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This 1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Boattail Speedster has a remarkable double distinction. Rare is the vehicle that earns an Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Verification of Authenticity. This Model 851 Speedster has earned the certification twice, once in 1994 and again in 2000.
A certified Auburn, Cord, or Duesenberg is a vehicle of the same make, model, and body style as built by the factory prior to 1941. To qualify for the ACD verification, the chassis must have the original frame, engine, drivetrain, and running gear components of the same model series.
“It was a very advanced car for its day,” then-owner Russell Hopf of Riverside, Calif., said of his vehicle in an Ontario (Calif.) Daily Report article. “It has a supercharged engine, tachometer, two-speed rear axle, and suction-driven windshield wipers operating off the supercharger.”
Hopf also pointed out that the Speedster was guaranteed to travel at 100 mph when it was manufactured. Also of note, the 851 Speedster was the first stock American car to exceed 100 mph for 12 hours.
This particular Speedster was apparently one of five right-hand-drive vehicles produced for export to Europe. It was later converted to left-hand drive by one of its owners.
Designed for Greatness
The 851 was Auburn’s final production model, as the company stopped making cars altogether in 1937. The vehicle’s masterful, art deco-inspired bodywork was designed by Gordon Buehrig.
Manufacturers borrowed the 851’s famous “boattail” design for cars in later decades, two prime examples being the 1963-1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and the 1971-1973 Buick Riviera.
1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Boattail Speedster specs:
- 150 HP
- 4.5-Liter Straight-Eight Lycoming Supercharged Engine
- Columbia Dual-Ratio Axle
- Three-Speed Synchromesh Gearbox
- Six-Speed Transmission
- Wheelbase of 127 Inches