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Help identify grandfathers Auburn

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These are my grandparents. We always heard about the Auburn and have seen the picture. Unfortunatly my grandfather passed before I had  interest in the car. I was finally able to scan the picture and share it but we dont know what model this is or any info about it. Not even sure its an Auburn! Any information greatly appreciated. Wish it was still in the family!

20180924_070838.jpg

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The car is a 1931 Auburn "8" Phaeton sedan model 898. It was Auburns name for a convertible sedan. It could also be a early 1932 model 8-100 .  If it had a 2 speed Columbia rear axle it would of been a 8-100A . They are a good driving car.

Edited by mikewest (see edit history)
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Wish your family still had it and were looking to sell it.  It's exactly what I'm looking for. 

Take note of those whitewall tires everyone said weren't on cars back then and this one has probably 6 of them in 1935 according to the date on the front of the picture. 

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On 9/28/2018 at 9:04 AM, mikewest said:

It could also be a early 1932 model 8-100

 How can you tell it isn't a late 1932?

 Either way my guess is it is the Deluxe model (8-98A or 8-100A model) because of the chrome headlight buckets.

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5 hours ago, 1937-44 said:

 How can you tell it isn't a late 1932?

 Either way my guess is it is the Deluxe model (8-98A or 8-100A model) because of the chrome headlight buckets.

It has lock ring type wire wheels  and that makes it a 31 or possibly early 32.  If it had drop center wire wheels it would be easy to identify it as 32.  Sidenote, may be just the way the light is hitting car, but it looks to have stainless trim on the hood louvers (which was typically just a V-12 thing, but this is not a V-12).  Also sports an accessory trunk, but does not sport a flying man radiator ornament. 

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21 hours ago, auburnseeker said:

Wish your family still had it and were looking to sell it.  It's exactly what I'm looking for. 

Take note of those whitewall tires everyone said weren't on cars back then and this one has probably 6 of them in 1935 according to the date on the front of the picture. 

Not true !  never said they didn't come with them.  There were white on both sides

I always thought the drop center wheels were a 33 option  My 32 sedan #8266 has split rims. 

31-33 bumper mount.jpg

Edited by Curti
update (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, John_Mereness said:

It has lock ring type wire wheels  and that makes it a 31 or possibly early 32.

 Thanks. My eyes aren't good enough to make out the type of wheels.

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Curt is correct, unless an off-brand whitewall such as a "Dayton",  "Fisk",  "Conshohocken", or ... you never see any photos of a perhaps pre -1938 car with Firestones, Generals, or ... whitewalls that were not whitewalls on both sides of the tire.  In the above photo, the sedan on the left appears to have Firestone tires, and the Boattail on the right appears to have BF Goodrich tires. 

 

I am wondering if there was some sort of dividing line in 1932 regarding drop center wheels (and do not think I have ever seen a V-12 with lock-ring type w/ the bulk of V-12's I think are  32) - perhaps a chrome plated wheel thing as to drop centers or .... too.   Correct though in I see more 32's with lock ring type wheels than drop center type.

 

When a friend and I did a 1931 Phaeton it was lock ring type for sure - we had to replace most wheels due to wear hubs and a couple had excess wear around spokes too - an Australian car that ran, but frightening what kind of wear and back year repairs had been done to it over its life (when all said and done we probably replaced 95% of the mechanical parts on the car - turned out to be a good car rest of way though and once restored was fairly decent runner all be it took a couple more owners who were not afraid to chip paint to dial it in the way it needed to be .  I think this year was first time in eons I have not seen it at ACD Festival.  It is Silver and Black).

 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)

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Hard to say, but probably not.  They put the highest end cars up front for the picture.  From that picture, one would think white walls were prevalent, but the opposite was true.

Probably about the same percentage as you see on modern cars today. 

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I restored a EARLY 32 Phaeton and it had snap ring wheels .I questioned it and was given a copy of a service bulletin  or something that indicated a change in wheels early like March of 32 . The car is gone now and I don't have the paper , but someone that really wanted to now could find out ,. My car had the Kick Shackle another sure sign of a 32 model  car.  There was something about one of the motor mounts on the front whether it was a bolt on or not , plus whether the car had Depress  Beam or Stable Lite  lenses in the headlights.

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Mike , I believe those are all 'running changes' before and after serial number AND whether the car was built at Auburn or Connersville.   

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Wow. Thanks for all the replies. So interesting. I hadn't checked the post or email over the weekend. Grateful for all and any information I can pass on to the family and for my own curiosity. If I had the means, I would love to have a collection with cars that spanned the 20th century. 60's European being my favorite. 

 

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On 9/29/2018 at 7:56 PM, auburnseeker said:

Did they all have whitewalls in that showroom? The three I can see the tires on are all whitewalls. 

Curt is most likely correct about whitewalls - I question if many (if any) an Auburn came off the assembly line with whitewalls (unless Auburn had an ordering procedure that allowed such - not sure I recall whitewalls in the accessory brochures for Auburn - I could be wrong though).  My guess is a "special display" or given the number of cars in picture one of their more key dealerships.  Obviously, Fuller Auburn Cord on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills had a slightly different clientele than say a dealership in Chicago or .... On the flip side of the coin, my guess is most every dealership had access to whitewalls - and at a discount price arranged through the factory. 

 

My grandfather drove an Auburn (31 or 32 Coupe) - it was a big deal for a farm boy who went to college (w/a Masters and Doctorate too) and lucked into one of the better jobs in the United States.   When he met my grandmother though (also via a tie to the Auburn), it was fine until they got married - then he was asked to ditch the Auburn and there was a "more respectable car" in his future  (ie. Auburns were owned by people who were flashy and ... - wrong element).  He gave the car to one of his brothers and ....

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The company pictured speedsters with whitewalls in one  brochure that I have.   I think that whitewalls in most cases were dealer installed along with Buell  horns, radios and heaters and other factory authorized accessories.

It is my opinion that factory literature isn't always correct, as sometimes it is an artists rendition.  I always enjoy finding new (to me) factory pictures. they tell it the way it was.  

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