1931 Auburn 8-98 Brougham  Chassis no. 8-98-2477B Engine no. GU59819
Lot 453
1931 Auburn Model 8-98 Brougham Chassis no. 8-98-24760B Engine no. GU 59819
Sold for US$ 27,600 inc. premium
Lot Details
1931 Auburn Model 8-98 Brougham
Chassis no. 8-98-24760B
Engine no. GU 59819
While the American automobile industry's development in its formative years had been guided by the inventor/engineer, its progress between the wars was shaped not so much by technicians as by entrepreneurs. One such was Auburn boss Errett Lobban Cord, who once admitted to having made and lost $50,000 three times in the course of his business dealings, and all before reaching the age of 21! When Cord joined Auburn as general manager in 1924 the company was in the doldrums, making more cars than it could sell and heading for bankruptcy. After some Cord-inspired restyling, Auburn sales picked up and the stage was set for the creation of a glorious new automotive empire. From the moment E L Cord arrived however, the company's fortunes improved markedly. In 1925 Cord arranged for Lycoming straight-eight engines to be installed in the existing six-cylinder chassis and instigated a re-styling programme that saw the new-for-'25 Auburns featuring two-tone colour schemes and a novel beltline that swept up over the bonnet. Sales doubled for three consecutive years and in 1926 Cord became president of the Auburn Automobile Company.

The eight-cylinder Auburns were soon challenging Stutz for the accolade of 'America's fastest', Al Leamy driving an 8-115 Speedster at 108.46mph over the measured mile at Daytona in 1928 and going on to take the 24 hours record at Atlantic City Speedway. Not only were they outstanding performers, the eight-cylinder Auburns also represented exceptional value for money: at $1,395 the top-of-the-range '31 Speedster was less than half the price of the equivalent Stutz. "More car for the money than the public has ever seen," reckoned Business Week magazine.

The 1931 was the first of the sweeping fender, long hood Auburns, a design which was used through to 1933. The double-drop X braced frame allowed the overall height to be three inches lower than previous models, making open cars look more rakish and giving the closed Coupe, Sedan and Brougham a sinister but appealing look, particularly since the model shared the chassis, hood and front fenders with the speedster.

This car is a completely original barn find, it was last registered 20 years ago and at that time had been in the same ownership since the late 1940's. A true timewarp from its amazing original interior to its paintwork, it even retains the original I.D. and Central Body tags, which are tacked onto the wood body sills and are often missing. The odometer reads 66,721 and based on its overall condition we feel that this is most likely the original mileage.

It is so rare to find closed 8-98s that have not been re-bodied, but just one look at this example proves just how appealing and interesting these cars are, particularly in 'as found' order. The 1931 Auburn has Full Classic ™ status with the Classic Car Club of America, providing one avenue of the road use of this car, it would also, no doubt be a welcome entry into any Preservation Class.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the title for this vehicle is in transit.
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations


If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $100,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $100,001 to $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price

Collection Notices


Lots must be paid for and collected from the sale venue by 12pm Tuesday October 9. Lots are at the buyer's risk from the fall of the hammer. It is strongly advised that overseas purchasers and absentee bidders make arrangements regarding collection with Bonhams in advance of the sale.

Bonhams will be accepting payment directly after the auction on Monday evening and between 8.30am and 12pm on Tuesday October 9. Please note that we will close promptly at 12pm; therefore any payment and collection appointments begin no later than 11.30am on Tuesday October 9.

Representatives of Bonhams' preferred carriers will be present at the sale and can arrange transportation as agents for the buyer or the seller as the case may be.

You may have an authorized agent collect your purchases as long as they are removed from the auction site by 12pm Tuesday October 9.

If Bonhams does not receive motor vehicle collection details from the buyer by 12pm on Tuesday October 9, Passport Auto Transport will automatically collect and store the purchased lot(s). Motor vehicle removal and storage charges will be charged by Passport Auto Transport according to standard rates and the ultimate destination of the vehicle. Bonhams urges buyers to inquire in advance. Please notify us of your collection plans upon payment.

It is the responsibility of the buyer to separately inform their shipper of the location of the property, its collection and forwarding, the costs of which will be paid for by the buyer after the applicable uplift and storage charges have been paid.

Buyers should satisfy themselves that they have collected all relevant log books, title documents and keys relating to their lot(s) at time of collection.

Domestic Motorcar Transport:
Passport Auto Transport, contact Mike Goforth
+1 (800) 325 4267

International Motoring Transport:
All Shore Forwarders, Ltd., contact Brian Weiner
+1 (732) 212 1515

Schumacher Cargo Logistics, contact Warren Barnes
+1 (310) 626 7117

For the Automobilia Uncollected Lots, Moving and Storage:
Uncollected automobilia lots will be removed to Navis Pack & Ship for shipment or for collection by the buyer or third party agent. Instructions for collection from Navis Pack & Ship will be given to buyers at the time of payment. A representative from Navis will be available to assist clients with shipping quotes via phone and email.
Navis contact information:
Peter Michaelson, Owner
+1 (610) 534 0750 or

Please note that uncollected automobilia lots that are removed to Navis for storage or shipping are subject to uplift charges applied according to the size and fragility of a lot or lots. Lots are also subject to storage fees. Buyers are responsible for all such charges and fees.

Bonhams - Philadelphia Details
Simeone Automotive Museum
6825-31 Norwitch Drive
Philadelphia, PA, 19153

From Thursday October 4 to 12pm Tuesday October 9, we can be reached at either: +1 (212) 461 6514
+1 (212) 644 9007 fax or

+1 (215) 492 2800
+1 (215) 492 2801 fax

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

  1. Samantha Hamill
    Auction Administration - Motor Cars
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 212 461 6514
    FaxFax: +1 917 206 1669
  2. Rupert Banner
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 212 461 6515
    FaxFax: +1 917 206 1669
  3. Evan Ide
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Work Boston, United States
    Work +1 917 340 4657
  4. Eric Minoff
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 917 206 1630
    FaxFax: +1 917 206 1669