Following the collapse of E.L. Cord’s business empire in 1937, the remaining assets of the defunct Auburn Automobile Company were quickly and quietly sold off. A private buyer named Dallas Winslow, a Buick dealer and entrepreneur from Flint, Michigan, bought the rights to the company name along with remaining parts and components and continued to offer support to owners of the original cars, operating out of the original Auburn administrative building. In 1960, Winslow sold the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Company to an unlikely new owner in the form of an Oklahoma schoolteacher named Glenn Pray. When Auburn Cord Duesenberg was purchased by Mr. Pray, the business and remaining parts stock were moved to a former cannery – infamously known by enthusiasts as “The Pickle Plant” - in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and Glenn Pray’s new business commenced.
Mr. Pray soon earned his place as one of the foremost dealers in Auburn and Cord parts, which he sold out of the same original parts bins as he first received them in Broken Arrow. A visit to the “Pickle Plant” became a tradition for enthusiasts, who would often spend their time searching the bins for the elusive original bits they needed to complete their restoration. It is because of Glenn Pray that the original parts for these magnificent cars were saved and became available to future generations. Thanks in part to his incredible depth of knowledge as well as his passion for Auburn and Cord cars, Glenn Pray developed his own run of “continuation” automobiles which were sold as complete vehicles, often based on Ford and later GM components. Some may be tempted to call them replicars, though Mr. Pray derided this term, preferring to refer to his cars as “second generation” variants, which is more appropriate considering they were built under the auspices of the original Auburn Cord Duesenberg trademark by someone with a deep love and understanding for the originals. These automobiles are classics in their own right, with most being nearly 40 years old, as well as being recognized by the official ACD Club, who respectfully refers to them as Second Generation Cars.
This attractive 1980 Auburn Speedster by Glenn Pray is a well maintained and pleasingly detailed example that has covered just 11,165 miles from new, and hails from the penultimate year of Glenn Pray’s production. It is has a charming period appropriate look with signature outside exhausts and the body finished in cream over a green leather interior. The paint and bodywork are in good condition, tidy and straight with good quality finish and detailing. It rides on a set of chrome wire wheels with wide-whitewall radial tires, completing the period look. The wonderful interior is finished in green leather which presents in very nice condition and is set off by a fabulous period-style instrument panel, a signature feature of 1930s Auburns. Additional driver comfort comes courtesy of a tilt steering column, automatic transmission, and an AM/FM cassette stereo. Should the weather turn for the worse, a full canvas folding top is fitted, which disappears beneath a hard tonneau cover for sunny days.
The Ford mechanicals are in good order, with the big 460 V8 a strong runner. Power steering, power brakes and an aforementioned automatic transmission allow for a thoroughly modern driving experience. Keeping in mind this is a 37 year old car and a classic in its own right, it is in very good original condition, a testament to the quality of build these cars received. This tidy and clean Second Generation Auburn Speedster is ready for enjoyment on the road, and with the additional benefit of being approved by the ACD Club, it would surely be a welcome addition to their events as well.