Lot 241

Hershey 2023

1931 Auburn 8-98A Custom Cabriolet

Offered from A Private Collection


$86,900 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Serial No.
8-98A 10173 F
Engine No.
GU 45829
Canadian Registration
  • Under current ownership for 35 years
  • Attractive restoration in elegant colors
  • Desirably equipped with Trippe fog lights, color-matched wire wheels, and dual side-mount spares
  • Overdrive conversion and custom-ground camshafts for improved performance
  • Recognized as a CCCA Full Classic

Following a disastrous year of sales severely impacted by the onset of the Great Depression, Auburn’s entire 1931 lineup was simultaneously reduced to a single model platform, the 8-98, which in turn was entirely redesigned by in-house stylist Alan Leamy.

Leamy had been hired away from Marmon three years prior, and his first job was the Cord L-29, the new front-drive car then under development. For the 8-98, he used some of the same styling cues from the low-slung Cord but applied them to dramatic effect on the taller Auburn chassis.

Unveiled to great acclaim, Leamy’s sleek and sporty catalogued designs for the 8-98 wholly reinvigorated sales for the marque. Beneath the surface, the revised and improved mechanicals of the 8-98 platform, with its 268 cubic-inch, straight-eight engine, introduced notable features, including the pioneering use of X-bracing in a rear-wheel drive car, Bijur lubrication, Lovejoy hydraulic shocks, semi-elliptical suspension on all corners, and an optional LGS Freewheeling unit.

Despite tremendous (and successful) effort to reduce production costs and streamline catalogue offerings, Auburn still offered the 8-98 in a variety of body styles across two trim lines—a standard model and the more luxurious 8-98A Custom, which added $200 to the price.

Presented today in its very attractive polychrome red livery beneath a contrasting black cloth convertible top, this previously restored 1931 Auburn 8-98A Custom Cabriolet is offered from 35 years of much-enjoyed residency within a noted, private collection of prewar American automobiles. Following the consignor’s 1988 purchase, it was subsequently submitted to a painstaking and notably accurate body-off restoration to concours-presentation standards, which was completed in late 1995. The car was, per the consignor’s common requirement, also tastefully improved at the time for touring use by way of custom-ground “hot” camshafts, an overdrive conversion, an electric fan, and twin Stromberg carburetors. Over the interceding years, this eminently presentable Auburn Custom Cabriolet has been sparingly used and always retained within climate-controlled storage.

All eight-cylinder Auburns are recognized today as Full Classics by the Classic Car Club of America, though perhaps none were so critical to the company’s survival through the Great Depression as the 8-98 and 8-98A of 1931. This car is eligible for all club activities, including Classic and Grand Classic meets and CARavan tours.

The opportunity to purchase an Auburn 8-98A Custom Cabriolet, a fantastically rare automobile of exceptional style, performance, and presentation, is inherently special, and this splendid example is sure to be cherished for decades to come.