Cars for Hollywood stars, politicians,
mobsters, barons and maharadjahs.

(Many thanks to Dr. Oliver Schnaedelbach for translation.)

Marlene Dietrich and her 851 Auburn Supercharged Boattail Speedster, 1936
Marlene Dietrich and her 1936 "851 Auburn Supercharged Boattail Speedster"
The Auburn Automobile Company was founded in Indiana, USA, in 1900. In the following years, business with small cars was difficult at a price of $800 apiece – nearly three times what Henry Ford charged for his Model T.Auburn 851 advertising, 1935 Only after WWI sales were picking up, and in 1926 Errett Lobban Cord integrated Duesenberg Motor Company and Auburn into Duesenberg Inc. The depression caused the company to struggle, although Cord displayed the first american front-wheel-drive car in 1929. The same year saw the appearance of the Duesenberg Model J. Its racing engine delivered 265hp to propel the vehicle to 185km/h (115mph). Further development of the engine with a supercharger resulted in 320hp in 1932. Thus the Duesenberg SJ models were probably the most powerful cars on america’s streets at the time. One of them topped 243km/h (151mph) on the Bonneville Flats in 1935.1933 Duesenberg SJ Supercharged Speedster
A Duesenberg wasn’t just bought, one acquired the chassis at about $8500 (compare to the price of a Ford Model A at just $400), which was then equipped with bodyworks by specialised coachbuilders according to the owner’s whims (as long as they kept within the general appearance of the brand). In total, the car might have cost between $15.000 and 20.000. For a smaller budget, the company offered Auburns and Cords, with a price tag of $1995 to $2145 for a Cord 810 in 1936 and $3500 for an Auburn 851 Supercharged Speedster. 1936 Cord 812 ''Sportsman''Sales dropped again in the mid-thirties and the middle-market Cord 810 was hailed as the saviour. However, the design proved to be too revolutionary (Gordon Buehrig’s coffin-nose was even patented in its own right) and production problems caused delivery delays. In 1937 the company ceased production.

1933 Duesenberg Model J Dietrich Convertible Sedan ...
... owned by actor James Cagney, star of Warner Bros.
1931 Duesenberg Model J Derham Tourer ...
... owned by Gary Cooper.

1935 Duesenberg SJ Speedster coachbuilt for Clark Gable

1935 Auburn Phaeton and Boattail Speedster with Actress Mary Astor and Actor George Murphy. 

(clickable image)
1935 advertising booklet

1936 Cord 812 Sedan