Lindberg Replica – 1936 Auburn Boattail Speedster

The elegant Auburn 852 Boattail Speedster draws crowds everywhere, and draws flies into the gaping jaws of onlookers, the latter struck motionless by the its flowing nautically-inspired body. This Lindberg replica 1936 Auburn Boattail Speedster in Lutz, Florida, strikes a surprisingly good-looking approximation of the lovely Auburn, considering its humble Volkswagen Beetle underpinnings. At least 10 bidders have the market value on this apparently long-parked replica above $1500 here on eBay. Heavy structural and cosmetic rust, deteriorated fiberglass, and as-is mechanicals set the restoration difficulty level high on this 1980s kit car.

Outdoor storage in a humid climate and/or storm flooding ravaged the fiberglass-bodied custom. Mating the body to a new chassis makes the most sense, a challenge easier said the done… times 1000. Count on replacing everything not made of fiberglass on this long-forgotten Lindberg. A Pennsylvania special issue body plaque shows a title number from 1985, and the seller claims lost title in the listing.

The Volkswagen Beetle and Auburn share some spiritual connections, with both having been designed in the 1930s and having traditional front and rear fenders, a detail utilized almost exclusively by the VW by the 1970s among cars sold in the United States.

Where original Auburn owners might have packed a picnic basket for a day at the polo fields, the VW air-cooled flat four rests instead. This one no longer rotates, rendering it rather unmotivating for potential buyers, but you can’t say this boattail doesn’t come without an anchor.

Over 100 well-focused and composed pictures tell a frightening story of this car’s potential restoration, and the buyer pool might include existing Lindberg owners hoarding body parts. We’d love to hear from anyone who owned one of these replicas to understand how they drive and learn more about them. A seemingly immaculate specimen on VintageCarCollector wore a $28,750 asking price, suggesting an impossible path to profit for anyone hoping to sacrifice their time and money on a comprehensive restoration. Do you think this rusty replica could survive 1000 miles bouncing on a trailer?


  1. 8banger 8banger Member

    A Volks drivetrain/chassis under that is a crime against humanity.

    Like 25
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Not to worry. Give it a few more days and the chassis will disappear.

      Like 17
  2. RNR

    When I read “Lindberg Auburn Speedster” I think 1/25 scale kit.

    Like 9
    • Slantasaurus

      This kit is no better than the 1/25 scale version.

      Like 1
  3. TheOldRanger

    I love the car, but not the engine. My first job, if I had this, would be to get rid of the VW parts, then start to work on the body of this thing… long hours ahead for whoever tackles this one.

    Like 2
  4. Cobra Steve

    I wonder if this one is a scaled-down version of the original Auburn? There was a company in Indianapolis, IN, Elegant Motors (?) who manufactured an Auburn 852 replica which I believe was a 1:1 recreation and used AMERICAN drive train (V-8) and had a full steel frame. Now THAT was a cool car!

    Like 7
  5. Maggy

    I think what the author noted this would be a good body parts car for someone if they have one of these is correct. This car is way to far gone.

    Like 4
  6. Jim Sullivan

    Can’t you just imagine the comedic appeal of pulling up to a group of car guys with this thing making the unmistakable sound of an air-cooled VW flat four? Having a nice Auburn boattail at a car show — cool. Pulling away sounding like a VW — priceless!

    Like 6
  7. DavidH

    Are those barnacles on the underside of that Boattail?😬

    Like 3
  8. Steve RM

    While the VW part of this is gone, another Beetle donor would not be hard to find.

    Like 1
  9. Mike

    That dash is laughable. If the engine is in the back, then those dryer hoses up front must be vents for the frunk.

    Like 3
    • Steve RM

      Those hoses might be meant to be hooked up to the defroster vents on the dash if they trace down to the pan and then go to the heater boxes on the engine. That’s how it works (kind of) on my Bug. There’s plenty of heat in a Bug if everything is hooked up and in good shape but the defrosters don’t work very well because there just isn’t enough pressure to get all the way from the engine to the dash. After everything is warmed up and you close the off the heater outlets under the rear seats and at your feet it kind of works as long as you don’t have any moisture in the car that can condense on the windows. I keep a towel between the front seats that I call my defroster.

      Like 0
  10. Claudio

    Well , one cannot fault the seller!
    181 rust pictures
    181 rot pictures
    181 junk pictures
    And he writes multiple times that it is rusted and wont run , wont roll, wont start , no title and more but it is nevertheless now over $2k
    Whoever buys it cannot claim that the description and pictures were misleading…
    Good luck and long life to buyer


    Like 3
  11. Gary Guerriero

    Worthless when new; worth even less now.

    Like 0
  12. David Hughes

    Having lived in Auburn for many years you either love em or you hate em! The ambience of the Auburn is undeniable a head turner for sure! If I was younger and didn’t have my plate already full I’d tackle that project with delight! Great story and thank you for sharing it with us!

    Like 1

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