JOHN WAYNE AIRPORT — The Duesenberg was the first American super-car, a luxury available only to royalty and stars like Greta Garbo and Clark Gable.
With their sleek design, side-mounted spare tires and impeccably restored chrome and paint, 10 Duesenbergs — a car produced from 1913 to 1937 — will be on display at the Lyon Air Museum from July 9 to July 24.
The cars belong to Gen. William Lyon of Coto de Caza, the home-building magnate and retired Air Force commander who founded the museum at John Wayne Airport.
Lyon's son, Bill Lyon of Newport Beach, said the collection is extraordinary not only because of the Duesenbergs' beauty, but because of their history.
The cars on display include a Duesenberg used in 1938's "It's a Wonderful Life" and 1982's "Annie."
"All these cars are important to us aesthetically, but to recognize the design and the period it was in ... There was this much attention to design, detail, luxury and power in America," Bill Lyon said. "It's certainly not given enough credit."