- Written by webmin
We got some feedback from Hemmings Nation citizen Paul Meyer, who wanted to let us know how much he enjoyed the recent Hemmings Classic Car profile of Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum curator Matt Short. Did he ever. Read on.
What you’re looking at is the recently completed 1/6th scale model of a 1932 Duesenberg SJ phaeton as re-created – an inadequate description – by Louis Chenot of Carl Junction, Missouri, director of mechanical engineering for Leggett & Platt, which supplies automotive interior systems. Lou is the most serious kind of car modeler imaginable. This Duesenberg took six years and an estimated 15,000 hours to build.
Lou went to see Duesenberg guru Randy Ema in California and took the dimensions off J-589, in addition to measuring a supercharged D-engine owned by Jay Leno and using blueprints from the A-C-D Museum. The model was pieced together from 6,000 individual parts, all hand-formed with patterns, jigs and fixtures that Lou made himself, and weighs about 60 pounds, but there’s more.
The engine is fully functional, by which we mean it starts and runs. The block was machined from a 38-pound lump of iron. The crankshaft is turned from 4340 steel, the main and rod bearings are silver and the cylinder liners were hand-cut from full-scale Cummins diesel valve guides. The head has 300 parts, including 32 working valves. Actual displacement is 1.936 cubic inches. Lou cranked it with a hand drill on his own test stand and has gotten it to idle between 2,000 and 4,000 RPM on propane. The phaeton top also works prototypically.
Unbelievable. The miracle of craftsmanship got Lou named as Metalworking Craftsman of the Decade by the North American Model Engineering Society. Because the micro-Duesenberg supercharged straight-eight is difficult to clean, he only plans to run it once more during the NAMES expo set for Detroit in April before reinstalling in the car for good. Find out more at http://www.craftsmanshipmuseum.com, or at http://www.modelengineeringsoc.com.