Is the 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster the most beautiful car ever made?

The Auburn Automobile Company was founded in 1900 and went bankrupt only 37 years later. But during its short life Auburn managed to develop and build some cars that are now considered valuable classics. The short-lived Speedster, introduced during Auburn’s last years on the market, is one of them and you can buy one during RM Auction’s Auburn Fall sale between September 3 and 6, 2020.

Car for Sale - 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster Exterior Interior
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The Speedster is part of the Auburn Eight line that the company introduced in 1924, shortly after it was purchased by Errett Lobban Cord, who also owned carmakers Cord and Duesenberg

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The 851 Speedster, arguably the most iconic version of the Eight, was introduced in 1934. Auburn offered two powertrain options, including a supercharged, 4.6-liter straight-eight engine capable of 150 horsepower.

Car for Sale - 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster Exterior Interior
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The Boattail model, named like that for its V-shaped rear deck lid, was only built for the 1935 and 1936 model years. In 1937, Auburn went bankrupt due to the Great Depression, as many other luxury automakers did in the 1930s. Only a few examples survived and they usually changed owners for more than $750,000.

The example listed by RM auctions comes with a detailed ownership history and has been restored to its original specifications This car had just one owner in Oregon from 1935 to the 1970s, when it was sold to a Classic Car Club of America member in Washington.

Car for Sale - 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster Exterior Interior
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Sold again to a collector in the 1990s, the Speedster was reunited with its original engine and restored. It now sports its period-correct Nassau Orange color, a bright hue that makes it stand out among other dull-painted classics.

RM Auctions doesn’t provide an estimate for the auction, as it does with other models, but similar cars have changed hands in 2016 and 2018 for $715,000 and $769,500, respectively. This fine example should fetch in excess of $700,000, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it go for $1 million.

Source: Images: Darin Schnabel ©2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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