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"Hollywood's Car" & "The First American Race Car"

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- Magazine Ad, 1935

The 1935 Auburn Speedster was a remarkable feat for its time. Not only was the art deco inspired car beautiful with its sweeping body lines & open air drive - it was fast. On record, the Auburn Speedster reached 150 mph, which was revolutionary of its time, and still impressive in vehicles to this day. It was powerful, stylish, and affordable. The rare produced car would take over the rich and famous and become a car meant to be seen just as much as it was meant to be drive. To this day, the Auburn Speedster in all models is one of the most replicated car in history.

1935 Auburn Speedster Test Drive

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- Ab Jenkins in Salt Flats, 1935

By 1934, Auburn was facing an uphill battle to keep their company alive - a battle they would soon lose by 1937. However, in 1935 they produced on a low budget the car that they hoped would revive them due to the one thing that seemed irresistible - speed. And the man to get the word out about the new Auburns remarkably fast car was the "Father of Salt Racing," Ab Jenkins. Known for his stellar speed racing accomplishments, the '35 Auburn was sold with a plaque that verified to each buyer that each Auburn was tested extensively by the famed racer and verified to live up to expectation. And then in 1935,  Jenkins set out to the Salt Flats with the new Speedster to break a speed and distance record - over 100mph for 1000 miles. This would test the limits of Auburn's name and make;
And the achievement was made.


Ab Jenkins at Bonneville Flats

- Auburn Ad, 1935

- Auburn Supercharged Brochure, 1935

The Auburn vehicle sales struggled during the Great Depression, and would ultimately lead to its downfall. However while it was still in business, the key advertisement was the allure to look & feel like you were living above the despair & poverty caused by the war. Which is where the slogan "Above the Mass" played in. The Auburn Speedsters were about class and sophistication, speed that could outrun the desperate era. Which is why it spoke so heavily to doctors, lawyers, pilots, and stars. The Auburn was a momentary break from the poor mundane, and a glimpse into the hope of a richer future. However, with Ford and Chevy learning to tackle every need in a car, for lower costs, Auburn became a rare luxury of the past. 

- Auburn Ad, 1935

- Auburn Ad, 1935

In Film

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The Devil Bat, 1940

The black & white 40's horror film was one of very few instances where an authentic '35 Auburn Speedster can be seen in film. Since only 600 were ever made, the original Speedsters are rare sightings.

However . . .

The recreations, just like the Motte Museum's, have been made in excess. The fame of the rare car has lived on for decades in remakes of both the 1935 version, and the following two years. From famous movies like Charlies Angels, Indiana Jones, Seabiscuit, to numerous Alfred Hitchcock films - to music videos by Nelly and Nicki Minaj - to famous TV shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show, Chips, and Dick Tracy, the Auburn remakes are sprinkled all over pop culture throughout the last century. 

Seabiscuit, 2003 

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