Duesenburg Midnight Ghost is the ghost car that was never built. What is, in fact, the reality behind the legend?
The story began, as many stories begin, in 1930s France. Duesenburg Midnight Ghost Simone was built between 1937 and 1939.
Legend has it that the car was ordered by fashion and cosmetics tycoon Guy Laroche after he saw the vehicle driven by the main character in the movie “The Clearing Cloud”. Duesenberg Midnight Ghost was to be a gift for his girlfriend, Simone. The construction was supervised by his assistant, Antoine St. Claire.
The car was made by Emmet-Armand in Pennsylvania, USA, as well as the car in the film, based on the Duesenberg Type-J model. But its bizarre design seems inspired by the Phantom Corsair.
Duesenberg Midnight Ghost would be delivered to Paris in 1939, even by the founders of the construction company, Emmett Hardnock and Armand Minasian, to receive the approval of La Roche.
When they arrived in France, Emmet and Armand found a bizarre love triangle between Laroche, Simone and St. Claire. Laroche called his assistant and his girlfriend traitors and threatened to sue them. Laroche kept the car. Meanwhile Emmet Hardnock, Armand Minasin and St. Claire tried to steal his car and take him back to the United States.
After the beginning of the war, St. Claire wrote to the two, who returned to the United States, telling them that she was trying to find a safe place for the coupe recovered from the fashion designer, so that it would not fall prey to the Nazis. Meanwhile, St. Claire and the car disappeared without a trace.
According to another version, not even confirmed, Guy Laroche destroyed the car in an accident on the day it was delivered.
Another invented legend claims that Emmet Harnock disappeared by car altogether.
Duesenberg Midnight Ghost, the real story
As beautiful as this legend is, it is not real. In fact, Duesenberg Midnight Ghost was never built on a real scale. They were just digitally made drawings that showed the stunning design of an imaginary car.
In 1998, a 1:24 scale model was made by Franklin Mint. Such models are sold nowadays, with prices between 160 and 700 dollars, on the profile sites. The images circulating in the online environment exclusively show models photographed so that the car looks real.