The Auburn line saw a drastic redesign for the 1934 model year. This was to be the final design done for the Auburn Automobile Company by Alan Leamy. The 1934 Auburns were wider, lower and more streamlined than their predecessors. Production of the cars was slow, and momentum did not reach full levels until March of 1934. Due to sales resistance to the new cars, plans were made to put the 1935 line into production as soon as tooling could be put into place. 1934 Auburn production was halted mid-year and only around 4,000 vehicles were produced.
Financially, the Auburn Automobile Company did worse than in 1933, posting a net loss of $3.6 million for the 1934 calendar year.
The Auburn 652Y was available as a cabriolet, phaeton, 2-door brougham, and a sedan. Pricing ranged from the mid-$800's - $945. This Phaeton model sold new for $945. The engine is a six-cylinder Lycoming powerplant that displaces 209.9 cubic-inches and produces 85 horsepower. The wheelbase measures 119-inches and the car weighs 3348 pounds.
The Auburn 652 was powered by a six-cylidner engine which was mated to a three-speed gearbox. They had a two-speed rear axle and four-wheel hydraulic brakes with power assist. This was one of the last models to be created by the Auburn Company, as they went out of business just a few years later, in 1936. Very few were ever made.
The success of the vehicles and the survival of the company up to this point were due mostly to Erret Lobban Cord. The Auburn Company had come into existence in 1877 producing wagons. In 1903 the direction of the company switched to creating automobiles, their first being a one-cylinder chain-driven runabout. The styling and diversity of the vehicles evolved over the years, as did the mechanical capabilities and technological innovations. The Great Depression had taken its toll on the Auburn Company and was headed to receivership when it was rescued by William Wrigley. Cord was recruited to assume the duties of general manager. This fast-talking, energetic, sales man, though less than thirty years old, was the right man for the job. By applying new paint to a parking lot of excess vehicles, Cord was able to sell over 750 cars in just a few months. This earned him the title of vice president and in 1926 he became president and primary stockholder of the Auburn Company.
Throughout the next few years, the Auburn/Cord Company would experience highs and lows.
By expanding its dealer network and building a reputation through motorsport accomplishments, the Auburn Company was able to sell 20,000 vehicles a year by the close of the 1920's. In 1931, Auburn sold 32,301 vehicles. The Stock Market crash and the onset of the Great Depression meant that for 1933 only 4,636 vehicles were sold to customers. 1934 was also a very disappointing year for the company, selling on 4,703 units.
E.L. Cord made the decision to spend half a million dollars to redesign the entire Auburn model line. This did little to inspire sales so Cord ordered a second redesign, this time under the direction of Gordon Miller Buehrig. This redesign was first seen in June of 1934 as a 1935 model. The most memorable of these new vehicles was the stunning 851 Speedster.
The Auburn 6 Series was introduced at this time offered as a low-cost alternative powered by a 210 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine.By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2010