Auburn Fall

Auburn Auction Park
1 - 5 September 2020
Lot 6132

1933 Auburn Twelve Salon Speedster


$330,000 USD | Sold

United States | Auburn, Indiana



Engine No.
7-116-460 BJ7-124
  • Formerly of the Gene Zimmerman Collection
  • Well-maintained Steve Gunder restoration in striking colors
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
  • Eligible for all Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club events

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 Salon Speedster offered here was originally acquired as a project and restored for the well-known early collection of Gene Zimmerman, exhibited at Automobilorama in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in the late 1960s. The car was based upon an original Auburn Twelve chassis with an original speedster body from another chassis, as well as a great horde of original Salon trim components that were purchased from the remaining factory spares stock at Glenn Pray’s in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. During the work the original Twelve engine was found to be in poor condition, with an irreparable crack. As was common at the time, an American-LaFrance block, derived from the original Auburn Twelve design, was fitted with all the correct Auburn ancillary components, including the single-plug head, carburetors, and distributor.

When the Zimmerman collection was divested in 1979, the current owner acquired the Salon Speedster, and a fresh restoration was completed by the noted Steve Gunder of Topeka, Kansas, between 1981 and 1984, in this striking combination of silver and maroon. Thanks to the workmanship of Mr. Gunder and the care taken in the original build of the car, the result is an exceptional Salon Speedster that has all the correct Salon features, including a correct grille shell and now-unobtainable original glass headlight lenses. Not heavy-handed, the restoration exhibits what appears to be largely original woodwork within the tail, as well as much of the original factory undercoating sprayed therein. Accompanying the car are the side curtain rods.

The Salon Speedster is among the most treasured, most popular Auburns, and inarguably one of the most beautifully designed of all Full Classics. Offered from an exceptional home, this car represents a correctly restored example, using virtually all correct and genuine Salon components, from long-term care.