport runway.
After all of the red tape was worked through, including difficulties with the FAA in acquiring the Kendallville Runway, the race happened. 46 cars took part in what was an unquestionable success. This short video was able to capture some of the action:
What’s Scheduled for September 2015?
This year, they’re doing it again. It’ll be called the Duesenberg Thunder Run and Vintage Fly-in. The Fly-in part refers to the presence of a B-17 bomber. The event will take place at the significantly larger Goshen municipal airport on September 6th, on the second to last day of the festival. People can sign up their vehicles and become part of this historic repeat of a historic event.
Would you like to work on a classic car like a Dusenberg?