Jump to content


Photo

Fred Frame Duesenberg 'Duchess' history


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 bsatriple

bsatriple
  • New Member

  • 14 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 29 June 2009 - 18:46

I would like to get information on the Duchess Racing Team. That was the way she spelled it on the side of the car. In the 1940's the famous Fred Frame Duesenberg was part of the stable of "Duchess" Dorothy Gruman (?-Grauman). She raced on the west coast. Any information would appreciated. This car became part of the Cunningham collection in 1951. It appears it had been owned by John Mosekian and Jack Stevns in the San Francisco area at that time. Any information or ideas will be most appreciated-Paul-BSA triple

Advertisement

#2 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 29 June 2009 - 18:48

The "Duchess of Portland", wasn't it? I vaguely recall something, but will have to dig deep...

#3 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 29 June 2009 - 20:03

:)

Posted Image

Unfortunately, I haven't much more... as a Big Car owner, she ran a #6 "McDowell Special" for Les Anderson in the Northwest in 1940, said to be very successful, with several wins. They came down to Oakland in September, and qualified third for the 500 mile race, but no mention of him in the race reports - like five other top ten qualifiers! At the time, it was reported that she had had a car in the 1939 race also, but I can't find no info about that. Incidentally, the 1940 Oakland 500 is the last race I have an entry for Fred Frame, presumably with the Duesenberg - not sure if he even appeared for practice! :( And for what it's worth, I've seen a picture of Jack Stevens together with Fred Frame, posing for an advert it seems. It's in the Tom Motter "Oakland Speedway" book, p86.

Edited by fines, 29 June 2009 - 20:08.


#4 bsatriple

bsatriple
  • New Member

  • 14 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 30 June 2009 - 12:26

Thank you anything you can come up with will be appreciated. Sincerely-Paul

#5 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,149 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 30 July 2011 - 09:46

A few more notes about the Duchess Racing Team of Dorothy Gruman - not to be confused with Dorothy Grunwald, the maiden name of Mrs. Rex Houston Mays! Gruman ran a "Douglas Air-Cooled Special" for Northern Californian driver Gene Figone in 1939, possibly late 1938 already - apparently with an aircraft-derived engine. At the 1939 Oakland 500, she entered two cars: the Douglas for Figone, and a Duesenberg for Jimmie Miller - that has to be the Frame/Duesenberg already - but both cars retired early, though Miller started from pole position. By 1941, her team had expanded to three cars, numbered in sequence from #42 to #44, but no other details are available at the time. Drivers included Figone again, Al Doerr (#42), George "Gabby" Gilbert (#43), Harry Alley and Fred Frame's ill-starred son Bob (#44), who finished 10th in a 200-miler at Oakland on July 4 - the best Duchess team result I was able to find, although there were a few heat wins.

#6 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,149 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 21 June 2012 - 11:02

The Oregonian (Portland, OR), Tuesday, November 10, 1959:

Funeral services for Mrs. Dorothy Hylah Gruman (...) will be Thursday at 10 a.m. in Ross Hollywood Chapel, with private commitment at Riverview Abbey Mausoleum. (...) Mrs. Gruman, the wife of Ralph H. Gruman who survives, died Sunday, on her birthday, following an extended illness. She was born November 8, 1899, in Brownsville, Ore., and was a Portland resident for 50 years.