Lot 251

Hershey 2023

1933 Auburn Twelve Salon Speedster

Offered from A Private Collection


$385,000 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Serial No.
12165 1421 E
Chassis No.
Engine No.
BB 2163
Canadian Registration
  • Offered for the first time in over three decades
  • Restored as a Speedster with desirable Salon appointments, including “bowtie” front bumper and sweeping front fenders with chrome trim
  • Presented in metallic blue with silver hood and beltline over black leather
  • Previous ACD Club National Reunion Primary award recipient
  • Recognized as a CCCA Full Classic

In the tradition of great artists who became truly famous only after their death, Alan Leamy of the Auburn Automobile Company left behind 33 brief years of startling innovation in body contours—a portfolio that was appreciated in its time, but only became legendary decades after his passing in 1935. The lines he created matched his personality: a boisterous lady’s man, Leamy was a consummate car enthusiast with an eye for simple elegance.

Leamy’s finest design at Auburn was the company’s second generation “boattail” speedster. The original model, introduced in 1928, had been a smash sensation with its angled door lines, two-tone color scheme, and swept-back pointed tail that practically commanded the owner to test its 100-mph top speed. Leamy’s successor model featured more rounded, graceful lines with a blunted tail, creating a sensuous curve that wrapped around the rear of the car. Most prominently, Leamy made no attempt to hide the length of the Auburn’s hood, using the stretch of painted metal to emphasize the Lycoming power beneath it. It was Art Deco at its technical best, and it was Leamy who made beauty out of a beast in creating this automotive icon.

One of Leamy’s seminal creations is offered here. It was restored in the current Salon speedster configuration in the early 1950s while owned by the very early Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club member Harold Smith of Eastlake, Ohio, who exhibited the Auburn at many Club events well into the 1960s. Mr. Smith reportedly began with an original eight-cylinder speedster retrofitted with Salon trim and a Lycoming fire truck V-12, nearly identical to the original Auburn Twelve engine design. Subsequently the car was upgraded with what is believed to be an original but non-speedster Auburn Twelve frame, and the engine restamped with the correct Auburn “BB” numbering. Later it was owned and further improved by the respected Michigan-based collector Bill Chorkey, from whom the present owners acquired it in 1991. Following additional restoration work, it received a Primary award at the ACD National Reunion in 2004.

Largely displayed in recent years, the car is today dressed in the striking colors of medium metallic blue over a silver hood and beltline with red pinstriping, while the interior is trimmed in patinaed black leather. Naturally, it boasts such distinctive Salon features as the curvaceous “bowtie” front bumper with V-12 insignia, sweeping front fender lines with chrome trim, dual side-mounted spare tires, and chrome headlights, side lights, and taillights.

Offered for the first time in over three decades, this marvelous Auburn is sure to make a showstopping addition to countless vintage tours and concours.