1936 Auburn 852 Supercharged Phaeton

Location: Indiana
VIN #:GH5481
Engine:SC Straight 8
Transmission:3 Speed Manual

The Auburn Automobile Company 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 World War I forced the plant to close. In 1919, the Eckhart brothers sold out to a group of Chicago investors headed by Ralph Austin Bard, who later served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and as Under Secretary of the Navy for President Roosevelt and for President Harry S. Truman. 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 partnered with 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 Cord, later referred to as "L-29".. 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.

We are very pleased to offer this nicely restored car. Finished in a striking color combination with sidemounted spare, and integrated trunk.

Of course the real special thing here is the supercharged motor with the sporting outside exhaust- think about it- only the most exciting cars from the classic era had outside exhausts- the Mercedes-the Bentley-and of course the Duesenberg. The 35-6 Supercharged Auburns are definitely the "Baby Duesenberg".

This car has an interesting story. in 1969 Nate Darus of California heard rumors of the car being stored somewhere in Inglewood, CA; along with a '37 Cord Convertible. He finally found the garage the cars were stored in, and striking up a conversation with the owner; found the owner had purchased the Auburn new still having the Pink Slip. The owner would not open the garage saying the cars were covered with parts, so all Nate could see was through a garage window. Finally, the Owner's wife yelled out an open window-"Sell the cars to the man sight unseen". A price was agreed upon. Later when Nate came to get the cars the owner laid down on the grass crying " why did you ever talk me into selling those cars?- they are my love!"

Nate kept the car 10 years selling it in 1979 to James Collis of Hermosa Beach, CA., who commissioned a ground up restoration with Jerry's Auto Restorations in Lake Havasu, NV. It was a 12 year project. Mr. Collis put less than 500 on the car before selling it to Ed Suddarth in 1999, who in turn sold the car to Leon Calvert , shortly thereafter. Mr Calvert presented the car at the Annual ACD meet in 2001 for Certification, which it received. Our Client purchased the car in the last few years from Mr. Calvert.

With few made new and only 20 listed in the ACD Directory, The Supercharged Phaeton is a rare and exciting tour car that really has few peers. Featuring 150 HP, light steering, a fully synchronized and rather sweet gearbox, and a dual ratio rear end, these cars are quite capable of 100 MPH, and will travel comfortably at highway speeds all day long. The Gordon Buehrig designed 35-6 Auburn is one of the most beautiful cars of the Classic Era, a car that made history, a car that rewards the driver in so many ways, a car you can and drive and enjoy.

This car runs and drives very well and really needs nothing but a happy new owner. I would not hesitate to drive this car cross country today.

Click on any image to enlarge it.