18-19 August 2017

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Lot 124

1936 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster

  • Serial no. 852 35209 E
  • Engine no. GH 5349

Sold for $1,017,500

  • The Art Deco performance automobile of the Classic Era
  • An original, authentic example, beautifully restored and a multiple award-winner
  • Formerly of the well-known David Tunick collection
  • Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club Certified Category One (A-487)
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

The audacious 1935–1936 Auburn speedsters boasted curvaceous “boattail” bodywork on a potent supercharged eight-cylinder chassis, with a two-speed rear axle for relaxed highway cruising. A perfect storm of engineering and beauty, these cars combine elegance and modern drivability into an outstanding touring machine. The model has been referred to as the one genuine American sports car of the Classic Era.

Offered here is one of about 150 authentic speedsters produced, and one of fewer still produced as a 1936 852 model. Formerly owned by the late, respected Massachusetts restorer, Ted Billing, it was later hidden away for many years in the famous Connecticut collection of David Tunick, before its sale in 2005 to James Foght of Illinois. Mr. Foght brought the car to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club, which certified it as a Category One Original Car, noting that it retained its original body, frame, engine, and even the original serial number tag on the firewall.

Subsequently the car was owned by a well-known European collector of performance automobiles, before finding its way into its current American ownership several years ago. While the speedster had been fully restored and shown at Pebble Beach and Villa d’Este, the current owner elected to have the complete drivetrain, including the engine and its ancillaries, rebuilt by his own expert restorer, and the body restored, including new upholstery, top, and paintwork over a body correctly stripped to bare metal. The owner notes that almost $200,000 was spent over the past two years. The car is offered with photographic documentation of the restoration and invoices for the past three years.

Since the fresh restoration work, the Auburn has delighted judges and crowds alike in competition, including Best of Show at Kiawah Island in 2016; Best in Class at Pinehurst (2016), Boca Raton (2016), Santa Fe, and the Art of the Car Concours (2016), and most recently the Concours d’Elegance of Texas (2017); and the Garage Style Magazine Award at the San Marino Motor Classic (2016), in addition to numerous other awards all over the country. It also scored 99.5 points at the Classic Car Club of America Grand Classic in 2016.

Any Auburn speedster is a joy to behold and a surprisingly modern-feeling pleasure to drive. This particular car still holds rank among the finest survivors, and it would be welcomed at continued concours appearances or at Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club events. Few American automobiles pack such an astonishing presence.


Please refer to for an updated and expanded catalogue description.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more