Holiest Of Grails: 1936 Auburn 852 Supercharged Speedster

There are certain cars that serious car enthusiasts want to find and own; the Auburn 852 Speedster is one of them. One of the most replicated cars in automotive history, finding a real Auburn 852 Speedster is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. This 1936 Auburn 852 Speedster is not only real, it has been sitting in storage for the past several decades. Find it here on craigslist in Salt Lake City, Utah, with an asking price of $80,000.

Fast Finds


  1. grant

    First thing in the morning and I wake up to this. It’s going to be a good day.

  2. Jeremiah

    This was discussed in a Facebook group. The body is fiberglass. I believe it’s a Glenn Pray Cord

    • Fred W.

      OK, this makes a lot more since. The owner would be fishing for a lot more were this a real ’36. Still a very desirable set of wheels, as I told the wife this AM over coffee and started to purchase plane tickets to Utah.

    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Glenn Pray’s cars were not full scale and powered by Corvair engines. I wasn’t to say 3/4 scale, but it’s been a while.

      I was under the impression that these were Front Wheel Drive units?

      Hard to tell if this is smaller than normal, and I wasn’t aware that Pray made full size panels for these in fiberglass.

      • A.J.

        The Glen Pray 8/10 Cord was 4/5 the size of the original Cord and powered by a Corvair engine/transmission mounted in front for front wheel drive. The pipes were real.

        The Auburn replica bodies were 1/4 inch bigger in every direction because they were molded from a real car.

  3. Francisco

    kit car

  4. Dave Member

    Ya, I almost choked on my coffee too at seeing an asking price of only 80k….and then….

  5. Francisco
  6. A.J.

    I’m surprised everybody would fall for this. Honestly.

  7. Dave Wright

    Obviously a phony………….maby some of the more experienced authors need to look over the shoulder of these newer guys…..the Idaho boys would have seen this for what it really is.

  8. Rodney

    Rip Cord

  9. Shelli Anne

    Fascinating a 1936 vintage vehicle would use a Delcotron alternator,apparently Mr. Cord was a man way ahead of his time.

  10. thatguy

    I would’ve thought the Shelby Cobra would’ve been the most replicated car in automotive history…

    • Ron

      Agree completely, there are some 25+ companies worldwide who make Cobra replicas.

  11. Mark

    If this is a true Cord, why not put on ebay for an auction? , I never think a rare car or truck or high point vehicle should ever be sold on Craigslist.

  12. Puhnto

    I’ve never seen a replica Auburn with the rounded headlights this one has. This one also has the larger wheels with hubcaps that the real ones had, instead of smaller wire wheels which all the replicas seem to have, and how many replicas have you seen with a Lycoming straight eight? And is that a light dimmer switch or a starter, on the floor? How many replicas bother with either one of those? If this is a replica, as so many of you claim, they’ve done an awfully good job of getting some details right that even the best of the replicas haven’t. I’d be giddy to drive it around even if it is a replica because it’s a pretty darned good one!

    Like 1
    • waynard

      I have seen the details you mention on replicas before. It’s just good building. And so we’re straight on this, this car has full wheel covers, not hubcaps. Hubcaps cover the hubs. Wheel covers cover the whole wheel.

      • Puhnto

        Quite right, not hubcaps. I misspoke.

    • Dave Wright

      This is a nice phoney…….likely a Glen Pray, he did nicer work than most particularly the VW kit car garbage. Still a fabrication and not in the same league as an original. I remember seeing a non supercharged original at a classic car shop in Burlingame (I think) when I studied them at that time many were sans blower when new.

      • A.J.

        All of the speedsters had the blower. It was optional on the other body styles.

      • Dave Wright

        That could be….maby the one I looked at wasn’t technically a Speedster. What I remember is late in there production Cord tried every thing he could to survive, including various engine, body styles trying to get the cost down so he could sell more cars.

  13. A.J.

    No offense, but once you hear the price you don’t have to see the car to know what it is.

    And yes, some of the details are better than the usual crappy stuff that is sold as “Auburn Speedster”, but still a replica by any measure.

  14. Dogfather

    Replica or not, I’d be happier than a pig in you know what to drive this beauty

    • Puhnto

      That’s all I was trying to say!

  15. Conor Neupert

    Hate to be the barer of bad new to everybody but if you look on the ACDC and AACA forums they talk a lot about the car and it’s not an original boattail speedster. But still a beautiful car.

