Auburn 850Y Custom Phaeton
In 1934 Auburn introduced a completely redesigned line of automobiles with myriad features for comfort, reliability, performance and ease of use. The primary change was Auburn’s commitment of a huge block of capital to new tooling for all-steel bodies. Although the tooling cost was prodigious, it brought important cost savings in production and resulted in a lighter, lower, stronger and quieter Auburn, which was distinguished by Al Leamy’s smoother and more aerodynamic design.
At the same time, Auburn loaded on a series of features that had previously only been options to its standard production cars and available only on its most expensive models. One of these was freewheeling from LGS, one of Cord Corporation’s many subsidiaries. The Columbia Dual-Ratio rear axle also was made standard, giving Auburn the equivalent of a six-speed transmission. Finally, after several years of availability only on Auburn’s top-line models, four-wheel Bendix hydraulic brakes were made standard across the board, even in the newly introduced six-cylinder line. Eight-cylinder Custom line Auburns augmented their hydraulic brakes with standard power assist. Lycoming, too, made a contribution, increasing the displacement of Auburn’s eight to 280 cubic inches and installing an aluminum cylinder head with 6.2:1 compression and two-barrel carburetor on the Custom 850Y version for 115 horsepower.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2010 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
115 hp, 280 cu. in. inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission with two-speed rear axle, solid axle suspension with leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes with power assist. Wheelbase: 127"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel