<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>

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Lot 104
1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON

US$ 200,000 - 240,000
€ 200,000 - 240,000
1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON

Chassis no. 2156 H
Engine no. BB 2251B

391ci Flathead Lycoming V-12 Engine
Zenith-Stromberg Carburetor
160bhp at 3,400rpm
3-Speed Manual Transmission with Overdrive
Leaf Spring Suspension - Dual-Ratio Rear Axle
4-Wheel Vacuum Assisted Hydraulic Drum Brakes

*Twice ACD Certified as a Category 1 example
*Elegant Murphy coachbuilder-inspired design
*V-12 power with dual-ratio real axle
*Most sought-after year for 12-cylinder Auburns
*Tasteful color combination on a quality restoration



THE AUBURN TWELVE

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. At the age of fifteen, Erret Lobban Cord took a job as a car salesman, quickly translating his enthusiasm to become the best salesman in the company. From sales, Cord turned to altering engines and creating new bodywork, primarily for the Ford T chassis, at a Los Angeles garage. In 1924, capitalizing on his limitless ambition, Cord moved to Milwaukee and into car distribution, although his sights were set on the purchase of a car brand.

At that time, Auburn Automobile Company was on the brink of bankruptcy. E.L. Cord saw the opportunity and negotiated with the Chicago banking investors to run the company with total autonomy, with the option to purchase the brand. Cord expanded the company, acquiring Duesenberg, and with Auburn Automobile Company producing Cord and Duesenberg cars, the empire held three of the most impressive American prestige brands of the time.

The first Auburn car had been built by the Eckhart brothers of Auburn, Indiana in 1900, though production did not officially begin until 1903. Auburns with two-, four- and six-cylinders followed before the brothers sold out in 1919. In 1925 Cord arranged for Lycoming straight-eight engines to be installed in the existing six-cylinder chassis and instigated a re-styling program. Sales doubled for three consecutive years and in 1926 Cord became president of the Auburn Automobile Company. Now back on track, the company introduced a brand new V-12 at the end of 1931. It was an eye-opener, as the 12-160 was technically on par with offerings from the luxury makers, while at a more affordable price point.

The most talked-about aspect of the 12-160 at the time was its modernity, offering powerful acceleration combined with an impressive maximum speed. The 6,407cc V-12 engine had 160bhp, which allowed any bodywork to be moved with ease and power. It was equipped with an ingenious "Dual Ratio" free wheel differential, which allowed the engine to be disengaged when the accelerator pedal was released. The 12-160 was superseded for 1933 by the types 12-161, 12-161A and 12-165, the latter being the most expensive Auburn on offer.

Available with several types of body work, Auburns are a testament to the talented designer Alan Leamy. Leamy was clearly inspired by the bodies created for the fashionable L-29 Cord, which in turn were influenced by the elegant and clean designs that Murphy & Co. coachbuilders in Pasadena had achieved on the great Duesenberg Model J chassis. The stylish Phaeton Sedan model retained the slim Murphy-style chromed windshield pillars, graceful squared-off side glass, a new mesh grille, and a trim convertible top to achieve a refined look that at the same time had all the pizazz of cars that were much more expensive. The crowning touch was the thick-chromed trim frenched into the beltline, which contributed to an added feeling of exclusivity.


THE MOTOR CAR OFFERED

The Auburn 12-161A Salon offered here, of 1933 vintage, is believed to have been delivered new Mr. Lee Sturla of Sacramento, California. It was then sold to Mr. Wayne Hersted of Tacoma, Washington and then passed to the custodianship of Mr. Bob Larrabee of Polkington, Canada, a wealthy collector who, in the 1980s, commissioned a no-expenses-spared restoration of the car. It was judged in 1984 and again in 1992 by the Auburn Cord Duesenburg Club to be a Category 1 example with its original Lycoming V-12, chassis number 1156 and Convertible Phaeton Sedan bodywork built by the Limousine Body Company; certificates accompany the car. Mr. Larrabee then passed the car to Mr. Richard Orr of Kansas, who enjoyed touring and showing the car in his 25+ years of ownership.

Today, the car presents well with its opulent styling with striking two-tone red paint scheme with orange accents; the 30-year old restoration holds up very well. The paint quality is admirable, retaining great depth of shine, while the exterior bright work is excellent, including chrome knock-off wire wheels and the elegance of the beltline trim. The car has dual side-mounted spares with metal covers, mirrors and a rear-mounted trunk painted in body color. The engine compartment is correctly detailed.

Fresh from a service and brake system overhaul, this car is ready to show or tour, representing the height of the brand's styling. It serves as a true product of the Jazz Age.

Footnotes

  • Please note car is titled 1156.
Contacts
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
<B>1933 AUBURN 12-161A SALON PHAETON</B>
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