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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The story of 'Midnight Ghost'

In the annals of automotive history, the name Duesenberg resonates with timeless elegance and luxury. However, the story takes an intriguing turn between 1937 and 1940 when the production of Duesenberg came to a halt after financial troubles befell Cord's empire. Amidst this backdrop, a singular car emerged, casting its own spell on the legacy of Duesenberg – the "Duesenberg Coupé Simone Midnight Ghost."
1939 Duesenberg Coupé Simone 'Midnight Ghost.' (Picture from: DieselPunks)
Crafted by Emmet-Armand Coachworks of Green Brier, Pennsylvania, this masterpiece was more than just a car; it was an embodiment of artistry and passion. Commissioned by the French cosmetics tycoon Gui De LaRouche, the car took three years to reach completion, becoming the final chapter in Duesenberg's illustrious history.
1939 Duesenberg Coupé Simone 'Midnight Ghost' made by an American car body designer, Emmet-Armand on the basis of the Duesenberg Type J and ordered by the French cosmetics king Gui (Guy) De LaRouche. (Picture from: DieselPunks)
Inspired by the Art Deco movement's modernist lines, the "Midnight Ghost" exuded the romance of a bygone era. The elongated body, elegantly sweeping fenders, and a luxuriously appointed interior, featuring a crystal-clear steering wheel, all contributed to its timeless allure.
Rear side view of 1939 Duesenberg Coupé Simone 'Midnight Ghost.' (Picture from: DieselPunks)
Gui De LaRouche, a man who believed in succumbing to one's passions, envisioned the car as a gift for his lover, Simone. With Emmet-Armand at the helm and under the watchful eye of LaRouche's assistant, Antoine St. Claire, the car took shape, complete with a Duesenberg-supplied supercharger. Scheduled for a spotlight at the 1939 World's Fair in New York, it was eventually shipped to Paris for LaRoche's approval.
1939 Duesenberg Coupé Simone 'Midnight Ghost' in the lilac (purple) and green paint job.  (Picture from: DieselPunks)
It was delivered to LaRoche. The French cosmetics magnate went for a twilight drive in the car. He was going 60 mph when he decided to open it up and put his right foot to the floor. The supercharger screamed and his head jerked back with the acceleration as the 265 bhp engine came to life. When it finished fishtailing, he was going over 120 mph. It nearly scared him out of his wits.
Right side view of 1939 Duesenberg Coupé Simone 'Midnight Ghost.' (Picture from: DieselPunks)
However, the tale takes a whimsical twist when LaRoche, unsatisfied with the initial grey-on-grey paint scheme, opted for a more vibrant lilac and green. The car's appearance became as unconventional as its journey.

As the drums of war echoed and Hitler marched into France, the "Duezy" vanished, concealed somewhere in the French countryside to evade the Nazis. Intriguingly, Emmet, the craftsman behind this automotive masterpiece, disappeared along with it. The last sighting of the "Simone Midnight Ghost" was at the Kolb Showroom in New York in 1940.
The enigma of this extraordinary car continues, with the possibility that the "Midnight Ghost" rests in a forgotten barn or succumbed to the ravages of war. Its legacy endures as one of the most stunning designs of the 20th century, propelled by a 6.9-liter, 32-valve, supercharged V8 engine generating 265 bhp. Imagining its top speed at around 120 mph adds another layer to the mystique surrounding this automotive masterpiece. 

In the tapestry of automotive history, the "Duesenberg Coupé Simone Midnight Ghost" remains a ghostly enigma, a symbol of passion, craftsmanship, and a bygone era's allure, forever etched in our collective memories...

Updates (12/07/20): 
In a comment from a reader, it was highlighted that the car in question is a fictional creation, never brought to life in full-scale reality. Citing a reliable source, the information suggests that the vehicle only exists as a 1:24 scale model meticulously crafted by Franklin Mint. This revelation raises questions about the narrative's authenticity, prompting speculation or the likelihood that the story was intentionally disseminated for marketing purposes. For a more in-depth discussion, interested readers can refer to the comments section below this article. 

Despite these assertions, there remains a lack of concrete evidence supporting the existence of this car in real life. The mention of only a 1:24 scale model further adds to the skepticism, as there is no authenticated proof bolstering this claim. Consequently, the responsibility now rests on the readers to form their own judgment.

In our perspective, the notion of bringing this car model to life in full-scale, functioning form akin to a regular car holds merit. The question is posed: are you interested in seeing this become a reality? *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | DIESELPUNKS | WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG | ANGELFIRE ]
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