J. Herbert Newport, Jr. 1907-1991

    J. Herbert Newport, Jr. - February 22, 1907- June 3, 1991

The original designer of the two SSJ Duesenbergs for Clark Gable and Gary Cooper, J. Herbert Newport designed this body.

A major lifetime collection of J. Herbert Newport, Jr., Chief Designer of Duesenberg, including original artwork, together with files, photographs, sound recordings, his personal scrapbook, and more.

Among the items are an original, oversize, signed rendering of the "Mormon Meteor," a Duesenberg he designed in 1934 for famed racer Ab Jenkins, which for a brief time was the fastest car on earth; his original color oil painting of his first successful design for Duesenberg, and much more.

Serving in Duesenberg's most epic period, Newport followed Gordon Buehrig, and is the one man above all others who created the look - and the mystique - that surrounds those Duesenbergs to this day.
Notwithstanding the two editions that Newport's own book on Duesenberg enjoyed, the majority of the materials in the archive are unpublished, and indeed their whereabouts have been largely unknown to automotive historians. Much of the collection can now be seen for the first time. There is such variety, depth and breadth, that display cases can be freshened with new material for years to come.

The archive begins with a retained copy of his very first letter seeking employment at the age of 21, progresses through the many marks that he left on America and its automotive landscape, including some original artwork of the greatest importance and most singular rarity, and concludes with more original drawings dated in the last years of his life. In all, he spent some 52 years in the field of industrial design.


Two massive-folio cases custom-constructed by Newport himself of wood, to store original artwork, sketches, renderings, blueprints, india-ink overlays, color proofs, and other oversize items. In all, well over 150 items, representing the five decades in which he was active; obviously, his period with Duesenberg was only a small portion of this time, and while the Duesenberg motif was frequently revived, especially in his custom stylings of the 1960's and '70's, there are wonderful original pencil studies of ultra-streamlined cars, futuristic color presentation renderings on black board, and other items relating to Hudson, Nash, Chrysler, Hupmobile Skylark, Checker Cab, plus non-automotive designs for Coca-Cola, Revlon, Kelvinator refrigerators and televisions, luxury boats, soft drinks, and more. Overwhelmingly apparent is the conclusion that in the most flamboyant expression of Art Deco, Newport was truly a star.

Newport's personal scrapbook, containing photographs of his work from his very first credited design, a fender for the 1928 Stearns-Knight Brunn salon car, done at the age of 21, through the 1940's, together with clippings and other items.

Suite of oversize rolled items, including original drawing for the Duesenberg Mormon Meteor, dated in his hand 1934, on vellum, comprising three views of the car, and measuring several feet in length.

Original oil rendering, executed in color, done while working at Floyd-Derham Coachbuilders in the late 1920's, depicting a breathtaking Duesenberg convertible. The Duesenberg-Indianapolis factory label is affixed to verso. Probably the smallest, shortest-lived, and lowest-production of all coachbuilders that supplied Duesenberg, their total output for them is believed to have been this one car! (It was completed prior to the Crash of '29, and survives today.) At this point in time, the young Newport probably never dreamed that he would one day become Duesenberg's Chief Designer. In double-glass frame. Believed the only surviving original work from Floyd-Derham.

Files on over 300 Duesenberg Model J's, arranged by car number. Containing from one to many items per file, including notes on build histories, chain of ownership, engine swaps, restoration, and other vital facts. Largely built upon by a friend of Newport, and including hundreds upon hundreds of photographs from a large number of sources, many obscure, and many irreplacable.

Filecard drawer containing over 400 additional small photographs of Duesenbergs in later sightings, arranged by car number. Many are amateur snapshots, unpublished, and of value to the historian.

Binder of oversize photographs, most believed contemporary, including manufacturing scenes.

Binder of 31 different Duesenberg magazine advertisements, personally collected by Newport.

Old photographic negatives of Duesenberg proposals and finished cars, from Murphy (Pasadena) and Gleisner (Manhattan) Coachbuilders, the latter a very small New York City firm, their work virtually uncollectible. Over 400 in all.

Quantity of audio tapes of Newport speaking on Duesenbergs and classic cars.

Original edited manuscript of his book, together with copies of both editions, and copies of other works on the marque.

Large quantity of files of correspondence, reference materials on Duesenberg, coachbuilders, and Duesenberg technical information, all neatly organized and ready to use. Much interesting, useful, and important content, including correspondence with Harold Ames, President of Duesenberg, correspondence on the 1960's Duesenberg II, and much shedding light on Newport's incessantly poor finances and difficult personality. Many photographs bearing notations by Newport on versos.

