1935 Auburn Eight Custom Speedster

During an era when Bugattis raced across France and 4½-Litre Bentleys tore through the British countryside, the American automotive equivalent was the Auburn speedster. The Auburn Automobile Company, based in Indiana, introduced their first rendition of this striking body style in 1928, drawing inspiration from a Duesenberg show car. This captivating design would see various iterations until the end of production in 1936.

The 1935-1936 speedsters were masterfully crafted by the renowned Gordon Buehrig. Pushing the boundaries of their time, these vehicles boasted sleek and curvaceous bodywork, characterized by a straight hood line that extended from the radiator to a sharply vee’d windshield. From there, it gracefully descended between pontoon fenders, over gently sloping doors, and tapered elegantly towards the rear bumper. It was this unique rear design, accentuated by chrome accents and striping, that earned the speedster its enduring moniker, “the Boattail.”

Beneath its exquisite exterior, the speedster shared the exhilarating mechanics of other supercharged Auburn models. Power was transmitted through a Columbia dual-ratio rear axle, a standard feature in the supercharged models. This innovative axle provided two gear ratios for each gear, one for low speeds and another for high speeds. The driver could easily switch between ratios while driving at very low speeds or when at a complete stop using the switch located at the center of the steering wheel. This feature endowed the supercharged Auburn with remarkable versatility, establishing it as a true “driver’s car,” perfect for navigating congested cities or sprinting down country lanes with unbridled enthusiasm.

Source: RM Sotheby’s