1932 Auburn 8-100

Speedsters were produced in Auburn, Indiana from 1928 thru 1936, except in 1934. In 1932 the car carried a sticker price of $845. The 1932 Auburn Speedster Model 8-100 was powered by a straight-8 cylinder Lycoming engine displacing 268 cubic-inches and producing 100 horsepower. The engine was mated to a three-speed transmission and utilized four-wheel mechanical brakes.

This red boattail Speedster shown at the 2006 Hilton Head Concours was found in a trolley barn in Kearney, New Jersey in 1948 and stored until 1995. It took seven years for the restoration.
The Auburn Boattail Speedster is arguably the most popular of all Boattails. Introduced in 1928, there were eventually three different body styles before production ended in 1936.

This 1932 speedster is an early car in basically original condition. ACD Club records indicate only four dozen or so (32) speedsters are known.

Special features include art deco mirrors, two-speed rear-end, golf club compartment and artistic styling.
The 1932 Auburn Speedster is a legendary automobile. Automobile Quarterly called it '...the flashiest, the most flamboyant and the most outlandishly impractical motorcar imaginable.' Under the design of 28 year old Alan Leamy, the Auburn Speedster body was designed as a flowing, integral unit. Its unusual body style was not adapted from a horse-drawn carriage, making it one of the first designs unique to an automobile. The Auburn Model 8-100A had a 268-cubic inch engine which produced 100 horsepower. Numerous speed records were set by Auburns. The car was equipped with a Columbia dual-ratio rear axle, free-wheeling, Bijur chassis lubrication system, ride control shocks and a Startix automatic starter. Auburns were manufactured in Auburn, IN, by the same company that produced Cords and Duesenbergs. At a price of $1,295, the dream was affordable.
The 1932 Auburn Boattail Speedster is a legendary automobile. Automobile Quarterly called it 'the flashiest, the sexiest, the most flamboyant and the most outlandishly impractical motor car imaginable.' The 100 horsepower Lycoming straight eight engine set numerous speed records.

This is a model 8-100A Custom Speedster. Its unusual body style was not adapted from a horse drawn carriage, making it the first design unique to an automobile. 1932 was the first year Auburns were available with a dual-ratio rear end creating six forward and two reverse gears. Other options included a Bijur lubricating system, Delco ride control shock absorbers.

Less than 100 units were produced at a cost of $1,295.
Chassis Num: 1655
Engine Num: BB1521
Sold for $440,000 at 2007 Gooding & Company.
When Auburn introduced their 8-115 Speedster they gave it a price tag of $2,000. In comparison to the Stutz of similar proportions, the Auburn cost about $3,000 less. Even at a lower cost, it still had plenty of performance; Wade Morton drove on at 108.46 mph through the measured mile at Daytona. He average 84.7 mph for 24 hours and covered a total of 2,033 miles at Atlantic City and set a new record at Pikes Peak.

The Auburns Speedster had it all - style, performance, durability, and reliability. In 1932, in the heart of the Great Depression, the cars were offered with a V12 engine and priced at less than $1,000. The Lycoming V12 45-degree V12 engine had dual downdraft carburetors, dual exhausts and rectangular combustion chambers with valves entering through the inborad side of the cylinder heads.

This 1932 Auburn V12 Boattail Speedster is currently fitted with a twelve-cylinder 392 cubic-inch engine, a three-speed gearbox with freewheeling, and a 2-speed Columbia rear axle. The engine may have been fitted to the car later in its life.

In 2006 it was treated to a professional restoration by Stone Barn, Inc and has not yet been shown on the concours circuit. In 2007 it was brought to the Gooding & Company auction held in Pebble Beach, California where it was estimated to sell for $500,000 - $600,000. Those estimates proved too high as the lot was sold for $440,000 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
In 1932 a total of 11,347 Auburns were shipped from their factory.

Sometimes referred to as a ‘Baby Duesenberg', the Model 8-100A Auburn is a masterpiece of automotive design excellence.

Auburn strove to provide a stylish and innovative automobile to the public at an affordable price. Despite the depression, the talent of designers Gordon Buehrig and Alan Leamy inspired the designs of E.L. Cord's Auburn Cord Duesenberg Company to produce some of the most stunning examples of classic automobile design.

