1933 Auburn 12-165 Phaeton

Asking $199,000.00

Reasonable Offers Encouraged

Location: Indiana
VIN #:
Transmission:3 Speed Manual w Dual Ratio
Mileage:test miles only

The Auburn was a stylish domestic Automobile produced from 1900 to 1936. It grew out of the Eckhart Carriage Company, founded in Auburn, Indiana, in 1875 by Charles Eckhart (1841–1915). Eckhart's sons, Frank and Morris, began making automobiles on an experimental basis before entering the business in earnest, absorbing two other local carmakers and moving into a larger plant in 1909. The enterprise was modestly successful until materials shortages during WWI forced the plant to close.

In 1919, the Eckhart brothers sold out to a group of Chicago investors. The new owners revived the business but failed to realize the profits that they hoped for. In 1924, they approached Errett Lobban Cord (1894–1974), a highly successful automobile salesman, with an offer to run the company. Cord countered with an offer to take over completely in what amounted to a leveraged buyout. The Chicago group accepted.

Cord aggressively marketed the company's unsold inventory and completed his buyout before the end of 1925. In 1926, he purchased Duesenberg Corporation, famous for its racing cars, and used it as the launching platform for a line of high-priced luxury vehicles. He also put his own name on a front-wheel-drive car, the L-29 Cord.

Employing imaginative designers such as Alan Leamy and Gordon Buehrig, Cord built cars that became famous for their advanced engineering as well as their striking appearance, e.g., the 1928 Auburn Boattail Speedster, the Model J Duesenbergs, the 1935–1937 Auburn Speedsters and the 810/812 Cords.

The company's art deco headquarters in Auburn now houses the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum. It was made a National Historic Landmark in 2005. The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club holds an Annual Renuion every Labor Day at Auburn Indiana, and this has become one of the premieir gatherings of collector cars and enthusiasts in the Country.

This extremely rare 12 Salon Phaeton is one of just 14 known to survive. An early '33 production car (#64), the Salon Phaeton was the highest priced Auburn at the time. This car has a known history going back to the 50's where it resided in the Movie World Museum and reportedly was used in several Hollywood films. After passing through the hands of 2 noted ACD collectors, the car was purchased by the seller in the early 90's. The motor was rebuilt by Steve Babinsky shortly before the seller acquired the car. Initially planning on doing more of a driver quality restoration due to the fine condition of the car, the seller decided instead to do a ground up show quality restoration. The Chassis was professionally restored in 2007 by noted ACD specialist Stan Gilliland. During the restoration the original Desert Sand Opalescent Paint was discovered and the Chassis has been painted this color. The two toned paint scheme on these cars was limited to the belt molding (contrary to popular belief) and the brake drums have been painted the original Auburn Tan Opalescent. The 1933 Auburn original color brochure list the color combination as: "body & fenders - Desert Sand Opalescent; raised portions - Auburn Tan Opalescent; stripe & wheels - Casino Red; Chassis - Desert Sand Opalescent

The body has been restored and is ready for paint, the bumpers and several other chrome parts have been replated, and all the correct parts to complete the restoration have been acquired and are in solid restorable condition. ACD certified car # A247, this car has been certified by the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club as an original, correct 12 Salon Phaeton. Featuring Dual Ratio Rear End, Adjustible Vacuum Assisted Hydraulic Brakes, and a fully synchronized gearbox, the '33 Salon cars share very few common parts with their Auburn brethren. These cars are generally considered the Pinnacle of Auburns as far as collectibility goes since they have all the advanced mechanical attributes of the later cars, coupled with the drop dead gorgeous Alan Leamy styling of '31-'33, which is in the opinion of many collectors the most beautiful car Auburn ever produced.

This is a very rare if not once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire a 12 Salon Phaeton. In recent years the demand for these cars has gotten so high that most collectors that have a 12 Salon car simply refuse to sell them.


Click on any image zoom in!


Body & Interior Parts

Headlights & Body Trim

Interior Instruments & Seating