Tag Archives: Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival

My vote for the best automotive festival

My vote for the best automotive festival hands down, is the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival over Labor Day Weekend in Auburn, Indiana. Events start on the Sunday preceding Labor Day weekend and continue through the following Sunday.

My first exposure to the ACD Festival was over 40 years ago when we attended the auction and swap meet. All of the festivities almost overloaded my budding automotive enthusiasm. Indiana’s automotive marvels were everywhere I looked.

1928 Auburn Speedster
1928 Auburn Speedster
Copyright © 2014 Dennis E. Horvath

The festival started over 60 years ago as an annual gathering of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club and morphed into one of the largest gatherings of car-crazy enthusiasts on the planet. Festival events kick off with the annual ACD Annual Garage Cruise on Sunday August 28th. The Annual ACD Festival Hoosier Tour is on Tuesday, August 30th through Thursday. Events planned for Thursday, September 1st, include the Kick-Off Luncheon and the Annual Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum Benefit Extravaganza. Friday continues the fun with a Pancake Breakfast, ACD Club Swap Meet, Vintage Treasure Sale, Ice Cream Social, and the Downtown Cruise-in.

1936 Cord sedan
1936 Cord sedan
Copyright © 2008 Dennis E. Horvath

“The Parade of Classics,” is one of the premiere festival events in my opinion. This is when nearly 300 cars from the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club drive through Auburn from Eckhart Park up Jackson Street to Courthouse Square at 1:00 pm on Saturday, September 3rd. ACD Club members from around the world drive their magnificent classic cars through the streets of Auburn. These beautifully painted, chrome-laden Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs are a sight you’ll want to see. After the parade, these classics are parked around the Courthouse Square for your viewing pleasure. If you can only do one thing over the weekend, the parade is my pick. Other Saturday options include the 5K Run, and the Gatsby Gala Ball.

Some Sunday events are the Annual Arts and Crafts Show, and Auburn Historic Tour.

1933 Duesenberg La Grande
1933 Duesenberg La Grande
Copyright © 2008 Dennis E. Horvath

Bookending the festival is the Auctions America Auburn Fall Collector Car Weekend starting on the Wednesday before Labor Day. This event features hundreds of cars that range from one-of-a-kind models to daily drivers. If you are looking for auction bargains, show-up early on Wednesday because the interest builds towards Sunday.
I’ve been to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival numerous times and always find new events to enjoy. Plus, there are events for those interested in things other than automobiles. It’s a great weekend for the whole family. I invite you to check it out.

For more information on our automotive heritage follow this link.

The innovator of rolling sculpture

With all of the excitement that surrounds the annual Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival, my thoughts immediately go to the designs of Gordon M. Buehrig, called the innovator of rolling sculpture. His automotive designs spanned many decades and are still recognized by auto aficionados.

Gordon M. Buehrig
Gordon M. Buehrig
Copyright © Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum

Buehrig’s interest with automobiles started like many of the rest of us. He doodled. In fact, an instructor expelled him from class on one occasion because the student’s notebook was full of automobile drawings. This early interest in auto design shaped the rest of his life.

Many regard Buehrig as one of the most important automotive designers. His career spanned nearly four decades while working at Dietrich Inc., Packard, General Motors, Stutz, Duesenberg, Auburn Automobile Company, the Budd Company, Raymond Loewy’s Studebaker studio, and Ford Motor Company. His famous designs include the 1932 Duesenberg Model J Beverly, the 1934 Auburn 851 Boattail Speedster, and the 1936 Cord Model 810.

E. L. Cords 1937 Cord Beverley Sedan
E. L. Cords 1937 Cord Beverley Sedan

The Cord Model 810 is probably one of his best known designs. In late 1933, during his second stint with General Motors Art and Color Section, Buehrig designed an aerodynamic car with air intakes on each side of a wrap-around hood. Back in E.L. Cord’s employment, this design study became the genesis for a “baby Duesenberg” in 1933. By December 1934, the design of the new front-wheel-drive Cord Model 810 model was essentially complete and then shelved.

