1930 duPont Series G Special Sport Sedan by Merrimac

1930 duPont Special Sport Sedan in Manhattan

As you could probably guess, I enjoy searching for old photos of early cars. When at Monterey’s classic car week, this means a stop at Automobilia Monterey and it was there that I found this image of a uniquely bodied duPont series G.

Honestly, all duPonts are unique as only an estimated 600 total cars were produced by the duPont Motor Company in the thirteen years they were in business. E. Paul duPont founded the company to produce marine engines for the Allied war effort in World War I.  They introduced their first automobiles at the 1919 International Salon held at the Commodore Hotel in New York City. The series G was introduced in 1929, with a 125hp straight-eight engine. These luxury cars were bodied by some of the best firms of the day with Merrimac being the largest supplier - said to be over 120 bodies.  The Merrimac Body Company, a spin-off of parent company J.B. Judkins was named for it’s location – Merrimac, MA. The body company got it’s start in 1920 when Judkins couldn’t handle a series production body order from Mercer. The Mercer fell through when Mercer filed for bankruptcy, but the company survived to serve duPont, Franklin, Locomobile, and most notably Rolls-Royce of America.

This car wears a Merrimac body described by duPont as a Special Sport Sedan. The body style was advertised in the day by duPont, but I would guess that few were built and this is where our story takes a wild turn.

It just so happens that The Pebble Beach Concours was hosting a featured class of duPonts this year and as I strolled though the cars lining up for the Tour d’Elegance Thursday, I spot this car. Not one like; but this very car! Apparently, Merrimac only built one Special Sport Sedan and it’s currently owned by a member of the DuPont family – how cool is that.

At the time of this picture, duPont had four dealer show rooms across the country: New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Los Angeles. The car is seen in front of 1 Sutton Place in Manhattan, an upscale apartment building completed in 1927 on the banks of the East River in mid-town. E. Paul duPont became president of Indian Motorcycles in 1930, saving Indian from impending financial ruin. The Du Pont Motor Company ceased building cars in 1932 due to the depression and was merged with the Indian Company.

The duPont Special Sport Sedan on the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance (author's photo)

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