Many of you are wondering what the heck a 1936 Auburn Speedster is. You are not alone friend, you are not alone. You see, I didn’t know what an Auburn Speedster was until recently either. But you know what? Let’s back up a tick and start from the beginning.
This particular car is owned by one of my neighbors. You see yet another neighbor at my cabin (remember the Sun Bum’s 1967 Mustang?) had a wicked cool car. However this time, I didn’t know the car existed. Turns out one of the neighbors by my cabin was a engineer in his younger years. For the sake of this article let’s call him George (George doesn’t want to be named). You see (you sitting down for this?) George didn’t know I was a car nut.
In fact George didn’t know that I liked cars. My cabin has been next to George’s and our families have known each other longer then I have been alive. Let that sink in…someone didn’t know I like cars. Guess I’ll have to try harder. Regardless, I didn’t know George was a car nut either. Well actually, George likes anything with a spark plug (huh that sounds familiar).
Turns out that the wooden garage (read four walls and a roof, NOTHING special) next door had a 1936 Auburn Speedster stashed away in it. Worse yet, my father knew! So we convinced George to take the Auburn out because, well it was a pretty day and I couldn’t stop drooling once I found out.
George opened the double doors to the “garage” and I was speechless. I’ve never seen anything like it. George wiped down the paint to remove the dust (you could tell it was his baby) and hopped in the drivers seat. He started up the V-8 and the car rumbled to life. Smoke poured our of the dual exhaust and I just got shivers down my back. He put it in reverse and backed out of the garage. The car was so ridiculously long. I was in shock.
My father went for the first ride but this isn’t about his experience. Then came my turn. I hopped into the red chariot and off we went. The long, long hood in front of me was like a red carpet leading the way.
The red leather seats were comfy and had padding in just the right places. I started asking George all sorts of questions. Where did this car come from? How in the heck did I not know it existed!? Specifications? History? How in the heck did I not know it existed (yes I asked that one a few times).
George answered every question I had with thorough answers. The car was hand built by him. Yes, you read that correctly. He bought some of the pieces here and there. Some were custom made and, piece by piece he put the whole thing together himself. Everything functioned flawlessly. The engine is from a 1969 Ford Police Interceptor. It is a 7.0 liter (!) 427 cubic inch V8. That’s Detroit iron right there folks. When I asked if it was fast, he slammed the gas – but just for a moment.
The gas was from last year and he warned me that it would knock under hard acceleration. He wasn’t kidding! It sounded like someone banging on a front door. He backed off quickly but it definitely got up and went. The power was put down through a transmission and suspension all off a 1969 Ford Police Interceptor as well. However, the suspension had to be modified and George did that himself too. The headlights are from a Cadillac and the bumpers were new, never even chromed. George had to have them chromed. And oh by the way, that engine, it was new! When George bought it, the engine was new and had never been used!
I can’t remember all the details on the car, but I remember the dash plaques. They were turned aluminum. George had them custom made from a guy out west. The metal around the windshield also had to be custom made by George himself.
When I asked George if he took the car to car shows, he immediately gave a stern no! I inquired why. I mean, a beautiful and rare car such as this!? Why not? Well, George told me that he built the car for himself. He doesn’t need prizes or awards.
He doesn’t want the attention that shows bring to cars like this. He just wanted to build the car and enjoy it. I found that to be a respectable answer.
So what did this experience teach me? One, the 1936 Auburn Speedster is a rare and awesome beast. Two, there are actually people out there that know me and do not know I am into cars (never would have guessed that one). Three, George is way cooler then I knew. Last but not least is four – I will be hitting up George next summer for another ride and the opportunity to take much better pictures.