1931 Auburn 8-100A

History

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

1931 Vehicle Profiles

1931 Auburn 8-100A vehicle information

Originally designed by Gordon Buehring and Alan Leamy. This beautiful Auburn displays their talents well. 98 HP/268 CID inline eight with three speed synchromesh transmission, freewheeling and two-speed rear end.....[continue reading]

 


Concepts by Auburn



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1931 8-100A
$975-$18,000
1931 Auburn 8-100A Price Range: $805 - $975

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Auburn
1936Ford (930,778)Chevrolet (918,278)Plymouth (520,025)1,263
1935Ford (820,253)Chevrolet (548,215)Plymouth (350,884)6,316
1934Ford (563,921)Chevrolet (551,191)Plymouth (321,171)7,770
1933Chevrolet (486,261)Ford (334,969)Plymouth (298,557)
1932Chevrolet (313,404)Ford (210,824)Plymouth (186,106)11,347
1931Chevrolet (619,554)Ford (615,455)Buick (138,965)34,228
1930Ford (1,140,710)Chevrolet (640,980)Buick (181,743)12,985
1929Ford (1,507,132)Chevrolet (1,328,605)Buick (196,104)23,509
1928Chevrolet (1,193,212)Ford (607,592)Willys Knight (231,360)12,899
1927Chevrolet (1,001,820)Ford (367,213)Buick (255,160)14,515
1926Ford (1,669,847)Chevrolet (547,724)Buick (266,753)7,138

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