January Automobile of the Month - 1933 Auburn 8-105 Salon Sedan
As the Great Depression dragged on, sales of the Auburn automobile began to shrink. During the depression, prices of Auburns were dropping which was good for a buyer; however this resulted in shrinking profit margins for the company. In an attempt to produce sales, the Auburn Automobile Company introduced a new luxury model the “Salon”.
There were two different engines available for the Salon, a V-12 and the more common flathead inline 8-cylinder engine that produced 100-horsepower. In 1933, it was considerably more than a V-8 Ford that had only 65-horsepower. The engine is an Auburn design, built by Lycoming Manufacturing, located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. E.L Cord purchased Lycoming in 1927 and it became the exclusive engine manufacturer for the Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg automobiles as well as Stinson Aircraft, also owned by Cord.
The Model 8-105 Salon Eight Sedan was produced for only one year as the 1934 Auburn lineup was entirely new. Unique to this model is the “V” shaped split-window wind-shield. In warm weather, this wind-shield could be tilted open at the bottom allowing air to flow from the front as you drive. In addition to the door glass, the small side windows can be lowered for additional ventilation. Compared to base model Auburns, this model also includes additional chrome trim, more stylish bumpers, and upgraded interior materials. With a wheel base of 127-inches, this model provided ample passenger room, especially for those in the back seat.
At a price of $1,245 (approximately $22,600 today), Auburn provided a considerable amount of luxury at a price similar to that of an 86-horsepower Buick. Unfortunately, sales of this particular model totaled only 293 units. For price comparison, Ford’s top V-8 model at this time was only $650 (approximately $11,800 today). Through the de-pression, small automobile companies such as Auburn found survival increasingly difficult. As a result, the Auburn Automobile Company lasted only a few more years after 1933. The final year for the Auburn make was 1936.
Donated to the museum by the Estate of Dorothy Waluk, Auburn, Indiana.
Experience the passion as you step back through time to the golden era of automobiles. Walk the same hallways as the automotive giants of yesterday. Touring the museum will give you an impression of what a day at Auburn Automobile Company must have been like in the 1930s.