|1935 Auburn 851 Phaeton Dual Ratio!
1935 Auburn 851 Phaeton Dual Ratio!
After cajoling the stumbling automobile manufacturer's backers into embracing his plans for recovery, entrepreneur par excellence Errett Lobban Cord became the Auburn Automobile Company's General Manager during 1924. One of his immediate methods of raising short-term capital was nothing short of genius: merely livening up unsold models sitting in the small-town factoryís dispatch lots. Cord did this with new paint schemes that were accented smartly by brilliantly nickel-plated trim. Coupled with Cordís savvy marketing skills, he managed to triple sales of the Auburn in each of the following consecutive three years.
Cord soon rose to take his investors over and finish out the 'Roaring Twenties' by acquiring the ultra-exclusive Duesenberg nameplate as well as launching a brand within his new empire that would bear his own name. Yet no greater skills were asked of Cord than those that were tested during the early years of the Great Depression. From coast to coast, businesses of every type faced dissolution and destruction at every turn. While sales were without question slower, Cordís Indiana manufacturing concern remained strong thanks mostly to the well-built, well-engineered and not the least of which skillfully-styled automobiles that straddled the line between opulent and affordable.
For 1935, a year in which recovery began to show its face, Auburns were re-styled across the board by the brilliant young designer, Gordon Buehrig. Cord and Buehrig both had been hard at work reviving the concept of another front-wheel-drive luxury sporting car that would again bear the Cord nameplate, yet a taste of these cars was available on the Auburns. Power was impressive on the standard 851s with at least 115 horsepower coming from the inline 8-cylinder Lycoming mill; backed up by a 3-speed manual transmission and optional 2-speed Columbia rear axle, the cars were capable of excellent performance around town or at turnpike speeds alike. Styling cues were not overlooked either; the Auburn front end design sported a racy new grille and hood line as well. Interiors were stylish, opulent and inviting especially considering the price point at which the cars hit the marketplace.
Restored in Southern California with comprehensive photographic documentation of the frame-off recommissioning of this automotive masterpiece, this 1935 Auburn 851 Phaeton was treated to a Concours d'Elegance level of preparation and has been impeccably well-preserved and cared for since that time. Shown extensively following the completion of restoration, it then hit the tour circuit before being relegated to use in occasional shows. Just two years and 1,000 miles ago, the engine and select mechanicals were rebuilt or refreshed with some upgrades to make the car an excellent machine with which to attend tours and shows without requiring a trailer to convey it from point to point. Among these refinements, this 851 has had its electrical system converted to 12 volts and is charged by an alternator rather than a generator. For passenger comfort, the car also has a professionally-integrated air conditioning system that combines subtlety and function.
With excellent provenance, ownership, restoration and careful preservation by the same enthusiast for nearly the past thirty years, this particular Auburn Phaeton is thus in very uncommon condition compared to most examples that appear on the market today. Primed to tour and detailed for show alike, it will never fail to impress.
Price: This Auburn will be auctioned at Russo and Steele in Monterey CA August 12-14, 2010
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