Gordon Buehrig

Gordon Miller Buehrig, born in Mason City, Illinois, in 1904, was only 25 when he became the chief body designer for Duesenberg. There he rendered some of the most stunning classic body designs ever penned. He has been named by the Society of Automotive Historians as one of the 30 most important men in the history of the automotive industry. He understood body engineering like few designers did. Harold Ames, Auburn's vice president, recognized his exceptional talent and brought Buehrig to the Auburn Automobile Company to restyle the slow selling 1934 Auburn line. Although he worked with a miniscule budget, Buehrig executed a brilliant facelift, changing the car's grille, hood, and front fenders, creating one of the most beautiful Auburns ever built.

In 1933, Buehrig designed a 'baby' Duesenberg for the company, which was to be a high performance car and sell at a lesser cost. he was taken off this project to design the 1935 Auburn. When asked to design the Cord 810, he brought to life some of his concepts from the 'baby' Duesenberg. According to Buehrig, 'The opportunity to work out the design of the new Cord and have it a front-wheel-drive vehicle gave me an assignment as ideal as an automotive designed could imagine.' Among the innovations that he incorporated in the new Cord were retractable headlights, a rear hinged hood, absence of running boards and no visible radiator. Eventually, these would all be adopted by the industry at large.

After the demise of the Auburn Automobile Company, Buehrig went on to have a distinguished career with Raymond Loewy's design firm and with the Ford Motor Company from 1951 to 1965. He influenced a new generation of top designers as a teacher at Art Center College of Design from 1965 through 1970. he continued a lifelong passion for innovation until his death in 1990. Concepts that he developed during his later years included a two-engine vehicle, similar to today's hybrid vehicles, and a patent for a front-end airbag.