1931 AUBURN 8-98A CABRIOLET
Chassis No. 12989F
Engine No. GU 51336
Auburn green with green leather interior
Engine: eight-cylinder in-line Lycoming side valve, 268ci, 98hp at 3,400rpm; Gearbox: three-speed manual; Suspension: semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear; Brakes: four wheel drum. Left hand drive.
Auburn was started in 1903 by Frank and Morris Eckhart of Auburn, Indiana. Around this time it was common to see small automobile firms sprout up everywhere. As the automobile business grew and began to involve large operations, most of the smaller companies were overwhelmed, but Auburn trudged on. They were one of the only companies to experience increased sales during the Depression because they had more dealerships. Eventually, however, Auburn's size caught up with them.
In 1925, E.L. Cord had become Auburn's general manager and set out to save the company. Shortly thereafter, Auburn became a very different car. He gave the Auburns much needed style while others in the industry concentrated on engineering. E.L. Cord started the policy of changing body styles every few years in order to keep sales up. In 1925, Cord introduced the 8-63 and 8-88 models into the range designed by James Crawford, utilizing the Lycoming straight-eight engine. This model proved highly successful and continued until 1930 when the effects of the Depression really began to take hold. Auburn decided that they should sell just one model and introduced the 8-98, fitted with a derivative of the 1927 long stroke motor to give a healthy 98bhp at 3,400rpm. The 8-98 had an all new cruciform chassis, an option of a free-wheel unit and improved suspension. With attractive coachwork by the factory, Auburn was able to sell a very appealing package for far less than their rivals. Though sales initially dropped during the Depression, with the new 8-98 many new dealers joined the Auburn network, and sales doubled in 1931 at the highest figure of 28,000 units.
Mr. Windsor purchased the Auburn in 1972. The careful ten year restoration he completed was as close to "like new" as possible, and great care was taken in not over restoring this automobile. This exceptional Auburn Cabriolet has received a great number of awards. The Auburn earned a respectable third in American Classic Closed at Pebble Beach. At Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance, the car placed second in its class. In addition, Car & Parts named the 1931 Auburn "Car of the Month" in the August 1987 edition, and ACDC Bulletin, Don Howell with ACDC Bulletin, noted that the Auburn is, "One of the best authentic restorations!" This car is an exceptional buy considering its condition and many accolades, and is accepted as a "Full Classic" by the Classic Car Club of America. Car Club of America.