Tag Archives: Auburn

It’s Almost Time for Lunch – Granville Street, Vancouver, B.C., 1934


A damp and dreary November 5th did not seem to deter these Vancouverites from running their morning errands. Our source says we’re looking north along the west side of Granville toward the Canadian National Railroad freight office. The James Inglis Reid, Ltd. shop at number 559 next door to the Campbell Studio (farside of the street) had been at this location since 1915. Reid gained famed in Vancouver as a purveyor of ham, bacon and other fine meats that he butchered and cured on site. He was proud of his Scottish heritage and did much to promote it’s traditions in Vancouver.

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Other Scottish specialties such as white puddings, blood sausage and, of course, haggis could be found there and the neon sign on his marquee declaring “We Hae Meat That Ye Can Eat”, was a fixture in the neighborhood for many years. The every day cars lining the curb would certainly be welcome at any car show today. Aside from the late 20′s Auburn Convertible Coupe in the foreground and the pair of Fords directly across the street from it, which can you identify? Photo by Stuart Thomson used courtesy of the City of Vancouver. You’ll find many more scenes of daily life from their archives on The Old Motor.

Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942 | Tagged , , , |

Trick and Treat at The Old Motor


It’s that time of year again, so we thought we’d offer you our version of Trick or Treat. We’re pretty sure that the costume worn by our three-toed subject having a bad hair day in our first photo was not Auburn factory approved apparel for driving that racy looking boat tailed Speedster, but we think it might be just the thing for late October open air motoring in cool Vancouver, B.C.


And on the treat side of the ledger, this group of young participants in the Royal Canadian Legion Girl’s Popularity Contest seem very pleased with their Auburn,too. They posed for their portrait in front of the Executive Offices of that august organization at 856 Seymour Street in the late 1920′s. You’ll find many more Auburn related posts on The Old Motor, but were pretty sure this is the only one we’ve done that features a guy in gorilla suit. Both photos by Stuart Thomson are courtesy of the City of Vancouver.

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Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942 | Tagged , , |

Fred Cheeseman’s Auburn Auto Sales and Service – Vancouver, B.C.

You might have seen our photos of  Cheeseman’s Goodyear Tire  and Service Garage posted here back on July 18 and this shop obviously predates it by a few years. It’s Fred G. Cheeseman’s Garage located at 1147 Howe Street in Vancouver, B.C., which was photographed on April 27, 1933, and a clean and tidy operation it appears to be. Although we can’t say for sure that these two businesses were operated by the same man, we think it’s a safe bet that they might be. Note the array of Bear wheel alignment tools prominently displayed in the showroom window and the large banner promoting the latest in car radios.


The skylights providing lots of natural light in the service bays allow us to get a good look at an intriguing piece of equipment in the center thumbnail (above). At first glance, it seemed like this was a simple alignment rack, but the rollers and gearbox under the rear wheels tell us that it is a brake testing machine. A similar Bendix-Cowdrey testing machine can be seen (above right). Auburn fans follow this link and find more interesting articles about them. These images by photographer Stuart Thomson, courtesy of the City of Vancouver.

Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Garages and Dealerships | Tagged , , , , |

Sensuous Steel – Art Deco Automobiles at the Frist Museum

The Delahaye 135MS Figoni and Falaschi Roadster first seen at the 1937 Paris Auto Salon from the Collection of The Revs Institute for Automobile Research at the Collier Collection.

An exhibition of some truly remarkable automobiles is currently in progress at The Frist Center for Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee and runs until September 15, 2013. A must see for lovers of Art Deco and “French Curve” design, visitors unfamiliar with those genres will likely be even more impressed by the striking style of these cars. Superb lighting shows them off to their best advantage as seen in these images courtesy of Bruce Sweetman.

They come to the Frist from some of the finest collections in the country. Well known automotive journalist and guest curator Ken Gross brief gives a  brief introduction to the exhibit in the video below.

A preview of just some of the cars you will see there follows below. You can find out more about this display and the Frist Center, including hours and directions, here.


L to R (above) : The Collier Collection’s Delahaye 135MS Roadster Roadster features leather interior and matching carpets by Hermès.  Another gorgeous Delahaye, a 1936 135M Competition Coupe from the collection of Jim Patterson also sports coachwork by Figoni and Falaschi . 


