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Jay Leno Sued Over 1931 Model J Dusenberg

Posted in Cars, Celebrity Cars, Classic, Expensive Cars, Newsworthy by Suzanne Denbow | October 17th, 2008 | 3 Responses |

According to reports, the estate of a Macy’s heir is suing late-night talk show host and avid car collector Jay Leno for his allegedly illegal possession of his antique 1931 Model J Dusenberg. Apparently, the Model J in question was previously owned by Macy’s heir, John Strauss, and had been garaged along with his 1930 Rolls Royce in Manhattan’s Windsor Garage for 50 years. Unbeknownst to Strauss, in 2005, Windsor Garage took possession of the cars and placed them up for auction, citing $29,000 worth of unpaid parking fees as the cause. Two separate purchasers then acquired ownership of the Strauss’ cars; Jay Leno, the Model J Dusenberg, and an unidentified buyer, the Rolls Royce.

Strauss, who passed away this year, was suffering from dementia at the time and according to the lawsuit, did not consent to the auction of his vehicles under. Despite Windsor Garage’s claim to rightful repossesion, the Strauss legal camp insists the charges are illegitimate and the sale of Strauss’ cars were completed under fraudulent terms. Thusly, the lawsuit is demanding the return of both cars as well as unspecified monetary damages.

Source: AutoNews

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3 Responses

  1. The car that Jay Leno bought was, from what I’ve read, not an open car such as he is pictured in. Old Cars Weekly did a two page (spread) article on this purchase, making it sound as if Jay Leno got the deal of the century; just because the car he bought happened to be a Duesenburg, aka “a Duesie.” (Hence the term that hardly anyone uses anymore, “She’s a Duesie” for anything that is now more commonly called “cool.”)

    Furthermore, the family of Mr. Strauss wants an amount equal to what an open car might have bought at auction, versus the price that Jay Leno paid for an enclosed car, that true enough was indeed a Dusenberg, which far from concours shape.

    Then of course, that legal term that covers a lot of ground – “damages” – is being thrown in to cover time and expense, meaning of course the expense of retaining an attorney to take time to file this lawsuit and pursue it.

    That’s not to say this case doesn’t have merit. But someone should ask the family if they’d want the cars back, in order to sell said cars themselves, at auction or through say Hemmings Motor News, just to see there response. I think we all can predict what it would be.

    Maybe some judge, worth his or her title, will do just that. Unfortunately, we will all be hearing more about this case than we might like to, in the coming weeks, maybe even months.

  2. Dan Wilson says:

    I think that Shakespeare had it right…..”First, we kill all the lawyers”…

  3. Lightnup says:

    Wonder if they’d be suing if Mr. Strauss had failed to pay $29,000 in parking fees for his ’75 Buick Skyhawk and ’68 Ford Galaxie?