Jay Leno is an enormous fan of Duesenbergs. This automobile might seem to be yet one more addition to the collection of Duesenbergs featured on “Jay Leno’s Storage” through the years, however that is not fairly the case.
This 1920 ReVere-Duesenberg 4 Passenger is a product of the long-defunct ReVere model. But it surely has an engine designed by brothers Fred and August Duesenberg earlier than launching their eponymous automobile firm, which bought its first automobile in 1921.
Badged as a Rochester Duesenberg, the 5.5-liter inline-4 had an uncommon “strolling beam” design that Leno describes as “an affordable various to twin overhead cams.” As a substitute of transferring the cams up within the engine to straight actuate the overhead valves, the Duesenberg brothers designed rods to attach the cams and valves. Their back-and-forth movement gave the strolling beam engine its title.
1920 ReVere-Duesenberg 4 Passenger on Jay Leno’s Storage
That wasn’t the one uncommon function of this engine. It was forged in a single piece with no heads, so the valves stick out of the edges of the block. This eradicated head gaskets—and thus a possible level of failure—but additionally made accessing the engine’s internals trickier than a traditional engine design.
The engine proved dependable in racing, and because the Duesenberg brothers weren’t making their very own automobiles but, they used that on-track efficiency to market the engine to different automakers. ReVere was one of many corporations that got here calling. Slightly than design its personal automobiles from the bottom up, ReVere assembled them from parts sourced from outdoors suppliers—a standard follow within the 1910s and early Twenties auto business.
Whereas the pinnacle of ReVere appeared to have arrange the corporate as a inventory rip-off, it did produce a couple of examples of a remarkably good automobile. The Duesenberg engine is a “torque monster” that made the ReVere fairly quick for its time, in response to Leno, and the automobile’s aluminum doorways and an an aluminum radiator shell have been pretty novel options. It nonetheless needed to make due with solely rear-wheel brakes, nevertheless.
Leno estimates that solely 4 or 5 ReVere automobiles are left right now out of about 200 constructed, making later automobiles from the Duesenberg model appear frequent by comparability. These automobiles featured a extra refined twin-cam straight-8 engine, and are nonetheless regarded by specialists as a few of the biggest American automobiles ever made. And the ReVere-Duesenberg was their prequel.