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Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Automotive Museum Announces Boattail Exhibit

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Images courtesy the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Automobile Museum.

Just as tape stripes and garish cartoon characters were hallmarks of performance cars in the 1970s, rakish windshields and a deck shaped like an inverted boat were shorthand for a sporty attitude in the late 1920s and early 1930s. While many manufacturers—both OE and aftermarket—tried out boattail bodies for various chassis, perhaps the most iconic appearances of the feature were on the products of Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg.

The cars of E.L. Cord’s empire were built not just to perform, but to look the part. The streamlined boattail was the perfect complement to the powerful straight-eight and V-12 engines used in the company’s products. Now, the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Automobile Museum, in Auburn, Indiana, has created a display, entitled “Boattails: Supercars of the Golden Age,” just to highlight the era’s iconic design.

Say “boattail” and one of the first images to come to mind is the Auburn Speedster–but Duesenbergs like this SJ wore the style as well.

As is appropriate for an exhibit highlighting the stern of an automobile, cars on display will be parked with their boattail rear ends facing outward. Among those vehicles featured will be one of the earliest known boattail bodies, and many other significant makes and models including, of course, Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg.

Other opportunities presented to museum patrons during this exhibit include a chance to “draw your own boattail” in the Interactive Design Studio

Located on the third floor in the Gallery of Excellence and Innovation, the exhibit opened November 10, and is free with admission. For further details, contact the museum.