Exquisite miniature Duesenberg radiator shell, handmade by Newport. Description below.

In all, thousands upon thousands of pieces, reflecting the life, times, and work of J. Herbert Newport, Jr.

The most important automotive and industrial design property that we have offered in our 52 years in business, without regard to marque. No images have been released by us, offering an undiluted opportunity for exhibition, scholarship, publication, or merchandising.

Popular literature is rich with Duesenberg's place in the psyche of America and of the world. Here, then, we offer the archive of the one man most responsible for creation of that living dream, the Duesenberg.

Inspection by appointment. Price on request.

One of the most remarkable items in the field of industrial design and automotive history we have ever had: A miniature precision display model of the complete radiator shell of the Duesenberg - made by hand by its designer, J. Herbert Newport, Jr.



For more information please read:

Louis William Steinwedel & J. Herbert Newport Jr. - The Duesenberg

Gordon M Buehrig - 1935 - the dawning of a new Cord: Informal recollections of fifty years ago

Biographies of Prominent Carriage Draftsmen - Carriage Monthly, April 1904

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

George Arthur Oliver - A History of Coachbuilding

George Arthur Oliver - Cars and Coachbuilding: One Hundred Years of Road Vehicle Development

Hugo Pfau - The Custom Body Era

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Car

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Era

Richard Burns Carson - The Olympian Cars

Brooks T. Brierley - Auburn, Reo, Franklin and Pierce-Arrow Versus Cadillac, Chrysler, Lincoln and Packard

Brooks T. Brierley - Magic Motors 1930

James J. Schild - Fleetwood: the Company and the Coachcraft

John R. Velliky - Dodge Brothers/Budd Co. Historical Photo Album

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 1

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 2

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 3

Dennis Adler - The Art of the Sports Car: The Greatest Designs of the 20th Century

C. Edson Armi - The Art of American Car Design: The Profession and Personalities

C. Edson Armi - American Car Design Now

Penny Sparke - A Century of Car Design

John Tipler - The World's Great Automobile Stylists

Ivan Margolius - Automobiles by Architects

Jonathan Bell - Concept Car Design

Erminie Shaeffer Hafer - A century of vehicle craftsmanship

Ronald Barker & Anthony Harding - Automobile Design: Twelve Great Designers and Their Work

John McLelland - Bodies beautiful: A history of car styling and craftsmanship

Frederic A. Sharf - Future Retro: Drawings From The Great Age Of American Automobiles

Paul Carroll Wilson - Chrome Dreams: Automobile Styling Since 1893

David Gartman - Auto Opium: A Social History of American Automobile Design

Nick Georgano - Art of the American Automobile: The Greatest Stylists and Their Work

Matt Delorenzo - Modern Chrysler Concept Cars: The Designs That Saved the Company

Thom Taylor - How to Draw Cars Like a Pro

Tony Lewin & Ryan Borroff - How To Design Cars Like a Pro

Frederick E. Hoadley - Automobile Design Techniques and Design Modeling: the Men, the Methods, the Materials

Doug DuBosque - Draw Cars

Jonathan Wood - Concept Cars

D. Nesbitt - 50 Years Of American Auto Design

David Gartman - Auto Opium: A Social History of American Automobile Design

Lennart W. Haajanen & Karl Ludvigsen - Illustrated Dictionary of Automobile Body Styles

L. J. K Setright - The designers: Great automobiles and the men who made them

Goro Tamai - The Leading Edge: Aerodynamic Design of Ultra-Streamlined Land Vehicles

Brian Peacock & Waldemar Karwowski - Automotive Ergonomics

Bob Thomas - Confessions of an Automotive Stylist

Brooke Hodge & C. Edson Armi - Retrofuturism: The Car Design of J Mays

Gordon M. Buehrig - Rolling sculpture: A designer and his work

Henry L. Dominguez - Edsel Ford and E.T. Gregorie: The Remarkable Design Team...

Stephen Bayley - Harley Earl (Design Heroes Series)

Stephen Bayley - Harley Earl and the Dream Machine

Serge Bellu - 500 Fantastic Cars: A Century of the World Concept Cars

Raymond Loewy - Industrial Design

Raymond Loewy - Never Leave Well Enough Alone

Philippe Tretiack - Raymond Loewy and Streamlined Design

Angela Schoenberger - Raymond Loewy: Pioneer of American Industrial Design

Laura Cordin - Raymond Loewy


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