Following the 12-160 model of 1932, the 12-161 was Auburn’s top chassis and was distinguished with its by its mesh grille. Like its predecessor, the 12-161 had a capable Lycoming V12 engine and opulent styling with striking two-tone paint schemes. They were also very well priced, offering ample power and sophistication for only $1,245 USD in 1933.
The highlight of the Auburn 12 was undoubtedly its engine which produced 160 bhp and enough torque to move even the heaviest bodies with ease. This was attached to a free-wheeling differential that disengaged the engine when the throttle was released. Furthermore the 12 was also equipped with an overdrive ‘Dual-Ratio’ axle gear that allowed for high top speeds and reduced fuel consumption.
Special features of the chassis 12 included Bijur chassis lubrication, Houdaille shock absorbers and a re-useable Purolator oil filter.
The very best bodystyle fitted to the Auburn 12 was the Boattail Speedster of which 14 were built in 1933. Other bodies included included executive sedans and limousines.
In 1933, Auburn debuted the 12-165 Salon models that were substantially upgraded and are easily identified by their updated V-shaped radiator with a painted shroud that concealed the radiator cap. The Auburn badge was also repositioned to the bumpers which were reshaped. Furthermore, the engine mounts were switched to biscuit-type to reduce drive train vibration. At the front a new A-frame was fitted to increase torsional rigidity. The braking system received vacuum power assist and that had four different settings for dry weather, rain, snow and ice.
Series Production Car
Detroit, Michigan, USA
2 Sidevalves per Cyl
Stromberg Downdraft Carburetor
6407 cc / 391 in³
79.5 mm / 3.1 in
108 mm / 4.3 in
119.3 kw / 160 bhp
24.97 bhp per litre
76.37 bhp per tonne
body / frame
Steel Body over Steel Ladder-Type Frame
Rigid Axle w/Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs, Houdaille Shock Absorbers
Live Axle w/Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs, Houdaille Shock Absorbers