AUBURN IS MECCA
There are those that get Auburn and those that eat quiche.
I'm the former, of course. In fact, Auburn was my first big car event that I attended with my dad back in 1967 at the ripe age of 12. Do the math and, yup, this year marked my 50th anniversary!
Auburn is where enthusiasts of Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg automobiles meet every Labor Day weekend and share wild tales of repairs, purchases and epic journeys. Auburn is "Mecca," as my dad called it, where the annual pilgrimage to the holy land of the Auburn Automobile Company is as ingrained as Christmas, apple pie and war heroes. In fact, Auburn was held to reunite former company employees, hence the official designation "The Auburn Reunion." I don't think one former employee survives today, and my dad, a Duesenberg factory mechanic, passed in 1989.
Auburn is also the polar opposite of the Pebble Beach Concours, another sacred event with just about the same number of years on its belt and often held about two weeks before Auburn. Where Pebble is royalty of everything automotive, Auburn is like Gunsmoke on Saturday night. Cheap beer, popcorn, jeans, killer cars and a rich array of non-PC personalities, backgrounds and opinions all conspire to create one memorable weekend. Attending both in rapid-fire order is like hearing Mozart and Johnny Cash on the same playbill.
But the real gathering takes place each evening at the Auburn Hotel at 9th and Main streets where a surreal atmosphere surrounds hallowed ground. The fabled establishment opens just once each year to accommodate those crazy enough to tolerate sharing a bathroom with the teeming multitudes, no A/C, bats and crusty decor dating to when ACD cars rolled out the factory door.
Like I said, not everyone gets Auburn. But if there's a rebel gene in any of you, Auburn is a must stop, that signpost up ahead... the Twilight Zone.
I hope you enjoy my gallery of Auburn moments including a few from past Reunions. Sorry, no auction reports or trophy fests, I'll leave that to others.