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Auburn History

1936 Auburn 852

Chassis number : 33914E

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Sold for $605,000 at 2012 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auction.
Sold for $770,000 at 2015 Gooding & Company - Arizona.
Sold for $692,500 at 2022 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach.
In spite of the lingering effects of the Great Depression that gripped the United States and most of the world car designers continued to find inspiration and hope and produced some of the most memorable and remarkable custom coachwork. This wasn't just relegated to the Bugattis, Duesenbergs or Mercedes-Benzes of the world, there would be others that offered some truly fantastic and provoking designs. One such company could be found in Auburn, Indiana.

Born out of the Eckhart Carriage Company, Auburn Automobile Company would begin producing automobiles as early as 1904. By the 1920s, the company would be partnered with the Duesenberg Corporation. Having such a partnership helped the company employ some of the best and most imaginative designers. Alan Leamy would be one of those. He would go on to produce the well-respected Auburn Speedster and the 654 Cabriolet.

Having a motor racing influence, Auburn's designs would be futuristic, sleek, and yet, very elegant at the same time. Perhaps no design better embodied this than the Boattail Speedster.

The brainchild of Gordon Buehrig, the Boattail Speedster would be nothing but a work of art from nose to tail, each and every one that would be produced. It featured the Art Deco influences of the day, but also, the aerodynamic influences of tomorrow.

By the time the Boattail Speedster came onto the scene Auburn was already barely standing on its final leg. Production would cease in 1937, and this meant the number of Boattails would be small. In fact, between 1935 and 1936 just a total of 147 examples would be built, each one pieces of art from a gallery that was soon to close its doors.

Chassis 33914E would be one of those 147 and would be completed in 1936. One of the options offered at the time was the car could be painted in nearly any conceivable finish. This particular car would virtually stand alone among the others of its day as it boasted a striking hue of maroon and dark brown that only became more and more intriguing with different levels of light. But the finish wouldn't be the only exciting aspect to the car. Only the 147 examples that would be built between 1935 and 1936 would make use of the EX-32 Stromberg carburetor. Inspection of the car would reveal it still had this uncommon feature. Complete with the dramatic shape, unique engine and carburetor, exquisite finish and the undeniable exhaust, this Boattail certainly demanded respect.

It would be out of respect for the design and its inspiration the car would undergo an extensive restoration beginning in 2002. One of only about 50 examples of the Boattail Speedsters, no expense would be spared and as much of its original qualities would be kept. This would include the deeply stunning exterior finish and many other details.

Upon completion, the car would take part in the 2003 Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance. The work would be recognized and rewarded as the Auburn would come away with the People's Choice Award. This would attract the attention of the Petersen Automotive Museum and a deal would be struck sending the car to the museum for a period of about three years before it was again purchased, this time by Paul Petrovich of Sacramento.

The car would receive an invitation for the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and this would spark another, very detailed, restoration effort in which every small detail, even the original factory measurements of the splash pans, would be sought after and applied in order to make the Boattail as correct as possible. The efforts would be rewarded and the car would come away having earned the Editor's Choice award. This would lead to a Best in Show at the Niello Concours in El Dorado Hills, California.

A fine, award-winning example of the masterful Auburn Boattail Speedster, chassis 33914E would be made available for purchase as part of Gooding & Company's Scottsdale, Arizona auction in January of 2015. Striking and evocative from almost every angle, this Auburn would draw pre-auction estimates of between $700,000 and $850,000.

By Jeremy McMullen

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2022 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $800,000-USD $1,000,000 
Sale Price :
USD $692,500

2015 Gooding & Company - Arizona

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $700,000-USD $850,000 
Sale Price :
USD $770,000

2012 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auction

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $525,000-USD $575,000 
Sale Price :
USD $605,000

1936 Auburn 852 Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Auburn 852

(Data based on Model Year 1936 sales)
1936 Auburn 852 SC Phaeton
Chassis#: 34630H
Sold for USD$84,000
  2022 Worldwide Auctioneers : The Auburn Auction
 
1936 AUBURN 852 SC BOATTAIL SPEEDSTER
Chassis#: 33914-E
Sold for USD$692,500
  2022 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach
1936 Auburn 852 image  1936 Auburn 852 image  
1936 Auburn Boattail Speedster
Chassis#: SMS109089
Sold for USD$126,500
  2021 RM Auctions : Auburn Fall
 
1936 Auburn 852 SC Boattail Speedster
Chassis#: GH5425
Sold for USD$880,000
  2020 Worldwide Auctioneers : Scottsdale Arizona Auction
 
