The true cars of ‘The Great Gatsby’ era


Even the casual car fans who helped push “The Great Gatsby” to a $51.1-million opening weekend probably noticed the Duesenberg Model J driven by Leonardo DiCaprio’s title character.

The more chronologically inclined car fans may have also noticed that despite the book and film taking place in 1922, the bright-yellow Duesenberg was built in 1929. Such an oversight is common with films that are set in a particular time when a car may match the general period but not the actual dates.

Given the aesthetic gravitas of the Model J, it’s no surprise that director Baz Lurhmann would choose the car for his visually compelling film. And given Gatsby’s taste, it’s certainly likely that were he in the market for a new car in 1929, a Duesenberg would be high on his list.


PHOTOS: Rare cars from the Great Gatsby era

But that’s not the only car from the Roaring ‘20s that are worthy of screen time, according to Hagerty Insurance, which insures and values classic cars.

The Michigan-based company put together a list of one car from each year of the decade that would be worthy of Gatsby’s attention and a turn on the silver screen.

“The 1920s brought together an intoxicating convergence of influences for the automobile,” McKeel Hagerty, the company’s president and chief executive, said in a statement. “These cars were not just about transportation and practicality; there were about projecting the wider, richer lifestyle of the age.”

The list includes names many will recognize, including Rolls Royce, Cadillac, Lincoln, and the aforementioned Duesenberg. But it also includes cars from long-lost marques like Pierce-Arrow, Isotta Fraschini, Kissel and Mercer.

Click through the list to see the 10 cars and learn what makes each special.


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