How the Duesenberg brothers redefined the great American automobile

US-395 winds across California's high desert beneath the Sierra Nevada.

 Cruelly hot in summer and freezing in winter, it can also be windblown, sweeping Isetta-size tumbleweeds across the gritty terrain like demonic medicine balls.

Volcanology and Duesenberg? Chance and wild nature.

The enormous engine laboriously turned its 350-pound crankshaft through 12 gallons of 50-weight oil, moaning like a Mitchell bomber's radial.

Straight-eight engine powers live rear axle via non-synchro three-speed gearbox and torque tube. 

Two chains drive the cams: one from the crankshaft to a jackshaft reduction sprocket and another around the camshaft sprockets.

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