1935 Auburn BoatTail Speedster

The Auburn Automobile Company of Auburn Indiana manufactured some great looking cars and one of them is the 1935 Auburn BoatTail Speedster featured in this article. The car shown here is one of the best Auburn restoration cars you’ll ever come across. The Auburn Speedster with it’s classic low profile was designed to be a fast car and it was a fast car.

1935 Auburn Bobtail Speedster
1935 Auburn Bobtail Speedster

The Auburn Automobile Company was affected quite deeply by the Great Depression of the 1930’s. In addition to that, E.L Cord, the former Chicago car salesman turned automaker president, was under fire for alleged mismanagement as well as questionable stock dealings and the company found itself with an acting president in 1935 by the name of Harold T. Ames.

Ames was determined to turn things around for the company and to this effect charged designer Gordon Buehrig and engineer August Duesenberg with the task of redesigning the Auburn line. The budget allocated for redesign was meager and many existing parts from the current 1935 Speedsters had to be used. What was turned out by Auburn as a result was a newly designed 1935 eight cylinder turbo-charged Auburn Speedster. Buehrig is credited with creating some of the most beautiful Auburn cars ever built.

1935 Auburn Speedster interior and dash
1935 Auburn Speedster interior and dash

With new engines becoming available every few years, there were three different generations of the Auburn Speedster built from 1928 to 1937. All Auburns, prior to 1935, were built with twelve cylinder engines.

Auburn could make these cars relatively affordable but the twelve cylinders were being phased out. Left with a straight six engine, the engineers at Auburn decided to add two cylinders making it a straight eight.

The cars fared very well in racing events. Each had a remarkable design with the 1935 BoatTail model arguably being the most impressive.

The Auburn BoatTail Speedsters offered both eye catching design as well as performance.Because of the company’s lackluster sales performance at the time, the Speedster was intended to spark excitement among the performance car buying public and bring in much needed cash. The Auburn Automobile Company was remaking itself with the flashy Speedster models. You can easily see in the photo above how stylish the dashboard is on this Auburn Speedster.

Auburn Speedster classic rear design
Auburn Speedster classic rear design

The new 1935 Auburn BoatTail Speedster was guaranteed by the company to have a speed of 100 MPH. Five hundred of these new cars were manufactured and the story is that Auburn ended up losing money on every one. As it turned out for the company, the Auburn Automotive Company ceased operations in 1937.


Also see our photo articles on the Convertible Rolls-Royce Phantom the 2007 Morgan Aero Eight and the 1955 AC Ace Sports Car.

1935 Auburn BoatTail Speedster Specs

The automobile shown has a Lycoming Straight Eight Engine with 280 cubic inch displacement and 115 horsepower.

Front end of the 1935 Auburn Speedster
Front end of the 1935 Auburn Speedster

The body and chassis consisted of a steel box section X-braced chassis with steel Speedster body along with two doors and two seats. Brakes were hydraulically operated with Lockheed drums. Suspension used semi-elliptic leaf springs and hydraulic dampers on the front and live axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs and hydraulic dampers on the rear. Transmission was a three speed manual with synchromesh on second and third and the gear box a unit with the engine.

Vehicle length was 194 3/32 inches, width was 71 inches and weight was about 3,747 pounds.

Auburn Car Collectors

All Auburn automobiles are popular with car collectors. Auburn Spring and Auburn Fall  are classic car and collector swap meets, auctions and car corrals. These events are held annually in May and September at the Auburn Auction Park in Auburn, Indiana.

See the Historic Auburn Cars

If you have the opportunity, visit the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn Indiana. The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum is a National Historic Landmark and is located in the building that was once the national headquarters and showroom for the Auburn Automobile Company. The building was first opened in 1930 and the museum opened in 1974. The museum features Auburn car exhibits as well as 25,000 artifacts of photos, blueprints, books and advertising material.

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums.The museum is located at 1600 South Wayne Street, Auburn Indiana.

(Photos and article copyright AutoMuseumOnline)