The Auburn was a stylish domestic Automobile produced from 1900 to 1936. It grew out of the Eckhart Carriage Company, founded in Auburn, Indiana, in 1875 by Charles Eckhart (1841–1915). Eckhart's sons, Frank and Morris, began making automobiles on an experimental basis before entering the business in earnest, absorbing two other local carmakers and moving into a larger plant in 1909. The enterprise was modestly successful until materials shortages during WWI forced the plant to close.
In 1919, the Eckhart brothers sold out to a group of Chicago investors. The new owners revived the business but failed to realize the profits that they hoped for. In 1924, they approached Errett Lobban Cord (1894–1974), a highly successful automobile salesman, with an offer to run the company. Cord countered with an offer to take over completely in what amounted to a leveraged buyout. The Chicago group accepted.
Cord aggressively marketed the company's unsold inventory and completed his buyout before the end of 1925. In 1926, he purchased Duesenberg Corporation, famous for its racing cars, and used it as the launching platform for a line of high-priced luxury vehicles. He also put his own name on a front-wheel-drive car, the L-29 Cord.
Employing imaginative designers such as Alan Leamy and Gordon Buehrig, Cord built cars that became famous for their advanced engineering as well as their striking appearance, e.g., the 1928 Auburn Boattail Speedster, the Model J Duesenbergs, the 1935–1937 Auburn Speedsters and the 810/812 Cords.
The company's art deco headquarters in Auburn now houses the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum. It was made a National Historic Landmark in 2005. The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club holds an Annual Renuion every Labor Day at Auburn Indiana, and this has become one of the premieir gatherings of collector cars and enthusiasts in the Country.
This extremely rare 8 Salon Phaeton is one of 13 known to survive by ACD Historians. Restored years ago when owned by Dick Kughn, the car achieved a CCCA Senior First, and ACD Club Primary First, Senior First, and Senior Emeritus Awards. The car is well known in the ACD Club and is a regular participant in Hoosier Tours and at the Annual Labor Day Meet. Finished in a very striking color combination, and with the flowing ribbon Salon bumpers, and more sleek fenders and grill-many beleive the 33 Salons to be Auburn's finest design. The car is ACD Certified.
The car is a great driving car, having had the rear end converted to a 9" ford, while retaining all outward appearances of the original Columbia Unit. This gives the car great legs and also instills driver confidence since the original Columbia 2 Speeds are somewhat prone to failing. The car is accompanied by an original and correct set of Headlight Lenses, an extra tail light lens, extra carburator, and car cover.
The paint is a lacquer job and has tiny cracks appearing in the clear layers in many places. This is only visible upon close inspection, and was hard to photograph. I would just drive and enjoy the car, but if you are a trophy hound a new paint job will be required.