1932 Auburn Mark V 160: Ex-Harrah’s Car

1932 Auburn Mark V 160

This 1932 Auburn Mark V 160 is an amazing and significant car. It is one of only three to exist. This was the year, 1932, that Auburn introduced their V12. It is a 391 CID overhead valve engine and produced 160 horsepower. The top speed was an impressive 93 mph. Many speed records were broken with this V12! Lycoming was a subsidiary of  Cord, as was Auburn, and all it’s engines were designed and built by them. Lycoming still manufactures light aircraft engines, one of 2 surviving companies in the US. The Auburn cost only about $1100, a bargain for the times compared to other luxury cars. This Auburn was in the Harrah’s collection and was not restored when the collection sold. The auction includes many spare parts. It surprises me that it is listed here on eBay. This is perhaps beyond the reach of most of us, but it is a very rare car.  I hope to read about this Auburn when it is restored!

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  1. Joey Gotts

    That car is F”ing beautiful !!!!


      own it on its way in restoration mechanically all done on to body and paint

  2. Ed P

    Somebody has got to save this car.

  3. A.J.

    Obviously the car will be “saved”. It is just a question of who wants to spend 250-300k restoring it.

  4. JW454

    I hope there’s allot more parts included that weren’t pictured. If not, you’ll be in it for double the money just acquiring the missing parts IF you can find them.

  5. William H

    I’ve never seen one of these before. It has beautiful lines and will be absolutely gorgeous once it’s restored.

  6. William H

    I’ve never seen one of these before. It has beautiful lines and will be absolutely gorgeous once it’s restored. Whoever ends up with it will need deep pockets. Locating any missing bits will be a chore it not nearly impossible but, being just one of three on the planet makes it a rare gem indeed.

  7. The Walrus

    IMO, the most beautiful American cars were made from 1931-1933. This is no exception. I guess old man Harrah didn’t restore this for a reason. You’d think this was a $100K car, but the book says no…

    1932 Model 12-160, 12-cyl., Standard
    Cpe 6-2,680 5-8,040 4-13,400 3-30,150 2-46,900 1-67,000

    1932 Model 12-160A, 12-cyl., Custom Dual Ratio
    Cpe 6-3,100 5-9,300 4-15,500 3-34,880 2-54,250 1-77,500

    Not sure what the difference between ‘Standard’ and ‘Custom Dual Ratio’ is, but it makes a bigger difference on the Roadsters, Cabriolets and Phaetons, which this isn’t. I do see both listed on the pic of the manual he has posted. Either way, looks like the owner has priced this under a case of unobtaini-itis.

    • William H

      Wow, that listing is quite surprising. Like you, I would have assumed a car like this would had been valued much higher. I’ve seen 23-window VW buses going for double, even triple that, and there are certainly a lot more of those around. I guess it’s a pretty good example of supply and demand.

  8. A.J.

    Unless you are talking about a Mustang or Camaro using a price guide is almost worthless. This car is worth 50k as is and probably 125 plus restored.

    The difference between standard and dual ration is the two speed rear end.

  9. seth

    what does frame changed mean to its value?

    • Glen

      I was wondering the same thing.

    • A.J.

      “Had a frame change”. Now that is not good news. Why didn’t I see that the first time I read the ad? The issue with the 32-34 V12 Auburn is that the bodies are interchangeable with the 8s. Many 12s started out as 8s and you need to be able to show that your car was always a 12 to get the big money. That is why you see some speedsters go for 400k and others go for 1.2 million.

      • Mike McCloud

        ‘Maybe’ , the car was assembled ‘to order’, as some autos were Final Assembled by a ‘Coach Builder’. The mfg’r would send a running chassis to the coach builder who’d build a custom ordered body, or, exchange a shorter chassis for one that was longer to accomodate a longer engine/drivetrain, tho’ I’d have thought the mfg’r could have swapped a longer chassis for a V-12 option at the factory. Who knows now, after all the years if there’s no paper, or any other references as to what factory practices were at the time. Could be all sorts of reasons. Without documentation, it’d be a guess-stimate. I wouldn’t reject the car for just a different engine/drivetrain/frame change, it’s too unique an automoblie

  10. Chuck Foster Chuck F

    I love Auburns, I even lived in Auburn as a child, and spent many Labor Day weekends at the ACD Fest and auction. This would be a neat car to own, but I doubt I could even afford a cheap Auburn. I did read that Auburn listed a pickup one year, but no other mention of one still existing, anyone eever see an Auburn pickup?

  11. francisco

    Suppose I buy this for 60k and stick it in my barn for 10 years. Does anyone think I’ll get better returns than a mutual fund Index 500 when I sell it?

  12. wallace

    i have purchased this car and in process of restoration, frame was not changed has original frame under it

    Like 2
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      That’s terrific, Wallace — please post pictures of your progress!

  13. A.J.

    That is great news on the frame. I have 3 of the Harrah’s catalogs but have not been able to find it yet. There were 6 auctions so it could be in one of the others. Also, I think you can still get historical information from the museum on the cars that were in the collection. You should investigate that avenue. As I’m sure you know, provenance on 12 cylinder Auburns is very important.

  14. wallace

    I had Doug P at ACD Co do all the restoration on the running gear including the motor,its headed to my shop in a few weeks as i have never put my eyes on this car since i purchased it, but i need to do a lot of research as this is a first for my shop we do Hot Rods not these type of restorations, need to dig up factory info on theses coupes Thanks

  15. wallace

    Just a little info on frame, it was taken out from under the car and a roadster put on to it then removed and installed back under the car according to previous owner as he found an original roadster frame and used it instead, i will check it out when i get it to my shop.

    • Mike McCloud

      I knew there had to be a story! Har! That’s great news, & I wish ya well on your ‘explorations’!

  16. Steve

    Any updates on this Wallace?

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