Blackie's Ride in the first season (1951) of the syndicated first run TV series version of BOSTON BLACKIE, it was produced by the same production company that later produced HIGHWAY PATROL starring Broderick Crawford

One example of only a couple right hand drive Union City Body Co. 851 Speedsters. Serial # 851.33094 E. Chassis # 2094 Engine # GH43309 Body # U47-194.

 8-100 Boattail Speedster

Remington Steele

1935   851 SuperChrarged Auburn Speedster.

Designer Alan H. Leamy created some of the most memorable designs of the late 20's and early 30's. In addition to his work for the Cord L-29 and 31-34 Auburn Speedsters, he also is credited with some styling of the Duesenberg J.

12-160 Series Boattail Speedster

Union City and Auburn factory built Boattail Speedsters will always have their Supercharger pipes on the Drivers side of the automobile. Other builders reproducing them, will most often have them on both sides. According to Copy laws a replica must be a certain percentage different than an original, so most will opt for the supercharger pipes on both sides of the car.

This unique car first belonged to the richest woman in America at the time Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress known as 'The Poor Little Rich Girl' on account of her immense wealth and troubled private life. Hutton purchased the car new for her husband Prince Alexis Mdivani when it was a standard maroon 1935  851 Auburn Speedster. Barbara Woolworth Hutton didn't use the car much, and let it languish,it was consigned to storage. Between 1936-37 Cinematographer Alan Gordon a motion picture publicist, large-scale supplier of film cameras,lenses and viewfinders to the Hollywood movie industry and friend of several movie stars  purchased this 851 Speedster and commissioned premier coachbuilder Bohnam&Shwartz of Pasadena California renowned for exotic creations to undertake unique modifications to his specifications. They transformed Gordon's Speedster in a sweep-panel style with woodlite headlights and rear fender skirts and made it his dream and it never failed to cause a stir when he pulled up at movie premieres and parties in it.    Movie stars such as Betty Grable, Linda Darnell,Cary Grant and Lana Turner to name a few rode in the Speedster. When the restoration of this Speedster was commissioned in later years is was specified that because of the movie star connection that the original interior would not be altered in any way. This Union City 851 Speedster still retains the factory interior that was installed at the Union City Body Company in Union City, Indiana. NOTE;The upholstery was installed in the Speedster bodies in Union City, covered with a muslin cloth , then shipped to Auburn.     Featured in TOP GEAR of Britain 1994 , they described it as the best car in the world.  

A - CUSTOM

The 851 Speedster body consisted of 22 sections,  which had to be hand joined and fitted. The finish took  hours of body shaping, using an English wheel and a bead roller. Deep draw metal stamping was in its infancy at that time and to craft a pontoon fender of this size would take several sections of hammered and shaped panels pieced together.The Auburn presented below is one such hand crafted Union City bodied car. Although it started life as a 1935- 851  Speedster, it went unsold, and as commonplace, was rebadged for 1936 as an 852 Speedster. The first 100 Gordon Buehrig designed 851's carried Union City Coachwork from revamped 1933 leftover bodies. Bodies were always painted in primecoat and upholstery protected with a muslin cover. Speedsters were ordered in a batch of 50, first year of 50 with a Straight 8 Lycoming Engine - 851''.Total built 147.Two batches of 851's for the 1935 model year, three destroyed during the body style change. One batch of 50 for the 1936 model year. Of the 147 produced for sale 78 authentic 851-2 Speedsters remain today. They claim there are around 220 with the Glenn Prey fiberglass reproductions.

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CLICK ON IMAGES

Walter Hagen American professional golfer and major figure in golf in the first half of the 20th century standing beside his 1935  851 supercharged Auburn Speedster. His tally of 11 professional majors is third behind Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. June 1922 he became the first American to win the British open, giving him the title Sir Walter Hagen.

12-160A Boattail Speedster

1. Lower rear exhaust manifold ports, 2. enclosed fender shields, 3. brown steering wheel, 4. dash trim panels carried over from 1934 and sedan style door handles.

Actress Mary Astor in her 1935 851 Supercharged Auburn Boattail Speedster talking to Actor George Murphy with his 1935  851 Supercharged Phaeton parked next to her. Both automobiles were built in Union City Indiana at the Union City Body Company..

