The RV repairs meant we had to spend 4 days in a motel, an experience we hadn’t had for more than 6 years. We spent one of those days visiting the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana, a place that had been on Ron’s “Bucket List” forever.
He was not disappointed, nor was I for that matter. It is a fascinating place.
Auburn Automobile History
In just 36 short years, the Auburn automobile rose and fell as one of the most innovative, finely engineered and superbly styled automobiles at a reasonable price in America. The Auburn Automobile Company was established in 1900 and incorporated in 1903 for the purpose of manufacturing horseless carriages. By 1903, Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal was reporting that a single-cylinder, Auburn gasoline engine car could be bought for $1,400, including side lamps and a tool kit. (excerpted from the Museum history files)
We spent the morning on the ground floor. Here are some of the cars on exhibit:
1926 Auburn (note the 3rd door for easy access to the rumble seat ….and the turn signal)
1930 Auburn (see the trunk?)
1932 Duesenberg (convertible with disappearing aluminum top)
1932 Cord Prototype (Custom made…never went into production…when we inquired about the value, we were told IF it ever went up for auction, would bring more than $10 million!)
1933 Auburn Sedan
1933 Auburn Salon
1936 Cord Convertible (sold new for $2,145)
1936 Auburn Cabriolet
1936 Auburn (Last year of production for the Auburn automobile)
1937 Cord Coupe
It’s amazing how much modern automotive technology started with these early automobiles.
Finally, a chance to do more than just look…?
After lunch, we toured the upstairs. Many vehicles of varying makes were on display. Still interested? A link at the bottom of this post leads to a slideshow of some of the displays upstairs.
Also of interest in the museum were:
The building is a masterpiece in itself. Constructed as the Auburn Headquarters in 1929 at a cost of $450.000, it is listed as a National Historic Landmark today.
There was a room upstairs devoted to how the cars were designed. Wooden scale models were constructed, then clay molded around the wood until the desired shape of the vehicle was found.
I fell in love with the different hood ornaments…..
…and this striking quilt