The 1921 Duesenberg Straight Eight Model A (“Castle Duesenberg”), the 27th vehicle listed on the National Historic Vehicle Register, will be on exhibit in the Hagerty Drivers Foundation lighted glass display case, located on the hardscape between the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the National Gallery of Art. A lighting ceremony will be held at dusk on Friday, September 17th; additionally, the Hagerty Drivers Foundation will be hosting “Cars at the Capital + Coffee” on Saturday, September 18, from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Both of these events are free to the public. For more information please visit: Cars at the Capital + Coffee.
“We are honored to not only have the first Duesenberg passenger vehicle on the National Historic Vehicle Register,” states Brandon J. Anderson, Executive Director & CEO of the museum, “we are also ecstatic that it will be on display in our nation’s capital to be seen by all and appreciated for its history and all it represents to automotive heritage. The legacy of the Duesenbergs, the Castle family, and the museum will be highlighted during this celebration and exhibit.”
Donated by CyrAnn and James C. Castle, Jr. of California, the 1921 Duesenberg Model A Coupe features a body built by the Bender Body Company of Cleveland, Ohio and was produced to the order of the car’s original owner, Samuel Northrup Castle, including space for his seven-foot-tall stature. Mr. Castle was from a family of Hawaiian missionaries and was a founder of Castle & Cooke Co., a Hawaiian sugar cooperative, when he ordered the car and received it in 1921 due to delayed production. It was the first production Model A to be built after the prototypes were completed and tested and the first one to be sold to the public.
The Castle Duesenberg would remain in his possession until his death in 1959 when ownership was transferred to his nephew, James Christian Castle, and was transported to San Francisco and placed into storage. Upon his death in 1994, ownership then transferred to his son, James C. Castle, Jr. and his wife CyrAnn. The 1921 Duesenberg Model A Coupe has remained in the Castle family until the decision was made to entrust the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum with the care and preservation of the vehicle in 2020 after 99 years of ownership and to be its future steward.