In 1932, only 84 Auburn Speedsters were produced with the straight eight lycoming engine. V-12's were installed for the remainder of 32 and all of 1933. Union City had to modify the  leftover 1933 bodies for the upcoming 1935 model year.        The 1934 model Speedster was not well-received at the New York Auto Dealer Showing, Designer Alan Leamy had stayed with the same design for too many years. Carmakers were designing away from the 13'' bucket headlight, Model-T look. Leamy was let go and Designer Gordon Buehrig was brought in for a re-design. Buehrig went with a more streamline front end, by adding a slant covered radiator. He removed the running boards, added a few more panels to the fenders and tail, and went with the bullet style headlights.  In order to qualify for any AMA ( Automobile Manufactures Association ) Sanctioned Auto Show , Carmakers had to have 100 examples already built for the model year. Without many changes, Auburn was able to prepare the Speedsters for the 1935 Show. Only 147 Speedsters were built for the 1935-36 model year. By 1937, the Depression had taken it's toll on the remainder of Cords Automotive Empire, and all production ceased for Auburn and Cord.

8-100A  Boattail Speedster

The first Daytona Beach race being led by the1935 Supercharged Auburn 851 Speedster.

The Auburn 851/852 Boattail Speedster is easily recognizable and unlike anything else.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Union City Body Company is credited with building all of the bodies for 8 different versions of the 1930-33 Auburn Boattail Speedster. The 100 standard, 100A Custom, 105 Salon, 12- Series, 12- 60 standard, 12-160A Custom, 161 Standard, 165 Salon. Union City also supplied Auburn with 100 bodies for the 1935- 851 Boattail Speedster. 

A total of 147 Auburn 1935- 851 and 1936-852 Supercharged Speedsters were manufactured.This Speedster however is very special . Three  speedster bodies were sacrificed to create the 1935 redesign from the first 100 1933 left over Union City built Speedsters. It took three to make the first 851 Auburn Boattail Speedster prototype. This was Auburn's first year for Supercharged automobiles and they were still waiting on the Superchargers to be finished for prodution cars. The only example delivered in custom trim, with a naturally aspirated engine. Retains its original engine,chassis,and body. recent restoration in striking factory correct colors of Duck Egg Blue over red. Not having the Supercharger pipes makes it very unique, so if you see this in a Museum or at the Auburn annual event you will know a little history on it. Another tip so you know the difference is that 1935-851's were Union City Body Company Speedsters, 1936 -852's were manufactured in Auburn,Indiana. for example prefix ''U'' would be Union City with a total of 97, ''A'' would be Auburn built, total of 50.Example Union City body # U47. We stopped production of the Speedster in 1935.

  8-125 Auburn Boattail Speedster.

The man's name is Montell and he is the owner of the Chicago-based cab company advertised on the sign behind him. His cab company catered to the African-American community.

12-161A Boattail Speedster

Actress Jean Harlow with her 1932 Auburn Boattail Speedster. Photo taken at the July, 1933 National Air Races. The pioneer women aviators seated on the running board are from left to right Amelia Earhart first female pilot to fly solo across Atlantic ocean, Ruth Nichols the only woman yet to hold simultaneous world records for speed,altitude and distance for a female pilot, Nicknamed" The Flying Debutante, then we have Louise Thaden one of America's most captivating aeronautical record setters during the late 20's and 30's

Extremely Rare! we only built three of these, two in January and one in April of 1933 this being the second one built in January.

  AMERICA'S first SPORTS CAR  

Union City built Auburn Speedster at  the Muroc dry lake run in the Mojave desert. This Speedster was powered by the new 160 h.p. V-12 Lycoming engine."Automotive Industries" reported in it's Jan.1932 issue that new speed records were set at distances from one mile to 500 miles. The mile run set a new 100.77 mph mark, and the 500 mile distance was covered at an average speed of 88.95 mph.

12-165 Salon Boattail Speedster

1935  851 Supercharged Auburn Boattail Speedster built in Union City Indiana.

This 1935  - 851  Union City built Auburn Boattail Speedster  with 68,000 original miles, V-12 motor  320 + hp. Supercharger, and a speedometer that goes to 160 mph.

Auburn 851 Speedsters did not just look fast, they were fast. To prove this, famed speed-demon and race driver Ab Jenkins sat behind the wheel of an 851 Speedster and was the first American to set a 100 mph average for a 12- hour period endurance record in a completely stock 851 Speedster. As a result, each Speedster built carried a dash plaque attesting to it's over 100 mph capability, bearing Ab Jenkins signature.

Sea Biscuit

Stills from the 1932 Movie THE DEVIL IS DRIVING. It is the improbable story of a good heart-ed criminal, a garage, a girl and a gang of car thieves.The union City Speedster is a 1931 model 8-98.

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1935 Auburn Speedster in the 1937 Movie "HEADLINE CRASHER'' Jimmy Tallant, the carefree son of Senator Tallant feels compelled to help people he thinks are in distress, and by doing so stays in trouble of some kind.

Dick Tracy with Madonna

The Great Gatsby