Vehicles | September 22, 2016 9:00 am

This Prewar Speedster Is a Real American Hero

Early sports car gave Europe a run for its money

After the U.S. had finished the first World War but before the second had begun, a group of American engineers began work on a vehicle to rival what was being produced across the pond.

It wasn’t an all-terrain tank, jumbo aircraft carrier or high-speed spy plane — it was a race car.

Meant to compete with the models that marques like Bugatti and Bentley were churning out, the 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster was built with a 280-cubic-inch, eight-cylinder engine capable of generating 150 HP and hitting a top speed of more than 100 MPH.

Nicknamed “The Boattail,” the Auburn speedster’s curvy body was inspired by a Duesenberg show car and its appeal was boosted by a chrome side exhaust system and impressive grille.

Now, an example of the model that’s received accolades at events like the Amelia Island Concours and from judges at the Classic Car Club of America is set to be auctioned off by RM Sotheby’s.

The car was restored by “studying factory photos and records to determine every correct piece of trim and original finish” and it even includes a plaque inscribed, “This certifies that this AUBURN AUTOMOBILE has been driven 100.8 miles per hour before shipment,” that every speedster had installed on its dashboard.

If you’ve got $1.2 million and want to do your patriotic duty, register to bid before October 7th.