=History and Art at "Cookie Heights" Parson Street=(1926)
Wednesday, June 1
1928 Auburn 8-88 Speedster
'Auburn was a stylish domestic Automobile produced from 1900 to 1936. It grew out of the Eckhart Carriage Company, founded in Auburn, Indiana, in 1875 by Charles Eckhart (1841–1915). Eckhart's sons, Frank and Morris, began making automobiles on an experimental basis before entering the business in earnest, absorbing two other local carmakers and moving into a larger plant in 1909. The enterprise was modestly successful until materials shortages during WWI forced the plant to close.
In 1919, the Eckhart brothers sold out to a group of Chicago investors. The new owners revived the business but failed to realize the profits that they hoped for. In 1924, they approached Errett Lobban Cord (1894–1974), a highly successful automobile salesman, with an offer to run the company. Cord countered with an offer to take over completely in what amounted to a leveraged buyout. The Chicago group accepted.
Cord aggressively marketed the company's unsold inventory and completed his buyout before the end of 1925. In 1926, he purchased Duesenberg Corporation, famous for its racing cars, and used it as the launching platform for a line of high-priced luxury vehicles. He also put his own name on a front-wheel-drive car, the L-29 Cord.
Employing imaginative designers such as Alan Leamy and Gordon Buehrig, Cord built cars that became famous for their advanced engineering as well as their striking appearance, e.g., the 1928 Auburn Boattail Speedster, the Model J Duesenbergs, the 1935–1937 Auburn Speedsters and the 810/812 Cords.
Styling and engineering failed to overcome the fact that Cord's vehicles were too expensive for the Depression-era market and that Cord's stock manipulations would force him to give up control of his car companies. Under injunction from the SEC to refrain from further violations, Cord sold his shares in his automobile holding company. In 1937, production of Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs ended.
The company's art deco headquarters in Auburn now houses the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum. It was made a National Historic Landmark in 2005. The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club holds an Annual Renuion every Labor Day at Auburn Indiana, and this has become one of the premier gatherings of collector cars and enthusiasts in the Country.
The Auburn Speedster is an iconic car, one of the most desirable cars of the classic era. Starting in production in 1927, these were halo cars produced to get people into the showroom, and were produced in sparse numbers.'