Auburn Twelve Convertible Sedan

At a time when most car companies considered body design to be unimportant, E.L. Cord’s Auburn Cord Duesenberg Company was setting new standards. With talented designers like Gordon Buehrig and Alan Leamy, the company was able to hold its own in an otherwise disastrous Depression-era market, proving once and for all that good design sells cars.

Auburn’s role was to provide a mid range car with innovative engineering and smart styling at an affordable price, and by all measures the company succeeded. With all new styling by Leamy for 1931, the new Auburns were a big hit – more than 4,000 orders were taken at the New York Auto Show alone.

Few changes were made for 1932, although the most important was the adoption of the Columbia two-speed rear axle as standard equipment on all models. Auburns offered exceptional value; an article in Fortune Magazine proclaimed “the biggest package in the world for the price.” When the bottom appeared to have fallen out of the market in 1933, red ink began to flow heavily at Auburn. This helps explain how the ’33 models were nearly identical to the ’32s.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2010 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.

160 bhp, 391.6 cu. in. cylinder Lycoming engine with three-speed transmission, freewheeling, leaf spring front suspension with live axle, leaf spring rear suspension with two speed Columbia live rear axle, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 133"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

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