1931 Auburn Model 8-98A Phaeton Convertible

The 1931 Auburn 8-98A Phaeton Convertible is one of the finest looking vintage automobiles you’ll come across. The Auburn Automobile Company, produced in Auburn, Indiana, has a storied history in several ways. Auburn cars were produced from 1900 ( a one cylinder car) to 1936. It’s head man during the mid 1920′s through 1935, Errett Lobban Cord, once admitted to having made and lost $50,000 three times in the course of his business dealings, and all before reaching the age of 21. That was a tidy sum in that era.

1931 auburn

1931Auburn 8-98A

E. L. Cord

Cord actually breathed life into the Auburn Automobile Company when he joined the the automaker as general manager in 1924. A that time the company was building more cars than it could sell and was becoming a candidate for bankruptcy. E.L.Cord had been an excellent salesman, not an engineer, but knew enough to make a few timely changes that essentially turned the company around.

He would replace all six cylinder engines with Lycoming straight eight engines and launch a restyling program that would have Auburns painted in two-tone color schemes. Cord added some pizzazz to what had become a staid laid back auto company albeit with an excellent reputation for performance cars. E. L. Cord would go on to take over the Auburn Automobile Company with investor capital and partner with Duesenburg. Cord would ultimately come out with a front wheel drive car with his name, the Cord L-29.

1931 auburn phaeton convertible

The sleek new 1931 Auburn

It should be noted that at one time E.L. Cord was one of the world’s wealthiest men, operating much more than his automobile companies. Cord controlled an airline, a shipbuilder, a communications company, an engine company and an aircraft manufacturer. After his downfall from the automotive world in 1936 for alleged illegal stock dealings, Cord later moved to California and made millions more in radio and TV and real estate.

The 1931 Auburn 8-98A Phaeton Convertible

The year 1931 ushered in what many say were the glamor years for Auburn. Visionary automobile designer Al Leamy introduced new styling features for 1931. These included an elegantly swept fender line along with a long hood. With a new body style came the underlying chassis and frame which featured a rigid X form cross member. This enabled the car to have a three inch lower body height off the ground which in turn made the Auburns of that year much more sportier and swanky looking.

 

The Convertible Phaeton Sedan was a very popular Auburn body style. The Auburn Phaeton models offered some innovative options such as roll-up windows and removable center pillars for a flush “all-weather” fit along the convertible top. With the center pillars removed and the windows and top down gave passengers a terrific view with nothing to obscure the passing landscape. This of course was one of Auburn’s firsts.

1931 Auburn 8-98A Phaeton Convertible Specifications

The 1931 Auburn Model *-98A as built with a 268 Cubic Inch Lycoming Straight Eight engine. The engine delivered 98 horsepower (thus the 8-98 model) with a claimed top speed of

Brakes were four wheel internal expanding and the car’s transmission was a three speed Synchro-mesh manual.

Suspension was comprised of semi-elliptic leaf springs both front and back.

The 1931 Auburn 8-98A had a wheelbase of 127.0 inches.

The new car price for the 1931 Auburn Eights averaged over $1,000. This was a very pricey automobile in 1931 and during the first part of the Great Depression. To give you an example of prices for more mainstream models during this period, a 1932 Ford V-8 could be bought for between $400 and $500. A 1932 Chevrolet Convertible cost new about $500.

The prices Auburn was charging for their sharp looking and well manufactured cars hurt sales significantly. As an example, per the publication Complete Book of Collectible Cars, 1931 Auburn Eight production totaled 36,148 vehicles. In 1932 that figure fell to 6,000 and for 1933 the figure was 4,000. The depths of the Depression hurt automakers like Auburn to a very big degree and contributed to it’s demise in 1936.

auburn 8-98

Front end view of the 31 Auburn 8-98A

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum

If you’re an Auburn automobile enthusiast and you’re anywhere near Auburn Indiana you’ll want to stop at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum. The museum building itself is located in what used to be the International Headquarters of the Auburn Automobile Company from 1930 to 1936. The museum’s automobile and artifact collection is spread throughout the building mingled with restored work areas and offices. Among the automobile collection are Auburns, Cords, and Duesenbergs plus other classics and other automobiles manufactured in Indiana. The museum address is 1600 Wayne St, Auburn, Indiana.

1931 auburn dashboard

The dashboard on the 1931 Auburn 8-98A

The 1931 Auburn Collector Cars

All Auburn automobiles are very collectible. In regards to the 1931 models, the highest valuation collectibles are the open models.

