July 26: Fred Duesenberg, co-founder of Duesenberg Motors, dies on this date in 1932


German brothers Frederick and August Duesenberg founded their eponymous motor company in 1913, and quickly became known for building the fastest, most powerful vehicles of the era. Fred Duesenberg's famous "Straight 8" engine had features that some automakers still haven't fully embraced, like overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. Their cars were the wheels of choice for Hollywood stars and the wealthy — but despite their skills as engineers, the Duesenbergs never had the business acumen to make their company a success.

Fred Duesenberg died on this date in 1932 due to pneumonia caught as a complication from an auto accident; today Duesebergs are among the most valuable collector cars in the world. It's one of Jay Leno's favorites, as shown below:

Photos: Rex Gray via Flickr