1931 AUBURN 8-98A CUSTOM CONVERTIBLE COUPE - CALIFORNIA CAR, NEVER RESTORED
- Make: Other Makes
- Model: Auburn
- SubModel: 8-98A Custom Convertible Coupe
- Type: Convertible Coupe
- Trim: Convertible Coupe
- Year: 1931
- Mileage: 57,647
- VIN: GU7111
- Color: Light Beige over Tan
- Engine size: Lycoming Inline 8, 268.6 Cubic Inches
- Number of cylinders: 8
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: 3-Speed Manual
- Drive type: Rear Wheel Drive
- Interior color: Brown Leather
- Options: Convertible, Leather Seats
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1931 Other Makes Auburn 8-98A Custom Convertible Coupe
1931 Auburn 8-98A Custom Convertible Coupe
Believed Sold New in California - With the Same Family in the Golden State from 1953-2011
Repainted, Reupholstered, Repaired as Needed Over The Years - But Never Restored
Original Wood & Metal - No Body Filler Detected - Supremely Solid Throughout
Preserve As-Is or Make This The Candidate For An Exceptional Concours Restoration
Please Wait For All Pictures To Load - It's Worth It!
An attractive demi-survivor, this 1931 Auburn 8-98A Custom Convertible Coupe was among the top of the line offerings from Auburn that year. This example rolled into our workshop nearly a year ago with a big water pump leak, charging issues and much else wrong with it. It sat on the back burner for quite a while as we dealt with other inventory, but we got around to a full restoration of the generator/water pump, a thorough undercarriage cleaning and preservative detailing and quite a bit else "while we were there".
The car sits on new Firestone wide whites all around, including the spare wheel. We also adjusted the mechanical cable and rod-actuated brakes and they are much better than they were!
The license plate bracket had a crack in it and we're repairing it right now, it will be refitted to the car prior to delivery. Unlike every other 8-98 and 8-100 I've worked with, the bodywork where the spare tire mount bolts down has no warpage or tearing. There's a terrific amount of wood in these cars and this car is exceptional in how straight and sound it is throughout.
The locking bolt for the spare wheel is absent, we have substituted some generic hardware that achieves the same end!
The top is newer on its original and unrestored bows, it works well with two people being careful to erect it, more photos of this below. We do not have a top boot but I may be able to get you a pattern.
The running board rubbers are original to the car, they are weathered but exhibit a lot of character. We replaced the rubbing board step as it had perished.
Some of the best lines of any Full Classic car can be found on the Alan Leamy-designed 1931-32 Auburns.
Again, one of the most imposing "faces" in the hobby!
The original lamps light up on high and low beam
As do the original cowl lamps with one more pull of the switch.
The 1931 Auburn looks stately, not staid with its top on.
Top up, rumble seat open!
Very pretty from all angles.
The other extreme, top and windshield folded down!
The lines of the car are only further accentuated without the windshield up!
The original rearview mirror even pivots down with the windshield folded down - but of course!
There's no angle at which this looks worse!
The seats front and rear were reupholstered some decades ago in leather. Certain pieces of upholstery beside and behind the front seat as well as the interior paneling in the rumble seat compartment are the original heavily-textured leatherette. I can't say I've ever seen this material so well preserved before.
Passenger's door panel
The seat is very clean and supportive and sits on its original wood framework that is part of the body. The "guts" of the seat appear original from beneath.
Driver's door panel also still holding up well.
The little knob in the driver's footwell visible above is the original exhaust cutout, pull up and the tailpipe is superfluous!
The original steering wheel exhibits some wear but no damage. The dashboard and instrument surround are totally original.
Instruments are original save for a 1950s-era Stewart-Warner capillary tube temperature gauge, the original is no longer with the car. The speedometer is not working, sounds like a bad cable or broken gear if you listen closely. Amps gauge works (I need to reverse the terminals), oil pressure reads good and high going down the road, capillary tube oil and fuel level gauges are inoperative due to previously-broken lines. The "Deluxe Moto-Master" radio powers up but likely needs a vibrator.
A terrific classic radio!
A switch for the electric fuel pump added many decades ago, a vacuum gauge and an underdash ashtray were added to the car long ago. The cigarette lighter was originally in the center of where the vacuum gauge now lives as per other cars I have handled.
The short stick with the knob behind the handbrake lever is for the freewheeling, which I have not used.
Another shot of the instrument cluster ... and a heater sneaking out from under the dash!
We disconnected the heater when we replaced water hoses as it was clumsily plumbed in, but it was not leaking when hooked up. Your call whether to reconnect it - feed can come from a T in the engine feed hose from the water pump, return directly into the back of the pump if you add a hose barb where we have it plugged - see below.
The rumble seat is as nicely upholstered as the front. Note original trimming inside the left well - the material is identical on the right side.
The rumble seat has new main springs but does not pop up on its own as it should, something is not quite right. We have been pushing it up from inside the car (through the small pockets behind the seat) once the latch is released.
One more close-up of the windshield folded down, just so cool!
