Lot 195

Amelia Island 2016

1934 Auburn Twelve Salon Phaeton


$375,000 - $450,000 USD | Not Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida



Serial No.
1250 1064 H
Engine No.
BB 2481 U
  • A genuine Salon Twelve with original chassis, engine, and body
  • Known ownership history since new
  • Exceptional authenticity throughout
  • An excellent example of one of the most desirable Auburns

Model 1250. 160 bhp, 391 cu. in. horizontal-valve V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle, live two-speed rear axle, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf-spring suspension, and four-wheel vacuum-assisted hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 133 in.

It is well known that some of the greatest American automobiles ever produced were sparked into being by the Great Depression. Among them were Auburn’s 12-cylinder Salon models, which were launched for 1933 in a desperate attempt to improve sales of the slow-selling Auburn Twelve. The Salon Twelve boasted numerous unique features, most visibly a new racing-style vee’d grille, unique headlamp lenses, fenders edged in chrome, and the iconic “ribbon” bumpers. It was also built upon a specially strengthened chassis with adjustable vacuum-boosted brakes. These were not only the best-looking 12-cylinder Auburns but also the most expensive and luxurious. They sold slowly but nonetheless lasted into 1934.

Today, genuine Salon Twelves are extraordinarily rare, while many Standard and Custom models have been dolled up in more recent decades with the desirable Salon exterior trim.

The car offered here, serial number 1250 1064 H, is an original and benefits from having known ownership history since day one of its existence. Its original owner was a Mr. Carter of Pensacola, Florida, who likely acquired his new car for a bargain price in the midst of the Great Depression. Used for about 25,000 miles by the time of Mr. and Mrs. Carter’s passing in the mid-1950s, it was subsequently inherited and put into storage by their three children. It remained in a Pensacola garage until 1979, when it was finally sold to the second owner, enthusiast Arthur Griffin, who had spent 18 years pursuing it!

Subsequently fully restored in its present brilliant scarlet livery, with a tan interior and tan cloth top, the car was maintained by Mr. Griffin for a decade. More recently part of another prominent collection, it is now an older restoration but remains extremely attractive in its details and overall authenticity. The restoration has mellowed very nicely, with light wear to the interior from limited use and the paint and chrome imperfections showing the age of the craftsman’s work. The Salon Twelve trim is correct and original throughout, and the car has virtually all available accessories, including dual Pilot Ray steering driving lights and an original Auburn-Crosley radio; the engine block is the original and correct Auburn unit for this car.

Benefiting from limited and known ownership since new and retaining its original components, this is one of the best and most pure Salon Twelves to become available in recent years. It stands ready to be introduced with pride to ACD Club and CCCA activities, in which it will undoubtedly be a star, as it was in 1934.