Dream car collector Joe Bortz and his 1965 Duesenberg prototype designed by Ghia. AutoWeek wrote a great piece on the collector, following the excerpt concerning the Duesy:
One car in Bortz's collection that no one else has is what is arguably the last Duesen-berg. August Duesenberg, who founded the brand in 1913 with his brother Fred, attempted to revive the company in the 1960s. He hired designer Virgil Exner, and the 1966 Exner Duesenberg was built by Ghia in Italy. The car was an interpretation of what a Duesenberg would have evolved into if the marque had continued; it ceased production in 1937.
Riding on a Chrysler Imperial chassis and powered by a Chrysler 440 Wedge bored out to 500 cubic inches, the '66 Duesy was built as a concept to be shown to prospective buyers. The car was taken to various cities, Bortz says, where it was typically displayed in a hotel ballroom for potential customers to look it over and place their orders.
Apparently, the salesman charged with displaying the car was never paid, and he sued for back wages. As the company had no funds, a judge awarded him the concept. The salesman sold the car to a wealthy New Yorker, who displayed it at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Ind. Bortz saw the car there and lusted after it for 30 years, until he got a chance to buy it.
Now Bortz drives the Duesy whenever he wants, as long as the roads are dry. The big engine fires up quickly and idles easily, and the car looks majestic as it purrs through a Chicago suburb. “Exner got everything right on this car,” Bortz says. “This is all original. A real piece of history.
“When something is great, like Duesenberg, people want to return to it.”