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  • 1931 Auburn 8-98 Phaeton Sedan
  • 1931 Auburn 8-98 Phaeton Sedan
  • 1931 Auburn 8-98 Phaeton Sedan
  • 1931 Auburn 8-98 Phaeton Sedan
  • 1931 Auburn 8-98 Phaeton Sedan
  • 1931 Auburn 8-98 Phaeton Sedan

1931 Auburn 8-98 Phaeton Sedan

Lot No. 776

Auctioned on Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sold for $ 89,100

  • Powerful 268-cid straight eight-cylinder Lycoming engine
  • Manual transmission
  • Older restoration is well-kept
  • Dual sidemounts
  • Trippe "Safety Lights"
  • Stoneguard
  • Wire wheels and whitewall tires
  • Elegant & desirable Auburn model
  • Many club-oriented options with this marque

The history of Auburn is inextricably linked with E.L. Cord, but it is more than the story of Cord’s incessant- and successful- marketing. Every element of the production process fell under Cord’s umbrella, from the manufacturers and engine builders to the gear companies and body builders. As a result, his Indiana-based industrial empire eventually became a viable competitor to General Motors, and a tremendous automotive powerhouse in its own right.

By 1925, the adoption of Lycoming V-8 engines gave birth to the 8-63 and 8-88 models. In fact, their two-tone color schemes and graceful beltlines provided for a very attractive design theme that remained effectively unchanged through 1930. Although sales of Auburns dropped in the immediate aftermath of the stock market crash, they increased dramatically in 1931, thanks to the introduction of the 8-98, the only model offered that year. The 8-98 took advantage of a stiff X-braced chassis frame, a powerful 268 cubic inch straight eight-cylinder Lycoming engine, and the skills of several Cord-owned coachbuilders to present a car unmatched for price, performance, and styling. Two 8-98 lines were offered - a standard model and the more luxurious 8-98A Custom, which added an additional $200 to the price of a comparable standard model.

Presented in attractive colors that includes blue with red belt molding and pinstripes with a blue soft-top; this 1931 Auburn 8-98 Phaeton Sedan repeats the blue theme on the hub and rims of the knock-off wheels with chromed spokes accenting it all. Among the other desirable features on the Auburn are dual sidemount spares with pedestal mirrors, radiator stoneguard, radiator mascot, trunk rack with color-matching trunk, Trippe “Safety Lights”, dual mirrors mounted on each side of the windshield and whitewall tires. An older restoration that has been well-kept, the Auburn continues to run and drive in a fine fashion. The body and engine are both reported as being original to the car.

Upon its introduction, the Auburn 8-98 was praised by Business Week as being “more car for the money than the public has ever seen”. Unfortunately, a confluence of factors spelled the end for Cord’s empire just six years after the car’s introduction. The 8-98 has however remained a prized collector car, and continues to benefit from elegant styling and a truly dignified presence.