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Questions about the Duesenberg SJ Speedster "Mormon Met

 
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romans
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Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 6:17 pm    Post subject: Questions about the Duesenberg SJ Speedster "Mormon Met Reply with quote

Is that the full name?

Is it a 1934 or 1935 model?

It went 135.47 mph for 24 hours with a modified supercharged I-8, right?

Are these links right?

Are there more pictures from the actual 24 record set in 1935?

http://www.supercars.net/garages/Duesey/16v2.html

http://www.sportscarmarket.com/profiles/2004/November/American/index.html
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Kevin
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Joined: 18 Sep 2004
Posts: 55
Location: Riverton Utah

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Romans,

In 1936 Ab Jenkins' 2nd incarnation of a Duesenberg influenced, land speed car, powered by a Curtiss Conqueror aircraft engine, and built on a Duesenberg chassis was given the name "The Mormon Meteor" after a grade school student, won a write in contest sponsored by a Salt Lake City newspaper. Jenkins a devout Mormon, or "Latter-Day-Saint" was well respected in Utah. The "Duesenberg Special" which is the 1935 record setting car, has been retrofit with the "Mormon Meteor" label and is understood to be "Meteor I" and later "Meteor II" when the Curtiss engine was installed in 1936. That engine proved to be too much for the car and the "Meteor III" was built specifically for that power plant in 1937.

The first link that you referenced, has some inaccuracies, Ab Jenkins was the mayor of Salt Lake City, but not until 1939, he basically was elected without campaigning, due to his Salt Flats fame. Also the car was not "built for him" as that article infers, Ab was the factory spokesmen for Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg, so with the considerable engineering and fabrication skills of Augie Duesenberg, Ab worked hands on with it's construction.

The engine was a 420 Cubic Inch straight 8 dual overhead cam, like the production Model J engine, but highly modified by Augie and Ab. It was equipped with higher lift cams specially ground by Ed Winfield, and a one of a kind supercharger, based on the factory supercharger offered by Duesenberg. A larger upper plenum and impeller was cast using two Stromberg UU-3 updraft carbs, as opposed to the production SJ that used UU-2's. It produced over 400 horsepower with this configuration.

Being from Utah, and having the good fortune to know some of the Jenkins family, I am impressed with the great legacy of racing, and land speed records, Ab brought to the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Through the kindness of the then owner, Knox Kershaw, I was able to bring the Duesenberg Special to Salt Lake City in 2004, where it was displayed with three other Jenkins vehicles at the annual Concourse d' Elegance. One was a re-creation of the Pierce V-12 Ab ran in 1932, the other a special built, one of five, Allis Chalmers tractor, that Ab drove at nearly 70 mph on the Salt, the third was Mormon Meteor III, powered by the Curtiss Conqueror V-12, owned by the Jenkins family and in the current care of Ab's son, Marv Jenkins. That car was built by Augie and Ab in 1937 and ran on the Salt Flats that year.

After the Concourse, I was fortunate to give many of Ab's grandchildren, and even a few great grandchildren a ride in the Duesenberg Special aka "Mormon Meteor". Most had only seen photographs of their grandfather with the meteor, so being able to sit in the car was a special treat. They were all very grateful to see and experience one of the cars that Ab made famous so many years ago.

As referenced in the second link, I can understand why the Meteor sold for over $4 million, having experienced the thrill of driving the car and just being near it, feeling the cars history and heritage. In my opinion, there are few cars in the world that will ever compete with it. Some claim it is one of the top five most important cars in history.

The following links will give you some details as to the records Ab set at Bonneville.

Here are some photographs of the meteor while at my shop here in Utah.









http://www.rickcarey.com/Catalog%20Descriptions/Gooding%20081504%20Mormon%20Meteor.htm
http://www.barracudamagazine.com/mormonmeteorIII.htm
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Administrator
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Joined: 19 Mar 2003
Posts: 294
Location: Cordhaven

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Pictures! It is nice seeing all of these Ab Jenkins' vehicles in one picture.
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romans
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So "Meteor I" is a 1934 model since work began on it in May, 1934, right?
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Chris Summers
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Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 1579
Location: Barboursville, WV, and Chatham, ON

PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always referred to it as a '35 and I've never seen it as anything else...see the catalog description. But that's just what I've seen.
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romans
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Joined: 02 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where was the Curtiss Conqueror V12 built?

So just to recap, this is the Meteor 1, right?

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Bryan R. Peterson
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Joined: 27 Aug 2007
Posts: 10
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Romans,

Yes you are correct, 1935 Duesenberg SJ J-557 is Meteor I, below are photos of how it originally appeared before it was equipped with road equipment to make it street legal. Ab Jenkins is behind the wheel, I have no idea who the other guys are.



Best Regards,

Brian
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Chris Summers
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Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 1579
Location: Barboursville, WV, and Chatham, ON

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The man holding the hood open is Augie Duesenberg.
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