At a Glance
Generously donated to Revs Institute by Thomas L. duPont
Straight eight-cylinder, side valve, in-line engine, L-head 322 cubic inches, 140 hp at 3600 rpm.
About the 1929 Du Pont Model G Four-Passenger Speedster
The Du Pont Speedster was one of the most desirable American sports cars produced in the late 1920s. Its aristocratic name and racy look made it the darling of Hollywood film stars, New York socialites, and Pittsburgh tycoons.
In 1919, E. Paul duPont began his motorcar venture by assembling the finest outsourced components available into luxurious and sophisticated cars. The new marque’s prestige was assured when popular silent movie star, Mary Pickford bought an early two-seater for her husband Douglas Fairbanks.
Having produced 350 cars, duPont introduced his landmark Model G in 1928. With no less than 16 body styles, the new car maintained the brand’s luxurious image, but now combined it with stirring performance thanks to its 125 hp, eight-cylinder Continental engine and Warner four-speed transmission. The racy Speedster was the sports car version of the Model G. Available in either two- or four-seat versions with an uprated 140 hp engine, the Speedster was designed for the country club sportsman.
The company entered two four-seat Speedsters in the 1929 24 Hours of Le Mans. Alas, only one Speedster was ready in time. Driven by Charles Moran, Jr., the car performed well until the rules-required passenger ballast broke free and damaged the driveshaft. Undeterred, Du Pont subsequently entered Moran and a two-seat Speedster for the 1930 Indy 500. A spin and crash on the 22nd lap put an end to Du Pont’s racing ambitions. But, as intended, competition had made the Model G sporting news.
Demand for the fabulous Du Pont vanished with the Great Depression. The company ceased production in January 1932, having produced a mere 547 cars.
The Du Pont Speedster on display is one of 15 produced and one of the three still extant.