2004 AUBURN 1936 Speedster Replica

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2004 AUBURN 1936 Speedster Replica


The Auburn Automobile Company grew out of the Eckhart Carriage Company in Auburn, Indiana. Founded in 1874 by Charles Eckhart, a flourishing carriage business was forged by the time he handed the reins over to his sons Frank and Morris. Seeing the writing on the wall for the horse and buggy, the brothers Eckhart went into the car business in 1900. The following years saw some great automobiles leave the Indiana-based works, both in eight and twelve cylinder form, but the true icon would come in late 1934.

Penned by Gordon Buehrig, the young designer who had mastered designs for Stutz and Duesenberg, the 851 Boat Tail Speedster could be considered his masterpiece.

The 851 Speedster was the first stock American car to exceed 100 mph for twelve hours. In fact, all 851 Boat Tail Speedsters were guaranteed to exceed 100 mph in stock form. Its performance was astonishing, but the car is mostly remembered for its styling; it is undeniably one of the most striking and unforgettable designs of the 1930s.

Today, originals are today both rare and very expensive. Hence the market for replicas and recreations.

Of the numerous small companies that have built replicas, Speedster Motorcars is considered to be a manufacturer of particularly high-quality examples.

Based in Florida, the company’s reputation was built on the extensive experience founder Michael Atkins acquired over several decades of constructing replica Auburns.

He finally created an aesthetically faithful but mechanically modernized Boat Tail Speedster in the early 2000s.

Featuring reliable V8 Chevrolet engines, the cars offered power brakes and steering, plus automatic transmission cunningly disguised as a manual.

The Vehicle

This motor car is being sold as part of a private overseas collection. It has been imported under the Bonhams’ temporary admission customs bond. In addition to the ‘hammer’ price, the winning bidder must pay a bond release fee (£350) and also import tax/duty.

In the UK, cars over 30 years old are subject to the lower rate of 5% import tax on the final selling price if purchased by a private individual. Cars less than 30 years old will pay 10% duty + VAT as well as VAT. A company buying this car will always pay 10% duty + VAT as well as VAT on the ‘hammer’ price.

The winning bidder will receive a receipt for the final hammer value, and proof that HMRC fees are paid. If the car is subsequently exported abroad within 30 days then these fees are refundable upon proof of customs/tax payment in the other country.

The bond release fee (£350 payable direct, post-auction, to the CARS shipping company) will produce a NOVA from HMRC, this document is formal proof that all duties & taxes are paid in UK. The vehicle is not registered anywhere. You must register the vehicle with the DVLA. Upon request, The Market can suggest some companies who can help with this process.

This vehicle has been on static display in the Middle East for a number of years, and there is no history available beyond that displayed in our photography section. In all cases, the documents shown are photocopies, unless otherwise stated. We do not have the originals.

Unless otherwise stated, we have not tried to start or drive the car so cannot vouch for its mechanical viability or functionality. It will require recommissioning prior to road use and is strictly sold ‘as seen’.

It is available for viewing by appointment weekdays 9am-5pm, and we advise you (or your appointed engineer) to inspect it at our HQ near Abingdon in Oxfordshire.

We haven’t tried to start or drive this LHD automatic Auburn Boat Tail Speedster Replica and can therefore only attest to its cosmetic condition.

We know that the VIN: 1S9SR31T040879014.

We believe that the engine is a 5.3 litre V8, offering 295bhp. The engine number stamped on the block states 23J02.

We know that, today, the odometer reads just 7,526 miles.

It was bought for the vendor’s collection of static display vehicles in 2012.

On the Outside

Based as it is on one of the most beautiful cars to emerge from the golden age of American automotive design in the 1930s, this car is unsurprisingly stunning.

The green over cream is broadly in very good condition.

The bodywork is free of any significant dinks, dents, creases or folds that we can see.

The car seems to us to be very well built indeed. The doors close with plenty of weighty precision and authority. The panels are smooth and even. The shut lines and panel gaps are consistent.

The car’s chrome, other brightwork, lights, lenses and exterior fixtures and fittings all seem to be in fine fettle, as do the wire wheels.

The beige hood is intact, functional and in decent order.

Both nearside wheel arches have a few scratches and scuffs. There are light scuffs on the o/s/r wheel arch and some scratches and stone chips on its o/s/r counterpart.

There are one or two stone chips elsewhere, plus a few light, swirly scratches on the bonnet.

The lift-up hard cover for the hood storage compartment has cracked paint and scuffs and scratches on both sides.

On the Inside

The interior is equally impressive, with everything looking well cared for and showing only the lightest signs of wear or use.

The cream leather on the upholstery and door cards is excellent and, aside from a couple of marks on the passenger side of the bench seat (which look as though they would surrender if threatened with a damp cloth), everything looks reassuringly untroubled by the passage of time.

The carpets, too, are in good nick, as is the rich and glossy wood on the dashboard.

The gear selector - which looks for all the world like a manual lever - is fine, as are the steering wheel and instruments.

We can’t make any claims about the functionality of switches, knobs, levers, toggles, buttons, dials or other electrics as we haven’t tried to start or drive the vehicle.


Everything in the engine bay looks clean and dry, and the undersides of the car appear to have plenty of structural integrity. You’ll want to come and see for yourself.

History Highlights

The car doesn’t come with any history or service records, although it does have some brochures and a specification list from the manufacturer.

Currently, it has neither an MoT certificate nor a V5. It must be registered in the country of your choice and you will need to contact the appropriate vehicle licensing agency for instructions on how to do this.

None of the paperwork shown in the gallery constitutes any kind of licensing or registration documentation.

What We Think

It seems to be in very good condition, feels solidly and properly built and, we’re fairly sure, you’ll be unlikely ever to find yourself parked next to another one in the car park at Waitrose.

Provided, of course, that the engine and mechanicals are amenable to recommissioning, this could well be the perfect car for anyone looking to release and fully express their inner Jay Gatsby.

We’re confident to offer this car for auction with an estimate of £8,000 - £14,000, plus Bonhams bond payment and £350 NOVA fee.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Bidders MUST ensure they are aware of the registration situation of a car in auction, and whether it will be possible to export/register a vehicle in their country BEFORE they bid.

All vehicles MUST BE COLLECTED WITHIN 7-DAYS of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per week) thereafter without exception.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 7526 miles
  • Chassis Number: 1S9SR31T040879014
  • Gearbox: Auto
  • Steering position: Left-hand drive
  • Colour: Green over Cream
  • Interior: Cream
  • Estimated Price: £8,000 - £14,000

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