America’s First International Win
For the first half of the 20th century, America rarely sent cars to compete in races overseas, despite the extensive worldwide attention these competitions received. To this day, nobody truly and definitively knows why. However, in 1921 a Duesenberg race car – not a sports car – did win at Le Mans with an American, Jimmy Murphy, driving.
The next Le Mans victory for an American car was not until 1966, when a Ford GT40 Mk II, similar to the one in our exhibit, won. This is one of the three cars that raced at Le Mans in 1921, and the only intact survivor. This Duesenberg is the only open wheeled car in the entire collection. In addition to racing at Le Mans, this car also competed in the Indianapolis 500. There are very few cars that have ever been built which can lay claim to have competed at both tracks in period.