The model 8-100A was an 8 cylinder with 100 horsepower. A custom model, the 8-100 A signified that it was custom, with added features like a Columbia dual ratio rear axel, chrome headlights and taillights, and ride control.

A real eye catcher, the 8-100A, the custom model 4-door sedan cost an average of $1,145 in 1932.

Most Auburn models came with the Lycoming 8-cylinder engine along with Midland steel-draulic brakes. The engine output was rated at 100 horsepower at 3,400 rpm and had a 268.6 cubic inch displacement.
The choice of making a Columbia two-speed rear axle standard equipment on all models was one of the few changes made to the 1932 models.
Several Auburn models came with a 12 cylinder engine, and others were fitted with hydraulic brakes.
Besides the 7 passenger sedan, all 8-100 A models came with a 127' wheelbase, freewheeling and the Bijur chassis lubricating system. 1932 was the first year for the Startix, an automatic feature that would start the engine whenever the ignition was turned on.

Fortune applauded the 1932 Auburn as ‘The biggest package in the world for the price.'

By Jessica Donaldson
In 1928 Auburn introduced two Lycoming-powered eight-cylinder engines, one rated at 88 horsepower and the other at 115 horsepower. These became the bases for the 8-88 Model and the 8-115 Model; their designation obviously in reference to the engine. These new models were given hydraulic drum brakes to aid in stopping power and to help keep the Speedsters in the driver's control.

The styling was performed by either Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky or possibly Al Leamy. Al Leamy was a recent addition to the Auburn staff and would become famous in the years to come, with the design of the L-29 Cord automobile.

The Speedster models were very elegant and eye-catching. They featured hood louvers, a raked windshield, twin side-mounted spares, and a boattail rear-end.

The Model 8's were given a wide-ratio three-speed gearbox and rested on either a 125- or 130-inch wheelbase, depending on the model. The 8-115 had the larger size.

1929 brought few changes to the Speedsters; they were now known as the 8-90 and the 8-120. The naming scheme varied slightly from prior years, as horsepower was not rated at 96 and 125 respectively, but the names did not necessarily match. This increase in power was due to a change in the fuel system.

1929 was a great year for the Auburn 8 Models, and enjoyed record sales numbers. The company chose to make minimal changes for the following year, as the cars were selling well and most of their attention was diverted to the upcoming front-wheel drive Cord models.

In 1930 horsepower again improved, now rated at 100 for the smaller eight. The name 'Speedster' no longer appeared as part of the Model 8 name. It would re-appear the following year (In 1931), as the company wanted to put emphasis on performance.

The larger eight-cylinder engine was dropped, as was both of the six-cylinder engines. The 8-95 Model was bored-out to 268.6 cubic-inches and brought about the 8-98 model (and featured 98 horsepower). It was available in either Standard or Custom guise. The Custom line had an 'A' in the name to help distinguish it from the Standard line (appearing as 8-98A) and featured a free-wheeling, heavy, X-braced frame. Other options included dual-ratio rear axle, wire wheels, upgraded interior in hardware and fabric, and extra moldings.

Thanks in part to the onset of the Great Depression, the 8-98 sold for $350 less than the prior 8-95 Sedan of the 1930s. The Sedan sold for $995 while the Speedster for $945. Some experts say that the construction was not as solid as prior years, plus the Lockheed Hydraulics were replaced by Midland 'Steel-draulic' mechanical brakes. Still, Fortune reported the Auburn Model 8's as 'the biggest package in the world for the price.'

In 1932, the Styling remained mostly unchaged; mechanically, things were different. A new Startix automatic starter was added; Custom models were fitted with Delco ride regulations which were shock absorbers that were adjustable from the driver's compartment. This allowed a softer or firmer ride depending on the drivers needs at the time. Custom models also were given a vacuum-controlled two-speed axle known as Dual Ratio. This also gave drivers the freedom of selecting a 4.54:1 or 3.00:1 gear ratio. The 4.54 offered better performance while the 3.00:1 had better economy.

The Free-wheeling option, which had previously cost $85, was now standard on both the Custom and Standard models.

With all these mechanical improvements to the vehicle, it was amazing that prices continued to decrease. The Speedster sold for $845, a full $100 from the previous year.

In 1933, a Salon version was added to both the 8- and 12-cylinder series.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2008
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