The Auburn 8-851 SC was a response to the failure of the previous 12 cylinder 12-160 model to sell at Dodge V8 prices, customers, even during those depression years up to 1933, erroneously thought there had to be something wrong with the product to be offered at such bargain prices !
Restyled by Gordon Beuhrig, of a model originally designed by Alan Leamy, the Speedster is one of the all time most memorable elegant designs from nose to boat tail.
The 8 indicating 8 cylinders was dropped from the model name to become ‘851’ which was available with a normally aspirated straight 8 Lycoming motor or a 150 hp supercharged one.
The casual observer looking at the front of an Auburn was never left in any doubt about the Supercharged version of the “851” chrome headers of the SC were matched by tasteful text on the bonnet / hood which shouted out top of the range model …
even on the intake side of the motor !
Fabled speed merchant Ab Jenkins took a stock 851 SC Speedster and ran it for 12 hours at an average speed of 100 mph soon after the model launched on January 1st 1935. Ab Jenkins was then employed to test each 851 SC Speedster to over 100 mph before shipment, the plaque on this one shows Ab tested the car to 100.6 mph.
Around 5000 normally aspirated and supercharged version of the ‘851’ were sold in 1935, but the following year sales of the same model rebadged ‘852’ tanked leading EL Cord to wind up production at the 40 year old Auburn company for good.
This particular car was purchased by Eduardo Montinola as a courting gift for Philippine model Susan Magalona who married Eduardo’s rival Carlos Ledesma a sugar baron in what was described as the marriage of the year, in the Philippines, with gifts that included a truck full of peanuts ! The Marriage was loveless and annulled and Susan subsequently married millionaire diplomat by the name of Federico Elizalde.
Thanks for joining me on this ‘Unlucky In Love’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !