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Thread: Auburn Model 653 1934-1937

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Auburn Model 653 1934-1937

    A junior version of the 850/851/852, powered by a straight six engine.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    The Netherlands
    Charles Eckhart moved to Auburn, Indiana in 1874 and established the Eckhart Carriage Company. After his retirement, the business was left to his sons. In the early 1900s, the two brothers built their first single-cylinder automobile thus establishing the Auburn Automobile Company. The company would make numerous advancements in technology and designs, but financial success was often elusive. In 1919, the Eckhart brothers sold their controlling interest in the company to a group of wealthy businessmen from Chicago, including William Wrigley, Jr. - the owner of Wrigley Chewing Gum. Sales improved but not anticipated profits. In 1924, the group hired Errett Loban Cord, a highly successful automobile salesman, with an offer to run the company. Relatively quickly, Cord was able to sell all of Auburn's unsold inventory and turn the fortunes of the company around. By 1926, Cord had taken control of the company and became the president of the Auburn Automobile Company.

    Cord grew the business during the 'Roaring Twenties' and into the early 1930s, building his automotive empire through acquisition after the acquisition of rival companies. The rapid increases were soon halted as the Great Depression tightened its grip on the economy. Adjustments were made to the models including the introduction of a more affordable six-cylinder line.

    1934 would be a particularly difficult year for Auburn as the new models were late to the market and were not well received at the time. Due to the delay, Auburns were in production for about six months that year.

    The 1934 Auburn model lineup included the 652X Standard, 652Y Custom, 850X Standard, 850Y Dual Ratio, and the Model 1250 Dual Ratio. The Model 652X and 652Y were powered by six-cylinder engines and body styles included a cabriolet, brougham, and sedan; the 652Y also had a Phaeton. Prices on the 652X ranged from $700 to $800, and the 652Y ranged from $800-$950. The 850X and 850Y were eight-cylinder models with prices that ranged from $950 to $1,175 with the 850X having the same list of body styles as the 652X and the 850Y duplicating the body styles of the 652Y. The Model 1250 was a twelve-cylinder model priced from $1,400 to $1,550.

    The 1934 Auburns were styled by designer Alan Leamy who left the company in 1934 after being blamed for the company's disappointing sales figures. Leamy had previously designed the L-29 Cord and the Model J Duesenberg. Gordon Buehrig was brought as his replacement, creating new design but keeping some of the best elements of Leamys 1934 designs. Buehrig and his team concentrated on the frontal area by revising the grille, adding side louvers, and adding semi-pontoon front fenders.

    The inline six-cylinder engine displaced 210 cubic-inches and delivered 85 horsepower. Braking was handled by four-wheel hydraulic brakes with power assist.

    The Auburn Automobile Company would soldier on for another two years before the automotive dynasty came to an abrupt end in 1937 after the business went into receivership.

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