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Pre-War Survivor? 1928 Auburn Sedan

Yes, you read that right. This isn’t an Auburn-Cord. This is an Auburn, just an Auburn. This 1928 Auburn is located here on craigslist in Albany, New York with a price tag of $3,000. How can’t you love this car? Look at that radiator cowl. This car, in its time, was the pinnacle of class and American engineering.

From what I can gather, this car is powered by a straight six coupled to a 3 speed manual transmission. No mention of the mechanical condition is made. The one thing the seller does say though, is that the car is mechanically complete including the rear end and factory hydraulic brakes.

Overall, the car doesn’t look too bad. The sheet metal for the most part seems straight enough that it can be cleaned and used again. The headlight buckets, hood, fenders, and cowl all seem like they are very solid. The seller says that one of the doors needs new wood as does the remainder of the body. Many of these pre-war cars were reinforced with wood and it is not an easy task to replace all of this structure.

Unfortunately, the pictures are not very helpful in the assessment of condition. It would appear as though the rear wheel is a wood-spoked wheel and the front is a wire wheel. From the above angle, the car does not look beyond saving, though. For someone who has excellent knowledge of these pre-war sedans, this car may make an excellent parts source or basis for a complete restoration. I have to say it, you could also stuff a second-gen Hemi and a 4 speed in it and have a very bad rat rod.


  1. nessy

    It’s beautiful but as you can see in the photos, the body is being held together by straps which tells us the wood framing that holds this car together is long gone. Again, beautiful classic Auburn, however, there is a reason why the car is only 3 grand.

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  2. doug6423

    Dip it. Mod it. Enjoy the classic look with modern accessories!

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  3. 70kingswood

    lot of work bringing the body up to par, have to be a labor of love cause it wont be easy to make a profit. still a very cool car and I think the radiator shell is the coolest I have ever seen!

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  4. Dairymen

    It’s too bad that it’s not cost effective to restore this to its former glory. It will set you back $80k to have a $35k vehicle. Someone will most likely cut it up to make a boat tail speedster out of it to have something that’s worth some money.

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  5. Loco Mikado

    The wood was not reinforcing, it was the actual body frame over which were hung the formed steel body panels

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  6. Mark S

    Boat tail roadster sounds good to me. I’d also replace the wood frame with a tubular steel frame and never have to worry about it falling apart again. If this were mine it would also need to be a driver, so I’d upgrade drive line, steering, and brakes. I’d use as much of the original sheet metal as possible in the modifications from sedan to boat tail roadster. I’d keep the fenders/running boards, front grille, hood and front cowl/windshield.

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  7. Van

    Servivor? “I’m not dead, I feel like dancing”

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