Auburn Automobile Company - 1900-1936 - Auburn, Indiana
Auburn (Auburn Automobile Company – Auburn Indiana) showed a nine-passenger airport limousine called the Auburn-Cummins at the 1935 NY auto show in November 1935 that was powered by a Cummins diesel engine. Car was never manufactured.
Auburn funeral coaches were produced during the Great Depression in the mid-1930s when the struggling Auburn Automobile Company was attempting to diversify to reach more customers. The largely inactive Auburn factory began limited production of bodies and chassis for airport limousines, ambulances and hearses for the commercial vehicle market. Auburn built only about 50 of these hearses in 1935 and 1936. Few survive. A 1936 Auburn Hearse could be purchased for $1,895 and weighed 4,300 pounds. The company offered one of the most economically priced hearses in America while drawing from its long-standing reputation for superior styling. The 163-inch-wheelbase funeral coach (36 inches longer than that of a standard Auburn sedan) is powered by a 115-horsepower Lycoming straight eight engine. The interior is upholstered in deep blue mohair. The rear door is of a two-piece design with hinged upper and lower sections, both opened with a single handle. When open, the lower section extends the length of the casket compartment floor.
AUBURN (US) 1936
Auburn Automobile Co., Auburn, Ind.
Ironically this famous car manufacturer chose a line of ambulances and hearses for a last-ditch stand. This used a lengthened edition of their 852-series private car chassis with 4.6-litre straight-8 Lycoming engine, and hydraulic brakes. The year's sales, were, however, less than 5,000 vehicles, and very few of these were professional cars. MCS
xxxxxNow under the direction of supersalesman E.L. Cord, Auburn entered the professional car field in 1926 with a beautiful 88hp Lycoming-engined 7-passenger sedan-limousine, mounted on a 146" wheelbase, designed exclusively for the funeral industry. The limousine-sedan remained in production through 1928.
In 1936 Auburn introduced a purpose-built limousine-style 115hp Lycoming-powered ambulance and funeral coach that was priced starting at a very low $1850. Unfortunately it was only offered for one year as its owner E.L. Cord, under investigation by the Federal Government for securities fraud, liquidated Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg at the end of the year.
I am presently restoring a 1932 Auburn Model 8-100A SevenPassenger Limousine that was used in Ohio as an ambulance and funeral car. It was ordered from the factory with split front seats and unwelled front fenders, and the right-side doors were rehung with a removable center column, apparently the usual way of making a car function as both an ambulance and funeral limo. The son of the original owner wrote me with the history of the car, confirming this information.
Although there were some 1935-36 Auburn hearses, out of the 196 seven-passenger limousines built between 1931 and 1933, this was the only ,one so altered. Only two limos survive, in fact. Most were airport limousines for Century Airlines which was also owned by E. L. Cord, who owned the Auburn car company.
I would like to research what literature may exist on ambulances of this period, the usual way such cars were altered and used and learn of any other surviving Auburns -- especially any that were used as airport limos.
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