The 1931 Auburn 8-98A Phaeton Convertible in museum like condition and original will likely sell at auction in the high five figure range. Models like this have sold for $75,000. The 1931 Auburn Boattail Speedster has sold at auction for $176,000. Phaeton Sedans have sold in the $40,000 plus range.

You may also enjoy the AutoMuseumOnline articles on the links below…

1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster

The Cord L-29

 

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)

1934 Ford V-8 Model 40 Tudor Sedan

The automobile featured in this article is not the 1934 Fordor Deluxe Sedan that Bonnie and Clyde met their end in but it is a beautiful Ford Sedan from the same year. The vintage car featured in this article is the 1934 Ford Tudor Sedan with Suicide Doors.

1934 ford tudor sedan

1934 Ford Tudor Sedan

This was Ford’s Model 40 that was a high performance version of the Model B which replaced the Model A in 1932. Interestingly enough, because of the power under the hood, both law enforcement and criminals preferred the 1934 Ford.

The Ford Tudor Sedan as you can see in this model has no trunk which made traveling distances a bit complicated at times.

The 1934 Fords

The ever popular 1934 Fords first came out of production in January of 1934. Calendar year production totaled 563,921 cars. This was of course in the middle of the Great Depression and these numbers represented a nice increase over the 1932 and ’33 model years as Ford continued to come out with more innovations following the Model A era.

ford model 40

Ford Model 40 Sedan

The 1934 Ford V-8 had several new features. These included a new front grille that was tapered and slanted as you can see in our photos.  This was a big change from the flat looking grilles seen during the Model T era that were also present on the Model A’s and Model 18′s. You will also notice how the bodies and fenders are quite sleek than those of the 1933 model year. The car had an aerodynamic design not to mention the stylish Greyhound hood ornament. Also the Flathead V8 engine was improved on and was more powerful. There were just north of 100,000 of the Flathead V-8′s built.

While there was a total of ten models to choose from during the 1934 model year, Ford built all cars on one chassis and one drive train.

The Ford V-8 Flathead Engine

V-8 automobile engines were around for some time before 1934. The trick was to make them affordable to the general public. The goal was to make them affordable the same way in which Henry Ford made the Model T an affordable car for the masses. Henry Ford did indeed find a way to mass produce this engine bringing the cost down considerably. Ford pushed their V-8′s at a time when the added power received huge market acceptance.

Before the cast iron V-8 was made a mass market engine the engines of choice for the mass market were the straight fours and the straight sixes.

The Flathead V-8′s had the same displacement (221 cid) from 1932 to 1938. There were no Ford factory-built oil filter systems on these engines. Early models used the Detroit Lubricator carburetor. Stromberg “97″ carbs were used from 1934 to 1938 at which point a change was made to the Ford designed “94″ carburetor. The engine cooling fan was mounted to the generator shaft from 1932  through 1938. Heads were attached to the cylinder block with hex nuts on studs, which were threaded into the block.

Ward’s AutoWorld Magazine ranked the Flathead V-8 as one of the best engines of the 20th century. During the 1950′s the Ford Flathead V-8 was the engine of choice for many hot rodders.

ford model 40 interior
1934 Ford Model 40 Specifications

As mentioned above, the 1934 Ford Tudor Sedan featured in this article came with a 221 cubic inch Flathead V-8 engine delivering 85 horsepower. This is up from the 1933 V-8 with 75 horsepower.

The Ford V-8 engine came with a three-speed manual sliding gear transmission in all models and two-wheel, rear-wheel drive.

The car’s suspension consisted of transverse leaf springs that rested on 5.5-by-17-inch steel spoke wheels.

All four wheels had 12-inch mechanical internal expanding brakes.

Wheelbase was 112.0 inches.

New car price in 1934 was about $550 depending on options.

See the AutoMuseumOnline articles on the links below…

1930 Ford Model A Roadster

The 1936 Packard Twelve

1931 Auburn 8-98A Phaeton Convertible

Sample Decodings of Classic Car Serial Numbers

34 ford sedan

No trunk on this 34 Ford Sedan

The 1934 Ford Collector Cars

The 1934 Ford is a favorite among car collectors and people who enjoy restoring older cars. In addition, you’ll find a good deal of 1934 Ford’s that have been modified into hot rods and these are quite popular.

Average prices asked today for a 1934 Ford Tudor Sedan is in the $12,000 to $15,000 range. Mint condition models will likely have asking prices of $20,000 to $25,000. Some versions and restorations of 1934 models might have asking prices as high as $50,000. As mentioned above, Ford produced ten different models for 1934 and prices obviously differ between models. The highest price model at auction has been the Ford Deluxe Roadster. The Roadster is a rare car and a mint condition model could fetch six figures at auction.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)