When the project was revived in July 1935, there was less than four months in which to build and test a prototype, tool up, and get the cars into production for the New York Auto Show on November 2, 1935. The company made the deadline, but without the transmissions in place. Plus, the phaetons were without any tops. The missing parts didn’t matter. The Cord 810 stopped the show. People had to stand on surrounding cars just to get a glimpse of Cord’s exciting new design. Cord received over 7,600 requests for more information on the 810. Unfortunately, due to unanticipated production start-up problems, almost six months would pass before any deliveries were made.

The Cord Model 810 was available in four models: the five-passenger Westchester Sedan, four-passenger Beverly Sedan, five-passenger Convertible Phaeton Sedan, and the Convertible Coupe with rumble seat. In 1951, the New York Museum of Modern Art special exhibit titled “Hollow Rolling Sculpture,” recognized the Cord 810 as “the outstanding American contribution to automobile design.”

While you are walking among the gems at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival, think back to Gordon M. Buehrig, the innovator of rolling sculpture.

For more information on Indiana auto pioneers follow this link.

What is the best car show?

We are now well into car show and swap meet season, and I have wondered about my recommendation for the best car show.

Being born in the central Indiana, I have to admit my car show exposure primarily covers Indiana and neighboring states. My experience may be limited, but I believe there are some great car shows in the area.

Auburn Speedster
Auburn Speedster at the
AACA Special Spring Meet

The Indiana action begins in May with the Auburn Spring Collector Car Auction and the AACA Special Spring Meet in Auburn. The following weekend Indianapolis hosts the Dana Mecum’s Original Spring Classic Auction.

In June it is my chance to leave the Hoosier state and visit the CCCA Grand Experience at Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, and the Ault Park Concours d’Elegance in Cincinnati, Ohio.

July starts off with the Haynes Apperson Festival in Kokomo, Indiana, and ends with the Concours d’Elegance of America in Plymouth, Michigan.

In August I look forward to the Lincoln Highway Buy-Way Yard Sale in Ohio and Indiana, the Lincoln Highway Adventure in Indiana, and Carmel Artomobilia.

September is chock-full of Indiana events with the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival and the Fall Collector Car Auction in Auburn, and the Festival of Machines at Conner Prairie in Noblesville.

My fall wraps-up with the Hill Climb and Car Show in Newport, Indiana, in October.

So, there you have some of my nominations for “Best Car Show.”

To find more about Indiana car culture follow this link.

My vote for the best car show in Indiana

My vote for the best car show is the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival over Labor Day Weekend in Auburn, Indiana. Events start on the Tuesday before Labor Day and continue through the Monday holiday.

Auburn Cord Duesenberg
Auburn Cord Duesenberg
Automobile Museum

It all started out over 50 years ago as an annual gathering of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club and morphed into one of the largest gatherings of car crazy enthusiasts on the planet. Festival events kick off with the Annual ACD Festival Hoosier Tour on Tuesday. Events planned for Thursday include the Kick-Off Luncheon, Quilt Show, and the Annual Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum Benefit Extravaganza. Friday continues the fun with a sausage & pancake breakfast, cruise-in, and ice cream social.

“The Parade of Classics,” is one of the premiere festival events in my opinion. This is when nearly 300 cars from the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club drive through Auburn’s streets to Courthouse Square on Saturday afternoon. If you can only do one thing over the weekend, the parade is my pick. Some Sunday events are an outdoor garage sale and flea market, an arts and crafts show, an antique show and market, and the Auburn Concours d’Elegance.

Bookending the festival is the Auburn Fall Collector Car Auction, Car Corral, and Swap Meet, starting on the Wednesday before Labor Day and continuing through the following Tuesday. This event features over 5,000 cars that range from one-of-a-kind models to daily drivers. If you are looking for auction bargains, show-up early on Wednesday because the interest builds towards Sunday and Monday.

I’ve been to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival numerous times and always find new events to enjoy. Plus, there are events for those interested in things other than automobiles. It’s a great weekend for the whole family.