“It was a rich cream colour, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hatboxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of windshields that mirrored a dozen suns”.
It was also – in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ – a Rolls Royce. However Baz Luhrmann, never one to let reality interrupt the stylised nature of his films, cast a 1929 Duesenberg Model J in his 2013 move adaptation, set in 1922.
Despite deviating from both the book and, er… time, the Duesenberg Model J was the perfect vehicle with which to represent the extraordinary opulence of the story’s titular character. The fastest and most expensive automobile of the time, the Duesenberg Model J was the car of choice for America’s ultra-wealthy, with bodywork created by any number of American or European coach-builders, a weight of up to three tons, and a straight-eight engine that could, if optionally supercharged in ‘SJ form’, make 400bhp.
This astounding model of the Duesenberg SJ used in 2013’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ is the work of the fantastically talented Adrian Drake and is – like its real-world counterpart – quite unfathomably long.
Measuring 144 studs from front to rear bumper, with a complete interior behind four opening doors, LED lighting, and the most intricate and incredible brick-built wheels we’ve ever seen, Adrian’s creation is fit for the most mysterious of 1920s millionaires.
It also wears a truly jaw-dropping body, created from a myriad of overlapping bricks, plates and tiles, that can only be accomplished when building at a scale as large as this.
A stunning collection of imagery reveals Adrian’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ Duesenberg SJ in phenomenal detail, and you can find it – along with the builder’s other works – on Flickr. Click the link above to take a ride across 1920s New York, and here to see the real movie car doing just that in Baz Lurhmann’s gloriously over-the-top film interpretation.