Auburn History: Frank and Morris Eckhart took over the Eckhart Carriage Company from their father in 1900 and began building Auburns in 1909. The boys were successful with the 1904 Auburn touring car, featuring a 'tonneau' that seated up to four passengers, and was powered by a one-cylinder engine and two-speed transmission. In 1919 Ralph Austin Bard and a group of investors bought the company but failed to make a profit and sold out to Errett Lobban Cord in 1924. In 1926 Cord teamed up with the Duesenberg Corporation to build one of the first front wheel drive cars, the L-29 Cord. Cord cars gradually became famous for their appearance and engineering with models like the 1928 Auburn Boattail Speedster, the 1935-37 Auburn Speedsters, the 810 and 812 Cords and the Model J Duesenberg.