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Unrestored Wonder: 1928 Auburn 8-115 Brougham

This 1928 Auburn 8-115 Brougham is an unrestored classic that could either be driven and enjoyed as it is, or the next owner could choose to undertake a full restoration. The result would be a truly beautiful car that would attract plenty of attention and admiring glances. Located in Van Wet, Ohio, the Auburn is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN price of $35,000 for this imposing classic, but the option is available to make an offer.

While the Auburn may be starting to really show its age, the owner says that it is a very solid car. It has previously picked up the “Best Original Car” Award at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club Meet, but this was back in 1999. It is unclear whether the condition of the car has deteriorated over the intervening years, but the style and elegance of the car are just crying out for restoration. The Auburn appears to be complete, so if the next owner is considering undertaking a restoration, it doesn’t look like they will be forced to search for parts that may be difficult to locate.

The interior of the Auburn is complete, but once again, some restoration work would be in order to return it to its former glory. I am quite surprised by the upholstery on the seats because I really was expecting to find leather there. However, cloth of these types was available in Auburns of this era, so the upholstery in this car is probably right. The rear seat looks like it is in quite good condition, and while the front seat is looking lumpy and has some seam separations, I believe that a good auto upholsterer should be able to restore it without resorting to replacing the cover. The one item that I would love to see restored is that beautiful inlaid timber dash.

The “8-115” model designation for the Auburn is derived from the fact that it features a straight-eight engine which produces 115hp. This is sent to the rear wheels via a 3-speed manual transmission. Auburn didn’t produce their own engines for the 8-115, but the engines were built by Lycoming, which in 1927 had been purchased by Errett Lobban Cord, and operated under the Auburn company umbrella as a separate entity. The owner says that the Auburn runs and drives and that it has been on many tours. This information is good news, and it augurs well for the next owner to be able to just climb into the car and hit the wide-open roads.

Built during a time of major economic upheaval in the American economy, the luxurious Auburn 8-115 Brougham was not a volume seller. A combination of poor sales and some pretty shady dealings by company owners sealed the fate of Auburn, and by 1937, the company was no more. This 8-115 represents an attempt at optimism during a period of gloom, but it was misplaced optimism. While it would be lovely to leave this car as it currently stands, I would love nothing more than to see it restored to its former glory, because it is an elegant old lady that really does deserve it.


  1. 86_Vette_Convertible

    To me, this one is screaming “Restore me” and be shown in all it’s greatness.
    Love to have something like this one to show off. Hope it’s shown in all it’s glory.

    Like 8
  2. John Mereness

    The owner does actually drive it and use it as is – very nice solid car too.

    Like 5
  3. Brakeservo

    It amazes me that a running Full Classic should be priced so low. Unfortunately, it shows how interests are changing. Will values drop further?

    Like 1
  4. Rovinman

    I would leave it as it is, ……. for the moment !
    Wash it, polish it, and ponder the car’s history, and Provenance.
    and …………………. DRIVE it, ……………. until you know the car well enough, to decide if the car, WANTS to be refurbished.
    Do what the car tell’s you to do !

    Like 10
  5. art

    Wow, imagine the engineering that went into the generator/water pump combo.
    Hope that’s all still rebuild-able, should the need arise.
    Beautiful car.

    Like 3
  6. Jason Palmer

    Cloth for closed cars, leather for open cars

    Like 5
  7. luke arnott Member

    Leave as is please!

    Like 4
  8. pwtiger

    They are only original once…

    Like 5
  9. Bill Wilkman

    It would be a crime to restore this car. It’s an original, intact example of what the factory was building in 1928. Restore it and all of that heritage would be lost. To anyone who values historic preservation, this car screams “Leave me alone!”

    Like 9
  10. Pete Phillips

    Have to disagree with the statement about economic doom, gloom, and upheaval in 1928. On the contrary, that was the middle of what’s called “The Roaring Twenties”. The doom, gloom, and upheaval came after the Oct. 1929 stock market crash and those words are used to describe most of the 1930s. This is an amazing and very rare car, and 115 horsepower in a car from 1928 is quite a lot for that time! Straight eight, too, before most cars had eight cylinders. What’s not to like?! Maybe the price?

    Like 4
  11. Bodyman68

    This car should be left alone and driven to show people what these cars were made of ! If it turns into a trailer queen or goes into private collection it’ll never be seen again . I would restore it later and not to concourse as it was never perfect from the factory .

    Like 2
  12. Rovinman

    Absolutely correct Bodyman68

    Like 1
  13. SouthShoreMotors

    There is a middle ground between concourse restoration and benign neglect—Maintainence. Eventually this car will need attention. It looks like the owner has taken care but after 80 years, some things are going to need to be addressed or the car will continue to deteriorate to the point it’ll no longer usable. The interior is starting to come apart and the paint’s no longer doing its job of protecting the metal underneath. Mechanically, things will wear out and need to be rebuilt. Cars of this vintage are surprisingly serviceable, and parts are usually available through the club networks. It’s possible to address wear without over-restoring the car, but it should be done selectively and accurately to preserve as much originality as possible. Then, there’s no reason the car can’t continue be driven and enjoyed indefinitely! I’ve followed this program with our ‘29 Packard for 20+years and still enjoy driving it about 1000 miles a year.

    Like 2
    • Oingo


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