1933 Auburn Twelve Boattail Speedster
Lot No. 5169
Auctioned on Saturday, August 31, 2013
Sold for $371,250
- Desirable Auburn V-12 with two-speed Columbia rear end offering effortless highway cruising.
- Painstakingly assembled by a well-known Auburn enthusiast.
- Recreated from an original speedster body, V-12 chassis components, engine, and drivetrain.
- Driven sparingly but well cared-for since its completion.
391.6-cid, 160-hp, horizontal valve V-12 engine with three-speed manual transmission and Columbia electric overdrive, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and four-wheel vacuum-assisted hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 133-inches
Auburn’s Salon Twelve model of 1933 combined the Indiana automaker’s top-of-the-line 160 horsepower Lycoming V-12 with a host of new engineering, comfort, and stylistic improvements. Mounted on live rubber air cushions atop a frame strengthened with a new front A-member, it powered a car with such advanced features as adjustable vacuum-boosted brakes, a dual-ratio rear axle, Bijur chassis lubrication, Houdaille double-acting shock absorbers, and a tubular cowl frame structure, similar to that found on the fuselage of an airplane. Special body trim included a painted radiator shell that vee’d out at the bottom, a radiator cap concealed by the hood, headlamps with unique convex lenses, and stylized “ribbon” bumpers.
Due to the Great Depression and Auburn’s continuing financial difficulties, the Salon Twelve was actively built only in 1933. While it continued in offering into 1934 – the only Twelve model to do so – the cars sold that year were retitled 1933s.
Of all the Salon Twelve Auburns constructed, the most sought-after is the racy Speedster, of which it is believed fourteen original examples were built. These are among the most desirable of all Auburns, and arguably the best-looking automobile that the company ever built.
The car shown here is essentially a “new” Salon Twelve Speedster, which was painstakingly assembled, utilizing original Auburn Twelve components, by a well-known Auburn enthusiast. Rebodied to correct factory standards utilizing an original speedster body of this era, original V-12 chassis components, and an original engine and drivetrain, it was restored to extremely high-point standards of fit, finish, and trim throughout. Much attention was given to making the presentation of the car as accurate as humanly possible, with even the rarest, most specialized trim pieces and equipment sought out and installed, including all the desirable genuine Salon trim. The cowl tag is a reproduction of an original, in the collection of an ACD Club member, and is the final touch on an outstanding Auburn Boattail
Shown at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club National Reunion, the car has been seldom driven but well-kept and maintained since its completion. This Auburn would be a proud showpiece for any collection, to which it would add elegance and sporty Classic Era style. The beauty is undeniable.