Posted on Nov.07, 2008, under Automobiles, Michigan

(Olympus E-3, 70-300mm at 70mm (2x crop factor), ISO 250, exposure 1/160 sec @ f/9.0)

You are looking at the front end of a 1935 Duesenberg Model JN Roadster by Bohman and Schwartz. This car was one of many on display at the 2008 Concours d’Elegance held at Meadowbrook Hall in Rochester Hills, Michigan. This particular automobile has some interesting history. The car was a gift to Clark Gable from his wife, Carole Lombard. When she died, he abandoned the car and requested that it never return to California while he was alive. The car is a masterpiece of craftsmanship. It was restored several years ago and there are some videos on YouTube showing a master painter applying the pinstriping by hand. It’s a wonderful automobile.

Comments and feedback welcome.

Image and text Copyright © 2008 James W. Howe – All rights reserved

This image can be purchased.

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  • Anonymous says:
    Carole purchased the car for Gable, so you have it exactly backwards, and she died in 1942 not 1941. Gable never sold this car, he GAVE IT AWAY while in Canada when he was told of his wife's death in a plane crash with instructions it never be seen in California for the balance of his lifetime.
  • J Howe says:
    I rechecked my information and you are correct, I either misread, or mistyped my original statement that it was a gift from Mr. Gable to Ms. Lombard. Thanks for correcting me. Also you are correct that Lombard died in 1942. My original source was incorrect in saying she died in 1941.
  • Anonymous says:
    I have read at several places that Carole Lombard gave this car to Clark Gable, but I question if this is correct. Lombard and Gable did not have their first date until January, 1936, and they were not married until 1939, when Gone With the Wind was being filmed. She would not have given this car to Gable until they had a substantial relationship in 1937 or 1938, at the earliest. This is a 1935 car. The dates do not match up. Is it possible that she paid for the re-styling? If so, does anyone know when the re-styling occurred? Further, Gable did not give the car away after Lombard died. He simply had it stored in Canada until he died.

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