AUBURN, Ind. (AP) — The estate of a South Carolina man donated four classic cars built in the 1930s in northeastern Indiana, including a couple of Doozies, to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum.
“It’s the largest single gift the museum has ever received,” Laura Brinkman, executive director of the museum, told The (Auburn) Star. “It’s so significant to the museum.”
The estate of Guy E. Beatty Jr., of Charleston, S.C., gave the museum four classic cars built by the Auburn Automobile Co., including all three brand names in the company’s lineup.
His donation includes: a 1931 Duesenberg Beverly Sedan model J-387; a 1934 Duesenberg LeGrande Dual Cowl Phaeton model J-250; a 1936 Auburn Boattail Speedster; and a 1937 Cord Supercharged Phaeton.
“These four are phenomenal,” Brinkman said. “This is a spectacular gift for us. It fills gaps in our permanent collection,” including a Duesenberg body style not represented previously, she said.
The last of the donated cars arrived at the museum just days before the long-running classic car auctions that draw thousands of visitors each Labor Day weekend to the city about 20 miles north of Fort Wayne.
Beatty founded Beatty Cos., a Virginia-based real estate development business and was an entrepreneur and philanthropist, donating more than $60 million to the College of Charleston. He died in October 2013.
With Beatty’s gift, the museum now owns six Duesenbergs, a vehicle that was one of America’s first luxury cars and popularized the slang phrase, “It’s a doozy.” Counting cars on loan to the museum, it will have 14 Duesenbergs on display.
“The collection is just getting finer and finer all the time and allowing us to tell our story,” Brinkman said. “We’ve taken giant strides this year,” she said.
The museum displays classic, antique, vintage and special interest cars and other automotive related exhibits on three floors.