1936 Auburn 852 SC Phaeton Convertible
Sold for USD$88,000
  2019 Worldwide Auctioneers : Scottsdale, Arizona
 
1936 Auburn 852 SC Boattail Speedster
Chassis#: 35364E
Sold for USD$1,017,500
  2018 Mecum : Monterey
 
1936 Auburn 852 Cabriolet
Sold for USD$121,000
  2018 Mecum : Kissimmee
 
1936 Auburn Eight Custom Cabriolet
Chassis#: 852 5992 F
Sold for USD$93,500
  2017 RM Sothebys : Hershey
 
1936 Auburn Eight Custom Phaeton Sedan
Chassis#: 852 4688 H
Sold for USD$99,000
  2017 RM Sothebys : Hershey
1936 Auburn 852 image  1936 Auburn 852 image  
1936 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster
Chassis#: 852 35209 E
Sold for USD$1,017,500
  2017 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1936 Auburn 852 image  1936 Auburn 852 image  
1936 Auburn Speedster
Sold for USD$45,000
  2017 GAA : July
 
1936 Auburn 852 Supercharged Phaeton Sedan
Sold for USD$90,750
  2016 Auctions America : Auburn Spring
 
1936 Auburn 852 Speedster Replica
Sold for USD$70,400
  2015 Auctions America - Auburn Fall
 
1936 Auburn 852 Phaeton Sedan
Chassis#: 4652H
Sold for USD$67,100
  2015 Bonhams : Greenwich Concours
 
1936 AUBURN BOATTAIL SPEEDSTER CUSTOM RE-CREATION
Chassis#: AZ290583
Sold for USD$121,000
  2015 Barrett-Jackson - Scottsdale
 
1936 Auburn 852 SC Boattail Speedster
Chassis#: 33914E
Sold for USD$770,000
  2015 Gooding & Company - Arizona
1936 Auburn 852 image  1936 Auburn 852 image  
1936 AUBURN BOATTAIL SPEEDSTER CUSTOM RE-CREATION
Chassis#: AZ290583
Sold for USD$93,500
  2014 Barrett-Jackson, Las Vegas
 
1936 AUBURN BOATTAIL SPEEDSTER CONVERTIBLE
Chassis#: 535263E
Sold for USD$67,100
  2014 Barrett-Jackson, Las Vegas
 
1936 Auburn 852 Supercharged Phaeton Sedan
Sold for USD$95,700
  2014 Auctions America - Auburn Fall
 
1936 Auburn 852 Speedster Replica
Sold for USD$85,800
  2014 Auctions America - Auburn Fall
 

Auburn 852s That Failed To Sell At Auction

1936 Auburn 852's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1936 Auburn 852 Phaeton Sedan 2022 Mecum Indy$120,000  
1936 Auburn 852 Cabriolet 2017 Mecum : Las Vegas$120,000  
1936 Auburn Boat Tail Speedster 2017 Carlisle Auctions : Lakeland Fall   
1936 Auburn 852 Phaeton5817 H2017 The Finest : Boca Raton $110,000$140,000
1936 Auburn 852 Convertible Sedan 2017 Mecum : Kissimmee$90,000  
1936 Auburn 852 SC Boattail Speedster35364E2015 Mecum : Monterey$700,000$800,000$1,000,000
1936 Auburn 852SC Phaeton Sedan 2014 Auctions America Auburn Spring$90,000  
1936 AUBURN BOATTAIL SPEEDSTER REPLICA 2014 Mecum Houston$29,000  
1936 Auburn 852 Supercharged Phaeton 2013 Auctions America Auburn Fall$130,000  
1936 Auburn Speedster Replica 2013 Auctions America Auburn Fall   
1936 Auburn Roadster4SM73802013 Russo & Steele Newport Beach$185,000  
1936 AUBURN SPEEDSTER 2013 GPK Auction Atlantic City   
1936 Auburn 852SC Boattail Speedster85235209E2012 RM Auctions London$290,000$340,000$390,000
1936 Auburn 852 SC Boattail Speedster 2007 AACA Senior National 1st Prize35364E2012 Mecum Monterey, CA$625,000  
1936 AUBURN BOATAIL REPLICA 2009 Palm Springs Exotic Car Auctions February 2009$22,000  
1936 AUBURN BOATTAIL SPEEDSTER 2007 Silver Auction Sun Valley$70,000  
1936 AUBURN BOAT TAIL SPEEDSTERAZ2760202007 Silver Auction Hot August Nights$65,000  
1936 AUBURN BOAT TAIL SPEEDSTERAZ2760202007 Silver Auction Hot August Nights$65,000  
1936 AUBURN BOAT TAIL SPEEDSTERAZ2760202007 Silver Auction Hot August Nights$65,000  
1936 AUBURN BOATAIL SPCONAZ2644432004 Palm Springs Exotic Car Auctions November 2004$32,000  
1936 AUBURN (REPLICA) BOATAIL SPEEDSTER 2003 Kruse Auction Denver, CO$27,000  
1936 AUBURN 852 CONVERTIBLE SEDAN 2001 Kruse Auction Santa Clara, CA$65,000  
1936 AUBURN 852 SPEEDSTER 2001 Kruse Auction Auburn, IN$140,000  

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1936 Auburn 852 vehicle thumbnail image  1936 Auburn 852 vehicle thumbnail image  
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1936 Auburn 852 vehicle thumbnail image  1936 Auburn 852 vehicle thumbnail image