This 1936 Auburn 852 Cabriolet was photographed at the Danville, Calif.-based Blackhawk Automotive Museum.
“This one-of-a-kind cabriolet features custom coachwork by Jean Henri Labourdette of Paris,” according to a Blackhawk car summary display. “Very few examples of foreign coachwork on Auburn chassis have been recorded.
“This Model 852 supercharged cabriolet was shipped from the factory in Auburn, Indiana, to France. Labourdette widened the rear quarters and recessed the spare tire into the trunk lid; the stock running boards were eliminated and the traditional stock fenders were replaced with modified Auburn Boattail Speedster fenders.
“French instrumentation replaced the American instruments, including the 200 kph speedometer. Historians in the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club, as well as archivists at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, generally accept that French entertainer Maurice Chevalier owned this Auburn Model 852 for a period of time.”
The 8-cylinder, Lycoming, L-head and supercharged engine was manufactured by the Auburn Automobile Co. in Auburn. At 4000 rpm, it could achieve 150 hp, according to Blackhawk.
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© Glenn Thomas Franco Simmons