Lot 43
1934 Auburn 850Y Custom Phaeton

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Selling on Wednesday

CHASSIS NO: 2135H

• One-year-only body style
• 1 of only 285 produced
• ACD Certified
• Attractive and original factory colors
• Al Leamy Phaeton designed coachwork


279.9 cid L-head straight eight rated at 115 HP, three-speed manual transmission, four-wheel hydraulic brakes, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf-spring suspension; wheelbase: 126”


Errett Loban Cord was a visionary in every sense of the word and his talent was not limited to the automobile industry. Indeed, after the collapse of his automotive empire, he went on to find success in real estate, radio, and the airline industry. Organization was his strength, and to that end he directed the talents of everyone who worked for him. In particular, Cord expertly harnessed the talents of a young engineer named Alan Leamy in 1928 and, although he was a self-taught designer, his artistic talent was on par with the best. It was through Leamy’s work that such cars as the Cord L-29 and the Auburn Speedster were designed and built. If that wasn’t enough, Leamy is also credited with styling the Duesenberg Model J, a car that literally defines the classic era. Despite his talent and success, the world may never really know what he could have done, as his life was cut short after a required diphtheria vaccination, that became septic, ended his life at just 33-years-old.

Offered here is a beautiful design from Cord under the direction of Leamy, with this 1934 Auburn 850Y Custom Phaeton that is an ACD Certified car and is also a one-year-only body style making it one of the rarest Auburns in existence. Auburn offered four eight-cylinder models for 1934, but only the 850Y was catalogued as a custom and just 285 were produced. This beautiful phaeton rides on a 126-inch wheelbase and its factory finish was replicated in the Silver Metallic that originally used fish scales for its sparkling appearance. The dramatic lines of the body are nicely highlighted with black accents and red wires wheels. This is a Full Classic® that makes a dramatic statement from any angle. Leamy’s design work on the 850Y literally defines the word aerodynamic with a tall sweeping grille flanked by headlamps that are color-keyed to the body. Long sweeping front fenders carry side-mounted spare tires where long and elegant running boards make for ease of entry. At the rear, large fenders terminate to a design that carries a trunk with ample room for touring. The true balance in the design of the 850Y is found in the black accent stripe that starts as a spear on the hood and gracefully widens to encircle the beltline. This styling cue is also mimicked at the rear with an accent that separates the rear fenders from the body for a two-tone effect. All doors are center-hinged, and this is an Auburn that looks just as nice with the top up as it does down. The interior is just what one would expect from a superior car with rich, beautifully styled door handles and window cranks, a diamond inspired motif on the dashboard that’s complete with a tachometer, a glovebox mounted clock, and red leather throughout. Under the hood is Lycoming’s 280 cubic-inch straight eight with 115 horsepower. The engine compartment in this car is superbly detailed with correct wiring, plumbing, and hose clamps. All colors are factory correct and the impeccable condition of this Auburn is solidified by the fact that the clock still works perfectly. This 850Y is a pleasure to drive and handles as well as it looks.

Although the ride was cut short due to the Great Depression, the cars that Errett Loban Cord left us are still some of the most prestigious machines in the entire world. Any Auburn, Cord, or Duesenberg is a special car that carries with it an air of classic elegance that is seldom matched by any other car. This 1934 850Y Phaeton takes Cord’s work to the next level with its superb design and excellent drivability. This car also wears an impeccable restoration that presents well in all areas and is more than ready for the show field. For the very finest in a Full Classic® that is sure to turn heads, this one-year-only 850Y Phaeton is a seldom seen and always admired example.