The 1906 Mason: Its a Deusey!


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Konradina Duesenberg and her seven children emigrated from Germany to Rockford, Iowa in 1885. Here she and her family began farming and working for other farmers in the area. Two of her sons, Fred and Augie, left the farm in 1897 to open bicycle shops. 
Fred located his shop in Rockford and Augie in Garner, Iowa. Fred soon established himself as a successful bike racer, but not a profitable shop owner. In 1899 the brothers designed and built a small gasoline engine. With their interest in gasoline engines growing they left Iowa in 1902 for employment with the Rambler Motor Car Company of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
After a short stay in Wisconsin the brothers moved to Des Moines and worked for the Iowa Automobile and Supply Company. Here equipment and supplies were available to assist them in their real interest, the design and construction of their own automobile. In 1905 they completed the "Marvel", a runabout with an engine of their own design and construction. 

Edward. R. Mason agreed to finance the production of the Duesenberg designs as the Mason Motor Car Company. From 1906 to 1910 the Duesenbergs and Mason produced a variety of vehicles out of the facility on East 5th Street, Des Moines, Iowa. To establish the strength and excellence of their vehicles they successfully entered into auto-racing as a sideline.

When the company was purchased by F. L. Maytag, the Duesenbergs moved to Waterloo, but soon returned to Des Moines to continue their emphasis on the Mason-Maytag-Duesenberg racing program. The teamís victories gave many drivers, including Eddy Rickenbacker, Billy Chandler, George Mason their early reputations. In 1913 the team moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and continued to compete on local and national tracks.

In 1916 the Duesenberg brothers moved to New Jersey and with New York financial backers formed the Duesenberg Motor Company. Racing and marine engines, along with a successful racing team were all noted products of the firm. In 1920 the brothers moved again and formed the Duesenberg Automobile and Motors Company of Indianapolis, Indiana. Here they debuted a new Duesenberg automobile and began production. Within two years their cars became recognized for their power and design while the racing team achieved victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 1926 Errett Lobban Cord purchased the company and the Duesenbergs broadened their work to include the Cord and Auburn automobile. Duesenberg continued to refine their designs and engines until the company closed in 1937 but by this time the name Duesenberg had become synonymous with technological and design excellence.



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