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Car Tales: The Art-Deco Style Of The 1933 Auburn

‘The Eckhart Carriage Company was founded in Auburn, Indiana, in 1874, by Charles Eckhart. His two sons moved the company, renamed Auburn, into automobile manufacturing. Auburn was sold in 1925 to Errett Loban Cord, a successful automobile salesman soon to become a mega-industrialist.


1933 Auburn 8-105 for sale
‘Almost as soon as he had bought the company in 1925, Cord replaced the Auburns’ six-cylinder engines with straight-eight motors. And he added two-tone color options. Accordingly for the next three years sales doubled.

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‘Despite the 1929 Great Depression having limited the market for such luxury motoring items, Cord pushed on with Auburn, the cars being manufactured in Union City, Indiana. For Cord Auburn would become the cornerstone of his vision for a luxury automobile empire, cars whose very essence symbolized an art deco-inspired stylish beauty.
1933 Auburn 8-105 side view
‘With its luxurious fenders and lighting, the Auburn 8-105 Salon – manufactured from 1931 to 1934 – was the most high-end model. Priced at $1245.00, 259 cars were produced – 25 of them were cabriolets.
‘We have one of these inspirational automobiles right now at Beverly Hills Car Club, a highly desirable 1933 Auburn 8-105 Salon Cabriolet that is finished in an attractive color scheme of royal blue complemented with a black interior. It is equipped with a manual transmission, inline eight-cylinder engine, single Stromberg carburetor, single exhaust outlet, floor-mounted shifter, convertible soft top, chrome-plated headlamps, ‘Auburn 8’ badges, three-spoke steering wheel, chrome trim/bumpers, rear-hinged doors, hood louvers, Lester whitewall tires, chrome hub caps, body-color wire wheels, and dual mounted side spare tires.
‘Amenities include a driver-side door pocket, glove compartment, manual-crank windows, dual-side mirrors, front bench seat, rumble seat compartment, and a very convenient storage trunk mounted at the rear deck. In addition to the equipment/amenities, this fascinating 1930s’ classic comes with manufacturer’s literature and a plethora of service receipt copies totaling over $53,600 that has been invested into this beautiful vehicle dating from August 2009 through July 2018.
‘This is an extremely unique opportunity to acquire such a marvelous example of this pre-war American classic that has been sitting for a few years and is currently not running, but should be easy to get back on the road again.
1933 Auburn 8-105 rear view
‘The Auburn 8-105 Salon Cabriolet was designed by Alan Leamy who had been born in Arlington, Maryland, on June 2 1902. After his family moved to Columbus, Ohio, Leamy was struck down by polio, resulting in a crippled left leg: for the rest of his life Alan Leamy wore a leg-brace and walked with a cane.
‘Having studied architecture, and utilizing a family connection, Leamy found himself working in 1925 for Marmon, the Indianapolis, Indiana, producer of luxury automobiles. At Marmon, however, Leamy felt his abilities were under-appreciated.
1933 Auburn 8-105 interior
‘Also nearby in Indiana, E.L. Cord was known to be developing a car that would have front-wheel-drive. Believing that his more radical designs might be appreciated by Cord, Leamy contacted him, letting him see his impressive portfolio. Accordingly, Alan Leamy was – as they would say today – fast-tracked: taken on by Cord, he was immediately tasked with giving a new look to the 1929 Auburn sedan.
‘During this time Leamy assisted in marketing Auburn in a unique manner, one that would appeal to lovers of speed: an Auburn 8-115 Speedster hit speeds of 108.46 mph in 1928 at Daytona; and it took the 24-hour record at Atlantic City Speedway. In this pair of ventures the car was driven by Alan Leamy.
‘With the success of the 1929 Auburn under his belt, Leamy was given the brief to design the entire Auburn line from 1931 to 1934 – hence the wonderful car we have here at Beverly Hills Car Club. Leamy’s 1931 Auburn was the bestselling car in the history of the company, the 8-cylinder cars selling from $945 to $1,395: his tasteful redesign, his work of art, clearly had been a colossal success.
‘The tough-guy actor James Cagney would purchase a model, after he had driven it in his 1933 film The Mayor of Hell. Unsurprisingly: the Auburn 8-105 Salon Cabriolet looks as though it could have taken the lead role in a film noir of the period – preferably driven by one of Al Capone’s molls.
1933 Auburn 8-105 engine
‘However, Alan Leamy’s design for the 1934 edition of the Auburn was less popular. Accordingly, the designer began seeking a new position.
‘In the Spring of 1935 he joined General Motors. It was GM’s company policy for employees to receive a physical each year, along with assorted requisite vaccines. When Leamy received his diptheria innoculation he also acquired blood poisoning.
‘Alan Leamy died four days later, at the age of only 33. An utter tragedy.
-Alex Manos, Owner
1933 Auburn buyer Alex Manos

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