AUBURN from the good guys at milestone motorcars


The Road Trip

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club
Rolls into Auburn again

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club celebrated their 50th Anniversary reunion in Auburn, Indiana this past Labor Day weekend. These Classic Cars have been rolling into Auburn each year for the past 49 years. Their 1st meet was held in Avon, Pennsylvania in 1956. The following year the annual reunion was moved to, the birthplace of the Auburn Automobile Company, in Auburn, Indiana. This year the club held a special event commemorating their anniversary by interring a Time Capsule ceremony at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum. The Time Capsule, filled with donated Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) memorabilia was buried on the Museum's property. It will be unearthed in 50 years at the Clubs 100 Anniversary Celebration. Unfortunately I do not think that I will be attending...

Each year ACD members and enthusiasts flock to this event in great numbers. An estimated 300,000 people attended this annual Classic Car Mecca. The total event, billed as the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival, runs from Wednesday through Monday each Labor Day weekend. There is something for everyone. The 35th annual Kruse Collector Car Auction starts on Wednesday at the Kruse Auction Park. The Park is a 480-acre facility set up to auction cars, provide swap-meet spaces and to offer a huge cars for sale corral. This year there were three auction rings running simultaneously from morning on into the night for 6 days. Kruse advertises this show as being the largest of it's kind with 5000 cars being offered for sale. The ACD club events include the Hoosier Tour, an ACD parts only swap meet at the ACD Museum on Friday morning, the ACD Car Show in Eckhart Park on Saturday morning  and the Parade of Classics on Saturday afternoon. The show and parade included over 400 ACD cars. After viewing the parade, inspecting the cars as they line up around the Courthouse Square and speaking with the owners, you will understand why this event is considered the Greatest Classic Car Show in the World.

There is also a Downtown Cruise-In on Saturday night in downtown Auburn open to all cars, so you will find everything from Antiques, Classics, Sports, Street Rods and Muscle Cars. The Cruise can easily draw 500 or more cars. A New event this year is the Sunday Concours d' Elegance. This event is held on the grounds of the Kruse World War II Victory Museum. At this same sight, Dean Kruse houses his Automobile Museum. Both Museums are worth seeing.

While in Auburn you must see the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum. It is one of the best remaining examples of Art Deco Architecture in the United States today. The Museum is made up of the remaining buildings from the Auburn-Cord manufacturing facilities. The Beautiful 1st floor show room has been restored to its original state, as has most of the building except for some tasteful additions. The museum houses not only ACD cars but cars that were produced in Indiana, along with many other wonderful automobiles. Portions of the original manufacturing buildings now are home to NATMUS (National Automobile and Truck Museum of the United States). NATMUS is slowly restoring the remaining buildings.

In 1978, my buddy Dave and I made our first visit to this event in my, New to Me, Used 1971 Corvette. We drove the wheels off the car that year, hitting many of the major mid-western Car events. Thirty years later I still own that Corvette. We had to sneak into the Eckhart Park ACD Club Car Show on Saturday morning since it was, and still is, an ACD members only event. Not only was the show unlike anything that we had ever seen before, we actually met Gordon Buehrig, the man responsible for penning some of the most beautiful cars ever designed. We also met Glenn Pray, then and currently President of the ACD Company. Naturally I had to ask them to pose with me for a couple of photo's of which I still proudly posses. Glenn was driving one of his New 874 Dual Cowl Auburns. The car was a Dark Red and it certainly was drawing a crowd. If I remember correctly I believe that the car was selling in the $60,000 range. That was a truckload of money back then. At this years event I just happened to meet the current-original owner of that same Red Dual Cowl Auburn. He told me that he was taking delivery of the car from Glenn that weekend back in 1978. Small world huh?

Speaking of Glenn Pray. Glenn was the Grand Marshal for this years Parade of Classics. Glenn drove in the 1st Parade of Classics back in 1956. He was wheeling around in his 1937 Cord Phaeton, he was 28 years old at the time. Glenn said that he has attended over 40 ACD club reunions. This year Glenn brought his Yellow Dual Cowl 874 Auburn. His car is the last 874 built; number 18 of 18. I think it was befitting to ask Glenn to be the Grand Marshal for the Clubs 50th event. Glenn is certainly responsible for saving many cars and supplying the parts for many of the 75-100 year old cars that were attending this year's event. Automobile Quarterly will be releasing a book with Glenn Prays' story later this year.



2005 Road Trip article rescued from our old "Milestone Motorcars" website / August 2005

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