A Day At The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival

Last September I had the opportunity to attend the big Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg club meet in Auburn Indiana. The show and swap meet centered around the old down-town and the ACD museum at the old factory. It happens once a year and is the biggest meeting of these rare cars. As a kid I was told about their mystique from my dad. I saw pictures and even built the model kits but I never saw a front-drive coffin-nose Cord up close before. The first thing that struck me about them is the fact that they aren’t very big! Not as big as you’d think. They’re about the size of a modern sedan. The hood is long and that gives the impression of a bigger car. The body isn’t very wide and seats two people up front, close together like all the cars of that era. They came supercharged and standard. Of course there were a good amount of Duesenbergs and Auburns there as well. I didn’t realize that the Auburn was front drive just like the Cord. I saw various different body styles for the Auburn and I like the standard roadster almost as much as the boat-tail speedster. The trunk sculpting on the standard body is really interesting. Too bad in most cases it’s covered by the spare tire. I met a friend there and walked around the general car show that was all through the old down town. There, folks could bring their own collector car and park it along side every other car. It made for a good show with lots of variation. There was a huge swap meet and a smaller swap meet for the Duesenberg club. I met a fellow kit collector there and we had a nice long talk and got to know each other. He is a Here are a few photos of the highlights.

 old cord blue2 copyI love the color blue on this L-29! The ACD cars all oozed class!

cord suvivorThis is an older restoration that looks like an original survivor. I think it would kind cool to own a car like this. Just drive around with the top down and not care where you park it.

two on the streetHere is a scene that you don’t see everyday. Two Cords at a stop light. This is actually the beginning of a parade or cruise.

green side viewI’ve never seen this color on a Cord before. I instantly liked it.

green headlight reflectionHere’s a fun reflection shot. Not one you easily set up. It requires two Cords.


cord over hood shotI was curious what it was like behind the wheel. This is what you’d see out the windshield. The nose is long on these cars. Just the way it should be. I much prefer the classic proportions.


yellow and blackHave you ever seen so many convertibles in one place in your life?


26 Auburn sedan1 copyAn Auburn original survivor. A ’26 sedan. Below is another survivor. I like the detail on the back end.

auburn rear shot


yellow on streetI can’t blame this guy for smiling! I would be too! I noticed that these cars have a distinctive mechanical whine as they get going. The gear box I think.


34 ford truck rat rod1 copyLast but not least I took this photo of a rat rod in the down-town car show. Note the vintage hemi engine. The radiator ornament is a grenade with a mouse head on top. The grille is barbed wire and the body is so rusty that the lower edge of the door is nothing but shredded metal. The guy standing there in the flowered shirt is the one who built it. He had a “Green Party” bumper sticker on the back. I asked him if it was a joke. He replied “no”. He really did belong to the Green Party. I don’t think it occurred to him at first that his car represented the exact opposite of what the party stood for. But I thought his rod was a real eye-catcher and applauded his efforts! One of the highlights of the street show for me!