Auburn Auto History

1900
Auburn Automobile Company Founded

The Eckhart family founded the Auburn Automobile Company. It was incorporated in 1903.

1903
First Public Automobile

The Auburn Automobile Company produced its first automobile for sale to the public.

1912
First Closed Automobile

The Auburn Automobile Company produced its first closed automobile.

1913
First Indy 500 Racecar

The Duesenberg Brothers entered their first Indy 500 with a Mason racecar.

1915
Frank and Morris Take Over Ownership

Charles Eckhart died. Frank and Morris took over ownership and administration of the Auburn Automobile Company.

1917
Aircraft Engines Built for the U.S. Government

The Duesenberg Automobile and Motors Company, operated by Fred and August Duesenberg in Elizabeth, New Jersey, built aircraft engines for the U.S. Government.

1919
Auburn Automobile Company sold to Chicago Investors

The Auburn Automobile Company was sold to a group of Chicago investors, including William Wrigley, Jr. The new ownership group oversees the manufacture of a new model called the Beauty-Six, which was designed by the Eckhart family prior to selling the company.

1921
First Passenger Car: Duesenberg Model A

Duesenberg Automobile and Motors Company debuted its first passenger car, the Duesenberg Model A.

1921
Driver Jimmy Murphy and Mechanic Ernie Olsen Win the French Grand Prix

Duesenberg driverJimmy Murphy and riding mechanic Ernie Olsen won the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.

1924
E.L. Cord Hired as Vice President and General Manager

E. L. Cord was hired as Vice President and General Manager of the Auburn Automobile Company by the Chicago ownership group.

1926
E.L. Cord Becomes President

E. L. Cord became President of the Auburn Automobile Company and owned controlling stock interest. He also purchased Duesenberg Automobile and Motors Company of Indianapolis and renamed it Duesenberg, Inc.

1926
Harold Armes Named Executive Vice President and Fred Duesenberg Named Vice-President of Engineering

Cord named long-time business associate Harold Ames as Executive Vice-President and Fred Duesenberg as Vice-President in charge of engineering.

1927
Third Indy 500 Victory

The Duesenberg racing team won its third Indy 500 of the 1920s.

1927
Transitional Duesenberg Model Created

A transitional model for the Duesenberg marque was created by Fred Duesenberg and Duesenberg, Inc. The Duesenberg Model X was introduced at the New York Auto Show.

1927
E.L. Cord Purchases A New Production Facility

E. L. Cord purchased a production facility in Connersville, Indiana, in order to expand the manufacturing capability of the Auburn Automobile Company.

1928
Duesenberg Model J and Auburn Speedster Created and Debuted

The Duesenberg Model J and Auburn Speedster were created and debuted. Gordon Buehrig became the stylist for Duesenberg, Inc. at twenty-five years old.

1929
E.L. Cord Establishes the Cord Corporation

E. L. Cord founded the Cord Corporation, a holding company based in Chicago of which the Auburn Automobile Company and Duesenberg, Inc. became subsidiaries.

1929
First Cord Automobile Produced - First Ever Successful Mass-Production Front-Wheel Drive Automobile in America

The first Cord automobile was produced by the Auburn Automobile Company. This automobile, the Cord L-29, was the first ever successful mass-production front-wheel drive automobile in America.

1930
Auburn Automobile Company Administration Building Completed and Opened

The Auburn Automobile Company administration building, designed by Alvin M. Strauss, was completed and opened. The approximate cost to build was $450,000.

1931
Best Sales Year Yet - 34,000 Automobiles Sold

The Auburn Automobile Company had its best sales year, selling 34,000 cars. By this time, the Auburn Automobile Company had over 100 international dealers and distributors in 93 different countries around the world.

1932
12-Cylinder Automobiles Debute

The Auburn Automobile Company debuted a line of 12-Cylinder automobiles.

1932
Fred Duesenberg Passes Away

Fred Duesenberg died from complications of pneumonia after an auto accident.

1932
Harold Ames Named President

Harold Ames was named President of Duesenberg, Inc.

1933
Mass-Production Moved to Connersville, Indiana

All mass-production of automobiles manufactured by the Auburn Automobile Company was moved to the Connersville, Indiana, production facility.

1934
“All-Steel” Construction Introduced

Auburn introduced its all-new automobile line with “All-Steel” construction. Public reaction to the Auburn’s styling was lukewarm. Harold Ames was transferred from Duesenberg in Indianapolis and was named Executive Vice-President of the Auburn Automobile Company. He brought Gordon Buehrig with him to restyle the 1935 Auburn.

1935
Alan Leamy Passes Away

Former Auburn Automobile Company designer Alan Leamy died from blood poisoning as a result of a medical injection.

1935
Line of Supercharged Speedsters Introduced

Auburn introduced a line of supercharged speedsters styled by Gordon Buehrig, with the supercharger work done by August Duesenberg.

1936
Buehrig-Designed Cord 810 Introduced

The Auburn Automobile Company introduced the Buehrig-designed Cord 810.

1936
All Auburn and Duesenberg Production Ends

1937
Optional Supercharge Offered on the Cord 812

The Auburn Automobile Company offered an optional supercharger on the Cord 812.

1937
Auburn Automobile Company Files for Bankruptcy

E. L. Cord sold his interests in the transportation industry and the Auburn Automobile Company filed for bankruptcy.

1938
Dallas Windslow Purchases the Building and Establishes the Auburn-Cord Duesenberg Company

The Auburn Automobile Company administration building was sold to Dallas Winslow, who founded the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Company, selling new old stock parts to owners of Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg automobiles, in addition to repairing them.

1960
Winslow Sells Rights to Glenn Pray of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Dallas Winslow sold the rights to Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg to Glenn Pray of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, who continued to sell and repair Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg automobiles in Broken Arrow.

1961
Auburn Automobile Company Admin Building Sold to Marshall Clothing Company

The Dallas Winslow estate sold the Auburn Automobile Company administration building to the Marshall Clothing Company.

1967
Auburn Automobile Company Put Up for Auction but Doesn’t Sell

The Auburn Automobile Company administration building was put up for auction by Sam Jacobs, but did not sell.

1973
North Showroom of the Auburn Automobile Company Administration Building Leased as a Motorcycle Sales and Repair Shop

The north showroom of the Auburn Automobile Company administration building was leased as a motorcycle sales and repair shop. The south showroom was used by Essex Corporation to store cardboard boxes.

1973
Fire Occurs at the Auburn Automobile Company and Auburn Automotive Heritage Inc. is Created

A fire occurred at the Auburn Automobile Company administration building. Auburn Automotive Heritage Inc. was created.

1974
Auburn Automobile Company Admin Building Purchased by Auburn, Cord Duesenberg Enthusiasts

The Auburn Automobile Company administration building was purchased by a group of citizens and Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg enthusiasts through Auburn Automotive Heritage Inc. from Sam Jacobs.