Lot 122

Arizona 2016

1934 Auburn Twelve Salon Speedster


$313,500 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona



Engine No.
BB 2530
  • Formerly of the Gordon Apker and Malcolm Pray collections
  • Original Salon chassis and Auburn speedster body
  • Prominently featured in Griffith Borgeson’s Errett Lobban Cord
  • Recent extensive mechanical servicing and detailing by D.L. George Coachworks

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

Produced only in 1933 and 1934, the Twelve Salon Speedster was the sportiest of all Auburns, combining the power of the famous Lycoming V-12 with Alan Leamy’s striking “boattail” styling and featuring additional chrome trim, unique headlamps, a unique dashboard, and the now-iconic Salon-exclusive “ribbon” bumpers. It is believed that only nine of these cars were originally produced by the factory in Auburn, Indiana.

The car offered here was formerly owned by respected enthusiast Gordon Apker, who recalls that it is composed entirely of original Auburn-built components, including an original Salon Twelve chassis, its original engine, and an original Auburn speedster body. During an intensive restoration performed for Mr. Apker in the early 1970s, the car’s original chassis number, 1122 A, was modified to read 1122 E, with “E” being the correct suffix for a factory speedster. This is in keeping with the overall attention to authenticity and detail found throughout. For instance, the car retains the correct original Salon fenders with their distinctive stainless trim, as well as the stainless hood louver adornments and proper, original glass Salon headlamp lenses.

The restored Speedster was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1980, where it was awarded Best in Class. Following on that success, it was brought across the United States to Auburn, Indiana, where it was awarded Best Auburn at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club’s National Reunion. According to Apker, it lost Best of Show to a Duesenberg by the narrowest of margins. Five years later, in 1984, it was prominently featured in a two-page color spread in Griffith Borgeson’s seminal work, Errett Lobban Cord. That this car was capable of such prestigious honors is a testament to the superb work carried out by Apker and his team.

Mr. Apker eventually sold his Auburn to a collector in Switzerland, from whom it was acquired by the late, much-respected enthusiast and philanthropist Malcolm S. Pray Jr., from whose collection it was purchased by the present owner. The car has undergone extensive mechanical servicing and cosmetic detailing by the specialists at D.L. George Coachworks in Cochranville, Pennsylvania, including tuning, improvements to the striking maroon and silver finish, and correction of various details, including the fabrication of a new steering stabilizer shock and servicing of the ignition system. The result would be one of the most striking cars on any Classic Car Club of America CARavan or Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club tour. Twelve-cylinder Auburns have long been among the most desirable automobiles for such occasions, just as they were desired by gentleman racers, like the Collier brothers, when new.

This beautiful Auburn, a car of style and quality, was perfectly at home within the famous Apker and Pray collections, and it would be equally at home with a new owner who appreciates its many virtues.