Steve Pasteiner’s Advanced Automotive Technologies, AAT, a respected prototype shop that works with major automakers, was commissioned to build this dimensionally accurate replica of a Duesenberg Model J with a convertible coupe body made by Murphy. The unnamed patron who commissioned the build does own a real Duesenberg but he wanted something that had classic style but drove like a modern vehicle with modern conveniences. He also doesn’t want to put too much mileage on his real Model J or risk damaging it. The replica is well executed, with show car quality and some clever engineering that makes it a much better driver than a real vintage Duesenberg. Under the skin it’s based on a Ford E-350 work van and it’s V10 Triton engine, though there have been considerable modifications including a new back half of the chassis along with a four link suspension (plus a Panhard rod) for the rear axle. One reason Pasteiner picked a E-350 is that it’s one of the few vehicles that Ford makes that still uses Ford’s old “Twin I Beam Front Suspension”. Though it’s not as sophisticated as a double wishbone setup, it’s a much better front suspension, with much better ride and handling, than the solid axle based front end of the original Duesenbergs and where the suspension is exposed it retains a lot of the look of a vintage solid axle setup.
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