AUTOFEST - Annual Classic Cars

Submitted by ub on Sun, 09/02/2012 - 15:48

Auburn, Indiana was the best and the only place to be this Labor Day weekend for a full-scale celebration of all things classic at the "Classic Car Capital of the World"

This is the birthplace of some of the world’s most revered automotive brands. Auburn really is the place where it all started and the longstanding Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival is a week-long celebration of the town’s unique heritage and of the classic car itself.

The Labor Day Weekend in Auburn, which attracted vintage auto traders, collectors, investor and the beautiful people is a tradition of many decades, where once again they welcomed thousands of visitors from across the U.S. and overseas to the “World’s Greatest Car Show and Festival”, promising an ever growing schedule of activities for car lovers of all ages.

Festival president Bill Hohler and friends Pat and Thomas Gene Bourn had been looking forward to many days of festivities during which popular classics appear next to the world’s finest automobiles and nearly 2,000 diverse collector cars line up to go under the hammer, with Auburn’s unique museum district at the heart and soul of much of the celebrations. The owner of this yellow 1936 CORD, 84 year old Al Light and his 14 year old granddaughter have been attending since she fit inside a baby stroller.

“Auburn has a very special place in automotive history and we are justifiably proud of our wonderful Festival and great museums, which bear testament to this town’s unique heritage”, said Auburn Mayor, Norman Yoder “Both the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum and the National Auto & Truck Museum joined an elite group of historic US sites in 2005 when they were nominated as National Historic Landmarks, and part of our Labor Day Weekend celebrations help support these museums. We look forward to welcoming visitors from far and wide back to town for another fantastic weekend and to continuing to do so for many years to come”.

Worldwide Auctioneers presented its fifth annual The Auburn Auction downtown in the historic museum district at the National Auto & Truck Museum, in the former Cord L29 building itself. The Auburn Auction began with All Ford Friday on the evening of August 31, a fun and fast paced sale that showcased a selection of important Fords, with The Main Event on Saturday evening on September 1, once again featuring eighty exceptional automobiles, including some very significant pre-war American classics. Auctions America b hosted its 3nd annual Auburn Fall Auction from August 30 through September 2, with 1,500 American muscle cars, classics, foreign sports cars and hot rods slated to cross the block at the Auburn Auction Park, with over 3,000 vendors and a 1,000 car corral also on site. Full auction details are available online at and

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum also offers the visitor live auction action during the Festival. The celebrated museum's seventh annual Benefit Extravaganza on the evening of Thursday August 30 in the original, ornate art deco showroom of The Auburn Automobile Company, with “Racers & Record Setters” as this year’s theme. The evening opened with camaraderie and a silent auction, followed by a benefit dinner and auction of ei more automobiles.

The Benefit Extravaganza is the museum’s premier annual fundraiser, essential to maintain its world- renowned collection. Other landmark Auburn museums also stand to benefit from the week’s festivities. Proceeds from the sale of many significant cars slated for Worldwide Auctioneers’ All Ford Friday event will support both the Early Ford V8 Museum & Foundation, as well as National Auto & Truck Museum. These include some very rare and important sports cars and racers, like the ex-Sir Stirling Moss 1966 Shelby GT350 and the 2004 Ford GT Factory Test Mule, a unique and spectacular piece of Ford history.
The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum Benefit Extravaganza are available:

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and welcomed enthusiasts from across the country to it’s Annual Reunion. Details available at -

This champagne colored beauty with its hood open is a 1957 De Soto Fireflite Sportsman Hardtop V8. the famous De Soto classic is worth about $45K, the green vehicle is an amphibious car made for cruising on land and water and this old taxi was parked in front of the Auburn police headquarters. This is the exact location where John Dillinger struck on Oct. 14, 1933, just after breaking John Dillinger out of jail in Lima, Ohio.

The Dillinger gang took one Thompson machine gun, one Spanish .45, one German Luger, one colt .45, one .44 Smith & Wesson, one .30-caliber Springfield, two .38 revolvers, a shotgun, three bulletproof vests and over 1,245 rounds of ammo. They left quietly after locking the two policemen on duty up in their own cell. The tower on top was once used as a guard tower. Obviously no one was there guarding the day Dillinger came to town.

While attending the event, I met a group of students from Ball State University, who are working on a documentary about this annual party.
This once a year show is highly recommended for people of all ages who value vintage cars.