For the champions of the Auburn Automobile Company, 1933 is often considered the high point for the marque in terms of style, quality, and performance. Following E.L. Cord’s revival and subsequent takeover of the company, Auburn grew to become a leader in the mid-price luxury car market. But disastrous economic conditions and lackluster management brought about failure nearly as swiftly as its revival. For the 1933 model year, new features and styling tweaks resulted in some of the finest cars to roll out of the Indiana factory. The gorgeous body, penned by the great Al Leamy, was enhanced with the optional new Salon package, which added a folding windscreen for open cars, low mounted trumpet horns, swept-form bumpers, and a painted front splash panel. Auburn motorcars were renowned for their sporty performance, and flagship 8-cylinder models utilized a 100-horsepower version of the proven Lycoming L-head, combined with a 3-speed gearbox, powerful hydraulic brakes, and an optional dual-ratio rear axle. Despite their reputation for high performance and impeccable style, sales plummeted to fewer than 5,000 cars total for the year. Today these rare Auburns are coveted by marque enthusiasts who cherish their unmistakable beauty and superlative road manners.
This 1933 8-105 Salon is a gorgeous example featuring the highly attractive four-door Phaeton coachwork, built for Auburn by the Limousine Body Company. This is one of a handful equipped with the desirable Salon package, adding the folding windscreen, dual chrome trumpet horns, front splash apron, swept front bumper, and the dual-ratio rear axle. It wears a high-quality older restoration, finished in a striking two-tone green livery, complemented by a green top and interior. Darker colored fenders and trim play beautifully against the subtle green-tinted main body color. Chrome artillery-style wheels with green hubs are a particularly pleasing touch, lending this car a unique and purposeful appearance. Additional accessories include body-color spare wheel covers and a matching Auburn trunk. The chrome plating, brightwork, and finish are excellent and reflective of this car’s days as a concours class winner.
The interior is equally striking as the body, with superb dark green leather covering the seats, door cards, and kick panels. Lighter green upper trim matches the color of the metal dash, creating a wrap-around effect. The upholstery is in excellent order throughout the cabin, showing just a bit of character from occasional use since the restoration was completed. An array of factory-correct gauges sits in the proper engine-turned alloy instrument panel, lined with period-correct switches and controls, including those for the two-speed axle. A bit of light patina is beginning to appear on some of the interior brightwork, which adds to this car’s charming character. Dark green Haartz canvas topping is in superb order, displaying a taut fit and outstanding craftsmanship.
The Lycoming-built inline-eight displaces 268.6 cubic inches and is rated by the factory for 100 horsepower. It is fed by a single downdraft carburetor and features a Fram oil filter system and Startix automatic starter solenoid. Finished in the correct shade of dark green, the engine is well detailed with period-style wiring, plumbing, and hardware. Some light corrosion is noted on the manifold, but the overall presentation is respectably crisp. The body sits on a 127-inch wheelbase chassis with hydraulic brakes and semi-elliptic springs. Frame and suspension components are in good order, displaying some signs of use and some light surface corrosion on the springs, but is otherwise orderly.
In 2013, this car was shown at the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance, where it received the well-deserved award for Most Elegant Open Car. It has since been used sparingly and remains in beautiful cosmetic condition, and is well suited for continued enjoyment in regional concours and CCCA events.
Offers welcome and trades considered