In 1960, the Auburn Automobile Company got its second lease on life when its original savior, Dallas Winslow, passed the torch on to fellow marque champion, Mr. Glenn Pray. After acquiring the assets, Pray moved the operation to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, where he maintained a stash of original parts, tooling, and documents. He quickly earned a well-deserved reputation as the go-to Guru of all things Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg, and marque enthusiasts flocked to his warehouse for parts and advice. But Glenn Pray had dreams for his version of the Auburn Automobile Company beyond just being a restorer and parts supplier. He envisioned a full-scale revival of the marque, complete with coachbuilt motorcars continuing the Auburn tradition, blending classic styling with modern American V8 drivetrains and chassis components.
In 1967, Glenn Pray’s dream became a reality when production of the “Second Generation” Auburn 866 commenced. The 866 featured a high-quality fiberglass body, built using molds taken from a genuine boattail speedster, and detailed with trim parts taken directly from Auburn’s parts stores. The chassis and drivetrain were sourced from Ford, and the V8 engine capacity varied depending on availability and customer wishes. The 866 was meticulously crafted to a high standard, and the price reflected it. Glenn Pray completed just 138 cars between 1967 and 1981, and these so-called second-generation examples are now classics in their own right, enjoying full recognition by enthusiasts, including the prestigious Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club.
The 19th chassis produced, this desirable early production 1970 866 Speedster was sold new to Mr. Bob Butterfield, a close friend, and fervent supporter of Glenn Pray. Finished in its striking original combination of red over a maroon interior, it is very well-equipped with chrome disc wheels, whitewall tires, air conditioning, power steering, and more. What makes Chassis 19 truly special is its powertrain. While most 866s were relatively sedate in their specification, this car features a 360 horsepower, 429 cubic-inch big-block Ford V8 backed by a four-speed manual gearbox – a very rare combination, as most 866s left the works with automatic or 3-speed manual transmissions. The muscular drivetrain imparts startling performance, while the authentic styling wonderfully mirrors the original 851 supercharged boattail speedster’s spirit.
Chassis number 19 presents in excellent unrestored condition today, with a light, careworn patina from years of enjoyment. The red paint is consistent overall, with some imperfections in the finish noted on inspection. The body displays tight, consistent panel gaps, which speak volumes to the standard of quality set by Glenn Pray. The original dark red upholstery also shows a light patina with some light creasing in the leather seating surfaces. Door panels, carpets, and the canvas top are in good original order, showing some fading that is consistent with age. Stewart-Warner instruments grace the engine-turned alloy fascia, for a distinctly 1930’s feel.
During Mr. Butterfield’s long-term ownership, the 866 Speedster was a mainstay of Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club events. It remains a delightful example that is attractive and a joy to drive thanks to the powerful Ford V8. Brimming with character, this rare Glenn Pray Auburn 866 is ideal for continued enjoyment in club gatherings or casual touring events.
Offers welcome and trades considered