The Lycoming-sourced inline 8 at the heart of this Auburn is a service replacement engine; the number on the chassis plate is about 20,000 lower. The plate on the engine has no Car Number engraved in it and the car is titled to this number. I've run into this before and when I asked about it was told that if the plate does not have the Car number on it that it was a service replacement engine from Auburn due to a failure early on in its life.
As mentioned, the car is titled to this number.
Also stamped in on the pad at the left front corner of the block.
The original radiator is excellent, we gave it a quick coat of paint when we detailed the engine compartment.
I believe that the paint on the firewall is original.
Additional service work just done includes a new old stock distributor cap, points adjustment and lots of other minor repairs. The Carter BB-1 carburetor is close to being dialed in and I'm still playing with the adjustable main jet. Suffice to say it's a good running and driving car.
As you can see here the generator & water pump are both fresh as are belts and hoses. The Bijur system is disconnected and grease fittings were added earlier in the car's life, so we left it alone.
Another shot of the radiator.
Such great lines!
As mentioned earlier, the tires are just about brand new and the wheels all cleaned up and true.
You'll notice that the chassis rails are freshly detailed as is much else of the undercarriage - a lot of cleaning work went in to ensure that this car was truly as solid as we thought it was underneath.
Yes, even the rear spare wheel has new rubber on it!
As mentioned before, engine 51811 likely failed early in this car's life and was replaced with 71111 as a service replacement.
Finding original (not reproduction, or not at all) body and chassis tags on an open Auburn is very, very rare. They were under the rubber mat just inboard of the passenger threshold and nailed into the woodwork. If that wood ever got soft, they went bye-bye!
Here's a quick overview of the undercarriage, starting behind the left front wheel and going around counter clockwise.
Looks like someone jacked up on this brace channel a long time ago and found that it wasn't exactly the right place... it is still attached and doing its job.
Notice also the original center muffler with the slide-up cutout - it's not perfect but it's there!
Just so solid!
No excuses anywhere!
This terrific Auburn is being sold by a licensed and bonded dealer of fine used automobiles located in Augusta (where this car is located) and Savannah, Georgia. Please understand that this is an unusual 85 year old vintage car hand-built by men and not gods - and is thus sold as-is, where-is with no implied or stated warranty or guarantee; please be realistic about your expectations (i.e., if you expect it to run, start and drive like a late model used car, buy one of those instead). As stated above in the listing, we have made a significant effort over the last number of months to correct issues that we found with the car - and with said effort now believe it to be in extremely good health based on many years of experience with other sports, classic and unusual cars of all types over many years.
Full payment is due within seven days of auction close unless discussed with us in advance of your bid. Your winning bid is a contract to buy, not just to look or for first right of refusal; the only reason your contract would be null and void is if it was found that we willfully and with malice aforethought misrepresented the car in the above description. If you feel you need to inspect the car prior to purchase, please arrange and have this inspection done prior to placing a successful bid, we welcome your visit. If you are very new to eBay, have fewer than 10 positive feedback or any negatives, please contact me before bidding to check in and verify your intents. We are also always happy to entertain trades up or down, so feel free to ask!
Accepted forms of payment include a cleared certified cheque or wire transfer in the dealership's bank account, or cash in person on pickup (no cash via the mail, eBay!). We require that paperwork be completed prior to or at the time of pickup (should you do this in person) or filed back with us if done remotely, we typically FedEx paperwork out to you immediately on receiving payment. We will require a copy of your driver's license to process paperwork. We do not charge any tax to out of state buyers as this is something you handle at the DMV or, naturally, other dealers in all 50 states.
Please note that this car will be sold on reassigned California title as Georgia does not issue titles for cars made prior to 1962 even if one is received. As automobile dealers, we are legally empowered to reassign title to you. Contact me if you have questions about this.
Shipping or pickup must occur within fourteen days of auction close unless discussed with us in advance of your bid. We are happy to refer you to one of the high-quality open or enclosed collector car shipping companies that we use frequently in the normal course of business - and we cannot stress enough the importance of using such a carrier and not a random transport broker or carrier you might find online, particularly as this is a unique vintage car in phenomenal condition. For international buyers, we can carry the car to the port of Savannah at no charge or to other ports for a nominal fee, though shipping beyond the U.S. border must be entirely arranged for and paid by you. Please contact us if you need any assistance with logistics and we'll be happy to help. Meanwhile, the car is safe and secure in my showroom here in Augusta.
We reserve the right to cancel all bids and end the auction early at any time during the course of the sale should a sale occur outside of eBay as the car has been offered quietly through other channels over the past month or so. We typically do not do this at all and only when full payment has been received from such a buyer will the auction be pulled.
Any legal action associated with this sale from either the buyer or the seller is to take place in the State of Georgia in the Chatham County Courthouse. The bidder/buyer further agrees that any legal action will be heard in Chatham County in the State of Georgia. All legal actions associated with this auction/sale will be governed by the laws of the State of Georgia and buyer agrees to be responsible for all legal costs including, but not limited to, court costs, expenses, attorney fees, cost of process service, and all other costs associated with the normal course of business.QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? CONCERNS?
E-MAIL ME OR CALL +1.804.357.4926 (Cell)