1935 Auburn 851 Speedster

Another Spring cabriolet for open-air driving: The Auburn Speedster was a powerful, affordable, stylish car. The design was gorgeous, Art deco influenced, with sweeping body lines. It featured the streamlined boat tail body, and (aluminum or chrome?) exhaust pipes on the passenger side, immense curvaceous fenders, and lots of chrome in front. Speedster owners of the era were known to park to show off the external chrome-colored pipes.

I have always been a fan of the Cords and Auburns from this era. Both the Auburn 851 Speedster below, and the Cord Model 810/812 (see thisthisthis and this) were styled by Gordon Buehrig, the Duesenberg design chief.

Although the Speedster is special today for its design and styling, it was known for its astonishing performance. The supercharged straight 8 engine by Lycoming made 150hp — a staggering amount of power for its day — set speed records.

These are exceedingly rare, and if you are interested a great history of the Boattail Speedster is here.

This car is was revived by the legendary Glenn Pray, who in 1960 purchased the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg name and all their leftover stock. He produced a total of 113 “continuation cars” —  a mix for Lincoln and Auburn parts that was both true to the original 1930s design but often used some modern running gear. The car below was featured in the film “Seabiscuit.”

New, these sold for $2,245; Originals sell regularly for $400k and up.

 

Car on the set of the film Seabiscuit:

Source: California Classix

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