Auburn Automobile Company was an American automobile manufacturer that operated from 1900 to 1937. The company operated in Auburn, Indiana. Frank and Morris Eckhart, who had previously owned the Eckhart Carriage Company, were its founders. Initially, Auburn produced a line of high-quality carriages and buggies, but in 1900 they began producing automobiles.
Growth and Merger
The first Auburn automobiles were powered by a single-cylinder engine and had a top speed of 25 miles per hour. However, the company soon began producing more powerful vehicles, and in 1904 they introduced a four-cylinder engine. Auburn’s cars were known for their quality and performance, and the company became one of the best automobile manufacturers in the United States.
In 1909, a group of investors led by E. L. Cord bought Auburn . Under Cord’s leadership, Auburn expanded rapidly, acquiring the Duesenberg Motor Company in 1926 and launching a new line of luxury vehicles under the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg (ACD) brand. The ACD line was known for its innovative design, powerful engines, and luxurious features. It became one of the most prestigious brands in the American automobile industry.
Another Victim of the Depression
During the 1920s, Auburn faced stiff competition from other luxury automakers, including Cadillac and Packard. However, the company continued to innovate and introduce new features, such as front-wheel drive and supercharged engines. These innovations helped Auburn to maintain its position as a leading luxury car manufacturer.
The onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s proved to be a major challenge for Auburn. Sales declined sharply, and the company was forced to reduce production and lay off workers. In 1937, Auburn was acquired by the Cord Corporation, which also owned the Duesenberg and Lycoming engine companies. The new owners attempted to revive the Auburn brand, but were ultimately unsuccessful, and production ceased in 1937.
Auburn Automobiles produced a variety of models throughout its history, including several iconic and groundbreaking designs. Here are some of the most notable Auburn models:
Auburn 8-88: This was one of the first models produced by Auburn after World War I. It was a mid-range luxury car that featured an 88-horsepower eight-cylinder engine and a stylish, sporty design.
Auburn 120: The Auburn 120 was introduced in 1934 and quickly became one of the company’s most popular models. It was a high-end luxury car that featured a powerful 120-horsepower eight-cylinder engine and a sleek, art deco-inspired design.
Auburn 12-160A: Introduced in 1931, the car was essentially an Auburn with a Duesenberg-designed engine. It was marketed as the “Auburn-Duesenberg” to capitalize on the reputation of both brands.
Auburn Boattail Speedster: The Auburn Boattail Speedster was a stylish and iconic sports car that was produced in limited numbers between 1928 and 1936. It featured a long, sleek body, a distinctive boattail rear end, and a powerful eight-cylinder engine.
Auburn 851: The Auburn 851 was introduced in 1935 as a successor to the 120. It featured an updated eight-cylinder engine with 115 horsepower, as well as a redesigned body that was longer and more aerodynamic than its predecessor.
Auburn 852: The Auburn 852 was a high-performance version of the 851 that was introduced in 1936. It featured a supercharged engine that produced 150 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful cars of its time.
The Auburn factory was known for its advanced engineering and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, which allowed the company to produce high-quality, innovative cars. The factory was also notable for its use of color, with many of the cars produced at Auburn featuring bold, eye-catching hues.
- Year Started: 1900
- Year Ended: 1937
- Origin Of Name: Hometown and Corporate Headquarters
- Location Sales: North America
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: Frank and Morris Eckhart
- Owner While In Use: E. L. Cord and partners
- Owner Successor: N/A
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Lexus
- Naics Code: 336110
- Location Headquarters: Auburn, Indiana, USA