RK Motors to Revive Historic 1921 Duesenberg French Grand Prix/Indy 500 Racer

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Comprehensive Restoration Back to Original Race-Ready Condition Underway

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“This is a car that someone like me dreams about working on."

With the acquisition of a famous and historic 1921 Duesenberg Grand Prix racer, RK Motors embarks on reviving yet another icon of automotive history. Following the critical acclaim of RK Motors’ restoration and film series documenting the story behind P/1046, the Ford GT40 that was the first American car to win at Le Mans, car collector and racer Rob Kauffman set his sights on restoring another classic example of American racing heritage.

This original Duesenberg race car, which competed in the 1921 French Grand Prix at Le Mans and an Indy 500, was purchased with the plans of a full restoration back to its original grand prix condition. A sister car, driven by Jim Murphy, won the race and was the first American driver in an American car to win a Grand Prix. This car is believed to be the No. 6 car driven by A. Guyot, which also competed in the 1922 Indy 500. As it sits, the car is mostly original and features most of its unique parts, including its innovative 183 c.i., overhead cam, inline eight-cylinder engine, as well as the first-of-its-type hydraulic four-wheel braking system.

“We plan to restore the car to its original condition, as it sat at the starting line of the 1921 French Grand Prix,” said Rob Kauffman, owner of RKC Private Collection. “It’s a privilege to be able to help preserve such an important piece of racing history. We look forward to working with the collector car community and marque experts to help ensure this car is done to as high of a standard and level of originality as possible.”

Evan Ide, senior specialist at Bonhams and proprietor of Historic Vehicle Services, Uxbridge, Massachusetts, advised prior to the acquisition and will oversee the restoration. “This is a car that someone like me dreams about working on,” Evans said. “While we were still in the research phase, I know Rob (Kauffman) wants to make sure the car is done in a way that recognizes its historical significance.”

RK Motors recently completed another prolific restoration, that of chassis P/1046, the GT40 that won the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours, one of the most famous finishes in motorsports history. The restoration was also that of back-to-original condition, earning RK Motors and restoration experts Rare Drive of East Kingston, New Hampshire, “Best in Class” at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Watch the seven-part video series on the restoration here: http://gt40.rkmotorscharlotte.com.

RK Motors and Historic Vehicles Services plan to publish the progress of the 1921 Duesenberg restoration as it develops allowing enthusiasts to enjoy the journey of restoring the car back to its original condition. To stay up to date on the car’s progress, please visit rkmotorscharlotte.com for updates on this and other projects.

About RK Motors
RK Motors Charlotte is the nation’s premier dealer of classic, muscle and high performance cars. RK Motors’ state-of-the-art, 60,000 square-foot east coast showroom has become a global destination for car lovers. HOT ROD Magazine named RK Motors the nation’s #1 “must-see” destination for gearheads and enthusiasts. For more information, visit: rkmotorscharlotte.com. Follow RK Motors on Facebook, facebook.com/RKMotorsCharlotte and on Instagram, instagram.com/rkmotorscharlotte.

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