Auburn 8-90 Speedster

E.L. Cord took the struggling, little-known Auburn Automobile Company, established in 1903 in Auburn, Indiana by Charles Eckhart, to national prominence. One of his many successes was the development of the Auburn Speedster. Enthusiasts had been building lightweight speedster bodies for years; some were even marketed to be purchased and installed. Cord’s idea was to offer a factory-built speedster with stunning looks. The cost would exceed Auburn’s price point, but the idea was to consider the new cars a marketing expense, with one planned for each dealership as a showroom draw. Al Leamy was given the assignment, and the result was nothing short of spectacular.

Auburns offered exceptional value; an article in Fortune magazine exclaimed “the biggest package in the world for the price.” But it was not the engineering specifications that sold cars, and E.L. Cord knew that better than anyone. With Al Leamy’s spectacular speedster body mounted on his affordable chassis, he created a sensation. Here was a car that made everything else look old-fashioned overnight.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2011 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.

98 bhp, 268.6 cu. in. inline side valve eight-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: 130".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright

Auburn 8-90 Speedster