The Auburn Speedster was an American car, manufactured by the Auburn Automobile Company of Auburn, Indiana and manufactured in Connersville, Indiana The Auburn 851 Speedster of 1935 was styled by designer Gordon Buehrig, who also was responsible for the Cord Model 810.

History

In 1924 Auburn output was down to six cars a day, Errett Lobban Cord—a successful automobile salesman—took over the distressed company, and brought in James Crawford to design and develop a new range of vehicles.

First Auburn Eight (Eight-In-Line / 8-88 / Speedster 115)
The first Auburn eight model was introduced in 1925, as the "Auburn Eight-In-Line". In the following year, it received an ungraded 4.8-liter side-valve 68 bhp Lycoming engine and was renamed "8-88".

That powertrain remained in use until 1930, when it developed 115 bhp, hence the "Speedster 115" model name. The car was of a straightforward and stout design. Suspension was by semi-elliptic springs all round,and after experiments with hydraulic brakes, Auburn opted for mechanical brakes. The three-speed gearbox was in unit with the engine. The impressive open two-seater body styled by Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky featured a boat-tail and a vee windscreen.

Courtesy of the Harding family.
Award-winning 1928 Auburn 8-88 Boattail Speedster.

Speedster 125

In 1930, the Auburn Speedster was upgraded and it was renamed "Speedster 125". The Speedster 125 was advertised as a "racing car with comfort of a closed car" with a 125 bhp version of the Lycoming eight giving it a top speed of over 100 mph. It came with models such as "cabin speedster" and others.

A V12 range, using a 6.4-liter engine designed by George Kublin and built by Lycoming was rather short-lived and eventually did not prove successful, 1934 marked its demise.

Speedster 851

Auburn Speedster 851 Supercharged
The "Speedster 851", which would be the final production model of the manufacturer, was introduced in 1934 with bodywork by Gordon Buehrig that was ingeniously constructed and cost-effectively built. Its bespoke flat-head eight was powerful, reliable and of a strong and solid design.

The sweeping body lines concealed some innovative and advanced technical features such as the Columbia dual-ratio rear axle  that was achieved by interposing an epicyclic gear train between the axle and the crown wheel. When it was engaged, the final drive ratio became a "fast" 4.5:1.

It was disengaged by moving a steering-wheel mounted lever and dipping the clutch, whereupon the ratio became a more leisurely 3:1. The three-speed synchromesh gearbox along with that dual ratio axle gave a six-speed transmission. In 1936 came the 852, identical to the earlier models with the exception of the "852" on its radiator grille. The final year of production was 1937 as Auburn ceased car production altogether in 1937.

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