Lot 115

2015   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2015

1936 Auburn 852 SC Boattail Speedster

SOLD $770,000


$700,000 - $850,000



Car Highlights

ACD-Certifed Example
Exhaustively Researched Restoration
Multiple-Award Winner
Astonishing Attention to Detail
Pebble Beach Concours and Tour d’Elegance Veteran

Technical Specs

280 CID Inline 8-Cylinder Engine
150 BHP at 4,400 RPM
Stromberg EX-32 Carburetor
3-Speed Manual Transmission with 2-Speed Columbia Rear End
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
Front Beam Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
Live Rear Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
Register to Bid

Joseph Coppola, Novi, MichiganPetersen Automotive Museum (acquired from the above in 2003)Paul Petrovich (acquired from the above in 2006)Current owner (acquired from the above)

Meadow Brook Concours, Rochester Hills, Michigan, August 2003 (People’s Choice Award)Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, August 2011 (Editor’s Choice Award)Niello Concours at Serrano, El Dorado Hills, California (Best in Show)

This stunning 1936 Auburn 852 SC Boattail Speedster is the result of two no-expense-spared restorations. The first, conducted in 2002 and undertaken by Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg enthusiast Joe Coppola, led to this speedster being awarded an AACA National First Prize. The Auburn was then entered into the 2003 Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance, where it was awarded the prestigious People’s Choice Award. The car was then sold privately to the renowned Petersen Automotive Museum in Southern California, where it remained on display until 2006 when it was purchased by Auburn specialist Paul Petrovich of Sacramento. Upon being invited to the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, with only 250 miles covered since its 2002 restoration, the Auburn was again completely disassembled in preparation for another finely detailed restoration that included re-crafting the fenders, hood, and splash pans to precise, original factory measurements. In almost daily collaboration with a senior ACD judge, every part of this car was examined, replaced, or refinished where the slightest imperfection was detected. The extraordinary attention to detail was assisted through access to an original, untouched surviving 1935 851 SC Auburn Speedster located in Wisconsin that was cross-referenced with rare production-line factory photographs. Further, the five freeze-plug 1936 Lycoming straight-eight engine that was sourced for the car during the initial restoration was inspected to verify that it was indeed equipped with the special modified crankshaft, connecting rods, and oil pan common only to supercharged engines. This speedster also has the rare and correct 1 3/8" venture-port EX-32 Stromberg carburetor that was unique to the 147 speedsters manufactured in 1935 and 1936. Ultimately, thousands of hours were spent toward the goal of building the finest 1936 Auburn Boattail Speedster possible, and the results are immediately evident.

At its Pebble Beach presentation, the speedster was selected as Editor’s Choice by several well-known automotive publications. The Auburn was then invited to compete in the prestigious Niello Concours at Serrano in El Dorado Hills, California, where it was awarded Best in Show, earning top honors over several multi-million dollar entries.

Prior to its acquisition by the consignor, this speedster underwent a two-year process of being considered for certification by the ACD Club. According to the ACD Certification Ledger in Auburn, Indiana, 33914E was granted certificate number A-503. Its certificate and report from the ACD board of directors accompany the car upon sale.

When placing an order for a new Auburn Speedster in the mid-1930s, for an additional $65 it could be painted in any custom color imaginable. Beyond the spectacular design and mechanical restoration, it is the color of this car that sets it apart from its peers. This car is finished in an elegant maroon with a hint of dark brown that can only be characterized as “Auburn.” When viewed in the sunlight, the finish takes on a deeper and more complex hue and is truly breathtaking.

The 50 or so surviving original 1935–1936 Auburn Boattail Speedsters – with their sparkling external stainless steel exhaust – present an amazing experience to own and drive; and the fact that this car has been certified by the ACD Club is even more significant. These speedsters in many ways became the rolling icons of the Art Deco era and have distinguished themselves at the top of all American cars of the period. This speedster is virtually in a class unto itself. Given the strong values of these individually hand-built works of art, bidders are encouraged to carefully consider this remarkable opportunity to own a masterpiece.