Name That Elegant Car: Part Five

Do you find modern cars boring and would rather attend a classic car show than one of the many product launches? If you do, last weekend’s Concours d’Elegance of America at Meadow Brook showcased some great classic cars. We happened to be in attendance, snapped some photos of a few of the cars, and are subsequently challenging you to name this elegant car.

Think you know what classic car is pictured in the detail photo above? Take your guess in the comments below and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow, along with another classic car.

Did You Name Yesterday’s Elegant Car?

Many of you seem well versed in the history of Auburn-Cord-Dusenberg. These distinctive exhaust ports are in fact features of the 1935 Auburn 851 SC Speedster.

Auburn hoped to reverse its slumping sales with a new vehicle in 1935, but finances in 1934 were tight, and an all-new model was out of the question. Designer Gordon Buehrig was tasked with revising the existing models, ditching Al Leamy’s styling in favor of a much more sophisticated look.

The end product, the 851, was certainly a beautiful car, but one model stood out from the rest. Auburn knew a supplier still had a number of speedster bodies left over from the company’s 1933 Speedster endeavor. With a little modification courtesy of Buehrig, the bodies were applied to the 851, creating the boattail speedster you see here.

Like any 851, the Speedster could be had in supercharged form, which bolted a Schwitzer-Cummins blower onto the stock 280-cubic-inch Lycoming inline-eight. The result yielded roughly 150 horsepower, and mated with a three-speed manual transmission and a two-speed rear axle, it was good for well over 100 mph.

Few 851 SC Speedsters were built — no wonder, considering they commanded nearly $2245 when new, and Auburn lost about $300 on each example built. This particular car was recently sold at RM Auction’s Meadow Brook event, and fetched a princely $385,000 when it rolled off the auction block.