L to R (above) : The Patterson Delahaye 135M, and a 1934 Voisin Type C27 Aerosport Coupe from the Collection of Merle and Peter Mullin


L to R (above) : The Mullin Museum’s 1934 Voisin Type C27 Aerosport Coupe and a stunning 1934 Packard Twelve Model 1106 Sport Coupe by LeBaron belonging to Robert and Sandra Bahre.


L to R (above) : Front view of the Bahre’s Packard and a very rare 1930 Jordan Model Z Speedway Ace Roadster from the Collection of the Edmund J. Stecker Family Trust.


L to R (above) : The instrument panel of the Jordan Speedway Ace and the 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Vanvooren Cabriolet built for the Shah of Persia on loan from Margie and Robert E. Petersen of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.


L to R (above) : The dashboard in the Bugatti Type 57C and a 1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet first owned by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s currently part of the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Automobile Museum Collection.


L to R (above) : The unique Hispano-Suiza H6B Dubonnet “Xenia” Coupe on loan from The Mullin Automotive Museum. Conceived in 1937 by André Dubonnet of aperitif fame, it was designed by Jean Andreau and built with coachwork by Jacques Saoutchik.

All photos courtesy of Bruce Sweetman.

Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Pre-War Contemporary Photos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Detroit Auburn – Cord Sales and Service

By the time these photos were taken (we’re guessing it was around 1929 or 1930) the Indiana upstart, Auburn, had already been building quality cars for more than 25 years. Here they have invaded Michigan and these reputable looking gentlemen are hawking their two lines of cars right in the “Big Three’s” backyard, Detroit. Aside from selling Auburns and Cords, the sign in the window on the right announces some “Good Used Cars Cheap : Hudson Sedan, $225, Chandler Coach, $150, Dodge Sedan, $125, Cadillac 4-Passenger Coupe, $100. All cars with license.” But it’s kind of hard for us to know just how good a deal these really were, since they conveniently neglected to mention the model year of each of these potential bargains.

But the big news there had to be their revolutionary Cord L-29. Introduced in 1929, the drivetrain was largely the brainchild of Auburn chief engineer C.W. Van Ranst who brought his not inconsiderable talents to the table. Above you can see a clear image of the entire drivetrain from the June 19, 1929 issue of Automotive Industries. We also found the thumbnails (below) showing a different angle on the engine and transaxle (left) and it’s intricate inner workings (right) in the same issue. The center image shows what we think might be an L-29 prototype based on the axle’s placement in front of the differential cover and what appears to be an Indiana manufacturer’s license plate.

Al Leamy gets the credit for the graceful sweeping lines of the low slung body, made possible by the compact front wheel drive configuration.  It created a sensation both here and abroad, eventually receiving 39 awards at 23 Concours events in Europe. At the time, ground breaking architect Frank Lloyd Wright remarked, “it looks becoming to the houses I design!”


More interesting L29 Cord photos (scroll down) on The Old Motor. Top and bottom photos courtesy of Jerry Lettieri

Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Garages and Dealerships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

A Dashing 1935 Auburn 851 Phaeton

By Gene Herman:

While the Auburn 852 Speedsters have achieved iconic status amongst classic car enthusiasts, their less flashy brothers are seldom seen on showfields today. In 1935 and ’36, this Indiana based manufacturer produced a full line of cars in six, eight and supercharged eight cylinder guise.

Seen above is a 1934 factory publicity photo of their handsome 1935 Phaeton. Although it shared the rakish good looks of the Speedster, this four door five-seater was meant to appeal to the buyer looking for a more practical car. But even offering four other distinctive body styles (a coupe, a brougham, a cabriolet and a four door sedan) could not this save this pioneer builder of quality automobiles from the ravages of the Great Depression. Although a 1937 product line was announced, the company closed it’s doors forever that same year before any were produced.

Seen below is a video of an all-too-short period promotional film showing the sedan, the coupe and the Speedster in their natural habitat.

You can see many more posts and photos about Auburns here on  The Old Motor (scroll down) and to learn more you can also visit the  Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club. Photo courtesy of the Donald Ellis Collection.

Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, video | Tagged , , , |