We’re not that big into luxury cars that pre-date WWII, but when we got tipped off to the eBay listing for Jimmy Cagney’s 1934 Auburn Cabriolet, powered by a Lycoming built V-12, we had to share it. This car looks like a scaled up hot rod, and it runs like one too. It even came from the factory equipped with manually operated exhaust cut outs!
This car falls into the “ultra-rare” category by being one of only four cabriolets built and one of only 2,200 V12 Auburns ever produced. The car was driven on camera by Cagney in the 1933 movie, “The Mayor of Hell,” We’re sure you’ve seen it.
According to the seller, this car was a 100-point judged show car for several years and has been verified to have all the original major components in place. It’s the right body, on the right chassis, with the right motor. Outside of the awesome looks and proportions of this car, we’re kind of in love with the motor. The V12 weighs over 1,000 pounds, has twin carbs (one for each bank of six cylinders), and was factory rated at 160 hp. In comparison to other engines of the time, it was head and shoulders above. According to the eBay listing, Auburn historians claim that these engines make more than 200 hp.
Other neat mechanical bits include a three speed manual transmission backed with a Columbia two speed rear axle. The short gear is a 4.54 ratio, while the tall gear is a 3.00 for highway driving. With the flip of a switch, the driver can choose the ratio he pleases. There’s also the bit about those exhaust cutouts. There’s apparently a chrome handle on the floor that instructs the driver to pull it open for “high speed operation.”
Lastly, the reason this car caught our eye was it’s long snout, wonderful fenders and running boards and a top that has the appearance of a factory chop. It’s also a coupe, which adds to the hot rod charm of the entire package. Normally these cars strike us as cantankerous and gawdy, but this one has us drooling.
Source — eBay Motors — Jimmy Cagney’s 1934 Auburn