Lot 9

2015   |   Pebble Beach Auctions 2015

1928 Auburn Model 88 Boattail Speedster

SOLD $275,000


$275,000 - $350,000



Car Highlights

Rare First-Generation Model 88 Speedster
Displayed at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®
Comprehensive Restoration Completed in 2012
Less than 300 Miles Since Restoration
Certified by the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club

Technical Specs

247 CID Side-Valve Inline 8-Cylinder Lycoming Engine
Single Schebler 2-Barrel Updraft Carburetor
90 HP at 3,200 RPM
3-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Lockheed Hydraulic Drum Brakes
Solid Front Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
Live Rear Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
Register to Bid

CCCA Grand Classic, Tacoma, Washington, July 2012 (First Place Primary)Crescent Beach Concours d’Elegance, Vancouver, Canada, September 2012 (Most Elegant Pre-War)Kirkland Concours d’Elegance, Tacoma, Washington, September 2012 (Kirkland Concours Award)ACD Meet, Santa Maria, California, October 2012 (Ab Jenkins Award – Best Auburn, Primary First Place, Senior First Place)ACD Meet, Auburn, Indiana, September 2013Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, August 2013

The Auburn Automobile Company established itself as one of America’s great marques in the early part of the 20th century. One of its most spectacular products was the Boattail Speedster, of which there were three generations over a nine-year span.

This is a lovely, fully restored short-wheelbase Auburn Model 88 Boattail Speedster confirmed to be a correct transitional example, built with a frame stamped "1928" and axles stamped "1929." This example, equipped with twin golf club doors, is finished in a striking combination of burgundy with red accents. Well-regarded in classic car circles for their sporting appearance, the always-scarce Model 88 Speedsters are now extremely rare, with very few having survived the ravages of time. Understanding the significance of this model, esteemed collector Fred Simeone added a Model 88 Speedster to his fantastic collection at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum.

The early history of this sporty Boattail is not known, but the Auburn was discovered in central Idaho in 1956 with its original engine and chassis plate having been lost. In 1995, Dave Baker, a railroad engineer from Walla Walla, Washington, bought the car and began an earnest attempt at restoration. The project was acquired in 1999 by Dave Ellis of Seattle, who continued to work toward the goal of a comprehensive restoration.

Under Ellis’ supervision, the bodywork, which included a new wooden body frame, was restored by Dennis Francis of Cushing, Oklahoma. The body was then painted in Abbotsford, British Columbia. While in Cushing, the Speedster was authenticated and certified by the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club, and its details were validated by marque authority Randy Ema. John Forsythe of Fremont, Ohio, was hired to rebuild the engine and transmission. In 2007, the Model 88 was acquired by the current Pacific Northwest-based owners, ACD enthusiasts with a collection of coffin-nosed Cords. The Auburn’s restoration was completed by the consignor in 2012, and the car was subsequently shown very successfully, culminating in an invitation to the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®.

Accompanied by photos from before and during the restoration, original parts from the restoration, and a carefully assembled book on the car’s history, this speedster is a perfect candidate for show or touring. Stunningly styled and beautifully finished, this Auburn represents an opportunity for the most ardent ACD enthusiast to add a true gem to his or her collection.