Lot 157

1933 Auburn Twelve Salon Phaeton

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$268,800 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida

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Serial No.
12-165 1147 H
Engine No.
BB 2152
Body No.
L-59-44
Documents
US Title
  • Offered from a private collection
  • Formerly owned by Dr. Elwood “Bud” Greist and Andy Granatelli
  • A genuine Salon model; one of the most desirable multi-cylinder cars of its era
  • Well-preserved older restoration in striking colors
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
language

In an attempt to improve sales of its smooth, powerful 12-cylinder model in the face of the Great Depression, Indiana automaker Auburn introduced a Salon version for 1933. The Salon was built upon its own specially strengthened chassis with adjustable vacuum-boosted brakes, and sported numerous unique design features, including a racing-inspired vee’d grille smoothly blended into the hoodline, unique headlamp lenses, fenders edged in chrome brightwork, and the iconic and widely copied “ribbon” bumpers. These were inarguably some of the most beautiful Auburns ever built, as well as among the most expensive and luxurious, and are today among the most desired by collectors. They are also scarce; the model was produced only for 1933, although retitled leftovers were subsequently sold into 1934.

The Twelve Salon Phaeton offered here was one of the first Auburns to have its body built by the Limousine Body Company, supplier of the company’s convertible coachwork after the firm was relocated to Connersville, Indiana. Its ownership history has been traced back to the late 1940s, when the phaeton was owned by Arthur Patterson of Daly City in Northern California. Mr. Patterson eventually sold the car to early enthusiast Marshall Hughes of Kansas City after which it passed to Richard Carrington of Nebraska. It then traded hands, through Auburn Twelve guru Mort Kresteller, to the late Dr. Elwood “Bud” Greist of Livermore, California, a surgeon and vineyard owner with a passion for Auburn and Cord automobiles.

Dr. Greist painstakingly restored this Twelve over many years, beginning in the late 1970s and continuing through the late 1980s, with the car shown in-process at several Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club West Coast Meets. At its completion, the car was an award-winner at Pebble Beach in 1987, and subsequently judged Best Auburn at the West Coast Meet in 1990 and Best of Show at the annual Silverado Concours.

Dr. Greist subsequently sold his Auburn in 1991 to the colorful and ebullient Andy Granatelli, of STP and Indianapolis racing fame, who was then amassing a small collection of Classics at his home in Florida. Later it passed to Richard Scott of Ohio and finally to the present owner in 2000. The Auburn has remained largely out of the public eye for over 20 years, but its restoration is largely well-preserved, and the rather spectacular color scheme remains as attractive as it is striking. It would be an ideal example for proper sorting and freshening, and would then certainly be warmly welcomed back to the ACD and CCCA folds this year.