The Duesenberg brothers established the DUESENBERG American company. They started by producing bicycles and Enginecycles. Their first automobile was a 2-cylinder racecar made in 1904. They began producing Model A passenger cars in 1920. In 1927, they took over the EL Cord company. Automobile production ceased in 1937, with the company producing a total of 1,000 automobiles of which 480 were the expensive, luxury J and SJ models.
In 1966, Fred Duesenberg, (son of one of the original owners) attempted to resurrect the trademark. Virgil Exner designed the car and the Italian manufactured Ghia body which never passed the prototype stage. Since 1970, DUESENBERG EngineS has produced made-to-order cars replicating the prewar Duesenberg 2 model.