  16. Jay M

    While perhaps not a dishonest ad, it is hardly forthcoming. It says ” Many original parts including hood”
    So the hood may be steel, but no guarantee the rest of the body is. Or maybe an original hood is included with the sale.
    Regardless, it is beautiful.
    Is it original? Partially.
    Worth 80k? Possibly.
    Just not my 80k.

  17. Joe Haska

    If it’s too good to be true ,it probably isn’t! Interesting a good friend of mine had a real Auburn Boat-tail, a few years older than this one. It was the real deal, a Pebble Beach Car. He was asked by some people in his hometown of Seattle Washington., if he would consider bringing it to a rather high society benefit, mostly as a conversation piece, this was not a car show, and he drove the car. After the event I asked him ,”How was it?”. He said everything was fine, until the word got out that it was REAL. He said after that hardly anyone, looked at it or spoke to him. I said why? WTF? He said apparently at affairs such as this its not nice to show up with something that confidently says ” I have as much money as you or maybe even more”. I wouldn’t know if that’s true, but it makes a good story, and it could be!

    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Joe Haska, know how you feel. Have a friend with a two owner Testarossa from the 50’s. His father was the first owner.

      Other than a repainted in the late 60’s it’s original minus the consumable parts. He showed up at a Ferrari show about 15 years and his car was savaged for being non-symmetrical from one side to the other. They were brutal and he wasn’t happy about the treatment he received from “experts”.

      The car has never been in a shunt.

      They are correct, it’s not symmetrical. It left the factory that way.

      A few years back Ferrari Classique declared it original and correct, or whatever the designation they use. They confirmed that the body was imperfect from the factory and appeared authentic. Welds in proper areas and finished in a specific way.

      He doesn’t take it to shows anymore, but he does drive it on occasion.

    • 64 bonneville

      Joe, I can appreciate your friends dismay. I showed my 67 Olds Delmont 425 at a local show awhile back. Car is almost “survivor” status, except for the long ago repaint, has a little over 69K on it. The repaint is faded and the dash pad has 2 cracks in it, and except for typical tune up parts (still had the Packard plug wires on it), and replacing some of the A/C parts to make it work, is basically how it left the first owner when I bought it. Several folks looked at it, the “what is it? question. and as one person said “it’s ugly, not shiny like the other cars”. I bought the car for me, not to please other folks, my wife and I enjoy it immensely.

  18. Pookie Jamie P

    Automobile sex right there. There’s no other words to describe it.

  19. cudaman

    Ya……I’m speechless! One of my two favorite pre-war cars, the Auburn and Cord. I would love to own one or the other but I’m stuck with a ’70 big block 4-speed Barracuda and ’69 “R” code 4-speed Mach I, both with under 45k miles. I would trade both for this in a heartbeat!!!!!!!

  20. Old Car Guy

    All the controversy can be settled with an old low tech piece of equipment, namely a magnet. If I were buying old cars it would be at the top of my list of equipment to carry.

  21. chad

    Sep 3, 2017 at 8:50am
    Here is another one for your perusal:

    $125K for a kit car?
    I bet there’s plenty who’d go fer it…

  22. Cargirl

    Oh my Lord. There is no way in heck this is the real deal. The real deals go for $400,000.00 and up. And no you will never find a real Auburn Boattail Speedster for under $100,000.00. Those days are long gone.
    Also it clearly says in the description that it is a fiberglass body by Glenn Pray. Even that would need to be confirmed.

  23. 64 bonneville

    Craigslist ad states it is a Glen Pray replica. Mr. Pray had bought all the remaining inventory from A-C-D and has it in his manufacturing facility in broken arrow Ok. although he has since passed away his son is in the parts business for these cars and original models also. Doug runs an ad in Hemmings Motor News every month if your interested. Having been through the factory it is just amazing what all they have. If you can get a tour it is well worth the trip, even if you don’t collect this marque.

  24. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    64 bonneville, I thought I had read in a Heming’s article that the replica panels for Glen’s replica was something a little more forgiving than fiberglass?

    Met Mr. PRay several years before he passed at the Greenwich Concours. Very nice man, generous with his time in my case.

    • A.J.

      The 8/10 Cord was Royalite which is what U.S. Rubber invented and was looking for uses. It is used in Canoes, etc. The Auburn replicas were fiberglass.

  25. whippeteer

    So it’s an Auburn chassis with a Glenn Pray body and interior.

  26. willy reid

    The vinyl interior was the first giveaway before reading it was a fiberglass repro.

    Oh, not to mention the driveshaft and differential.

  27. Dustin

    If this is a real Auburn, which I dont believe it is, I would be getting a loan from the bank right now.

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