1935 Auburn 851SC Cabriolet SOLD

RM Vintage Motorcars in Arizona - Biltmore Resort & Spa, Friday January 19, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $125,000 - $175,000
OFFERED WITHOUT RESERVE

$121,000 Sold

150bhp, 280 cu. in. inline eight-cylinder engine, Schwitzer-Cummins centrifugal “ Super-Charger, ” three-speed pre-selector transmission, two-speed rear axle, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel Bendix hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 127"

The Auburn Automobile Company was established in 1903 in Auburn, Indiana by Charles Eckhart. Although known as a builder of reliable automobiles, it wasn ’ t until 1924 when entrepreneur and car salesman supreme E. L. Cord was invited by bankers to assume the presidency of the failing company that Auburn ’ s image and stature in the automobile industry changed dramatically.

Cord immediately hired J.M. Crawford to redesign the Auburn line-up of four, six and eight-cylinder models. The most powerful Auburn was America ’ s lowest priced eight-cylinder car. The Lycoming-powered eight-cylinder Auburn became the basis of the Cord Corporation that ultimately included Checker Cab, Lycoming Manufacturing, Stinson Aircraft, Duesenberg, Cord and more.

Unfortunately, the Depression resulted in the collapse of the once buoyant auto market, and by 1931 auto industry production fell by more than 29% from the previous year. Yet, at Auburn sales had increased considerably, although overall corporate profits were down substantially. The 32,301 cars built by Auburn was a 173.2% increase for the calendar year making the firm the 13th largest producer of automobiles. The reason for Auburn ’ s success in 1931 was the new model 8-98, but the triumph was short lived as sales declined in 1932 and 1933.

For 1934 the Auburn line-up was restyled by Al Leamy and an Auburn six-cylinder model was introduced. The styling was a flop, and by mid-1934 the assembly lines were halted so that the much improved, face-lifted 1935 model could be rushed into production.

In 1935, Auburn sales brochures declared the latest Gordon Buehrig design as being “ Exclusive-Distinctive- Individual. ” Hollywood stars such as Mary Astor and George Murphy drove 1935 Auburns.

Adding to the Auburn ’ s appeal, in 1935, the Schwitzer-Cummins centrifugal “ Super-Charger ” was an option on the entire eight-cylinder Auburn line-up. The Super-Charger versions were easily identified by four flexible stainless-steel exhaust pipes exiting the engine compartment via the left side of the hood and running through the fender. For that reason the spare was housed in the lower compartment of the built-in rear trunk.

All 1935 Auburns are noted for better riding qualities thanks to a lower centre of gravity, a reduction of unsprung weight, and lower seat placement. In total, 6,316 six and eight-cylinder Auburns were built in 1935, only a handful of which were Auburn 815SC Cabriolets.

Beautifully detailed, painted a bright red, outfitted with a burgundy leather interior and a matching rumble seat, this Supercharged Auburn looks at speed when standing still.

Having undergone an earlier frame-off restoration, both a mechanical and subsequent cosmetic restoration was completed more recently. This Auburn remains in excellent condition throughout with only the slightest patina. As well, this stylishly quick Cabriolet sports a three position black fabric top, a two-speed rear axle, radio and heater.

The history of ownership of this highly collectible Auburn 815SC Cabriolet can be traced back to the 1940s and was verified by noted ACD historian Paul Bryant, making this example even more desirable.

Reference Number 5834

as of 1/10/2007

Overview
Car 1935 Auburn 851SC Cabriolet
VIN 33705F 
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