AUBURN from the good guys at milestone motorcars

Elegant Motors
Manufactured the 1935 Auburn 856 and 898 Speedster Replicars

Elegant Motors Auburn 856 Speedster and the Auburn 898 four place Phaeton version of the Speedster were built in Indianapolis, Indiana. Elegant Motors inc. was founded in the early 1970's by two Indianapolis businessmen, Del Amy and Richard Passwater. Richard is better known as Dick Passwater of stock car racing fame. The original idea was too sell enough Auburn Replica's to finance their own Auburns and to fuel their enthusiasm for classic cars.

The cars could be ordered turn key complete or purchased in any stage of completion or as kits. Their Auburns were of the correct dimensions and rolled on a 127" wheel base. The drive line and chassis choices were unlimited. The bodies were fiberglass and were produced in Goshen, Indiana by the Steury Corporation, a manufacturer of fiberglass boats and camping trailers. With their elegant promotions, and favorable product reviews for authenticity from many major publications such as Motor Trend, Car Classics and Playboy to name a few,  the company took off. By the late seventies Elegant Motors had set up independent product distributors across the United States.

With Elegant Motors growing success, they started adding more Neo-Classic Cars to their product line. Their Auburn Speedsters would eventually be offered in six variations. The 898 Phaetons became available in a longer wheel base to accommodate those sitting in the rear seat. The Auburns were followed by a Cord 820 Phaeton, a 427 Cobra, The Cheetah and a Lamborghini Countach. A Mercedes 500K and a couple of versions of a Duesenberg were advertised, but I do not know if they were ever produced. I have collected printed advertising material for Elegant Motors as late as 1990. I do not know when they actually stopped producing cars. In my opinion, Del Amy's and Dick Passwater's Elegant Motors offered the best looking and most informative advertising catalogs and sales brochures of any of the Auburn Speedster replicar companies at that time. Their sales literature has become quite collectible.

To give you a feel for pricing, in 1973 856 Speedsters were priced at $20,000 for cars built with Corvette running gear and $16,000 for cars built on a Ford chassis. Kits were available for $4000-$5000. By 1979 Elegant Motors ads were listing Speedsters at $30,000, 898 Phaetons for $40,000 and their new LWB Phaeton with an extended 135" wheel base and Side mounted spares for $45,000. Their was even a Brougham (deluxe 898) available for $60,000. By 1984 I saw prices for 898 Phaetons drop to $28,000 and kit prices were dropping also.

Elegant Motors would soon become Indy Exotics under the leadership of it's new owner, Harry Broaddus. Harry was a former Elegant Motors employee. I do not know how long Harry operated Indy Exotics. I last purchased parts from him in 2001 when the company was located on Washington Street in Indianapolis. At that time he was talking about selling the business. Some of the early Elegant Motors cars used in their sales catalogs were still sitting in the warehouse area. That was pretty cool.

By 2007, the remains of both companies seem to have found their way to Auburn, Indiana. A new Auburn Speedster replica company by the name of Classic City Motors was getting started. They are building Auburn Speedsters again, two and four place versions. They were also building a 427 Cobra replica. Time will tell how this venture goes.

Elegance Motors original Showroom / manufacturing
829 Broad Ripple Ave
Indianapolis, Indiana

Elegant Motors Second Showroom / manufacturing
 "This was an original Stutz Bearcat Showroom"
832 North Meridian Street
Indianapolis, Indiana

Indy Exotics / manufacturing
1551 Churchman Ave,
Indianapolis, Indiana, 46203

note: these address are 20-30 years old / Last updated: 02-2010

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