1976 Auburn 866 Boattail Speedster
Fast forward to 1976 and go to Broken Arrow, Indiana and look up a gentleman named Glenn Prey. Here you’ll find a man, who is in his second attempt at a reproduction, the first being the Cord which did not work out. So here we have his second attempt in the form of a reproduction fiberglass automobile emulating the Auburn 851/2 Boattail Speedsters. It does a pretty good job of it, with some obvious clues to the fact that it is a reproduction. This 13,653 title verified actual mile example was custom ordered in the blazing pink with hot pink lipstick interior, and all the options this manufacturer could muster up at the time. I’ll put it into the category of and now I’ve literally seen everything!
Of course borrowing from the original design, we can lead off with the rear raked shield styled grille in chrome flanked by a single headlight on either side. Curvaceous pink bodywork surrounds the chromed grille, and just below we see an eyebrow shiny chrome bumper. A loooooong cowled hood makes its way back to a chromed surrounded raked back windscreen and on either side of that hood are bulbous pontoon style fenders. Functional dual stainless steel exhaust pipes make their way through the hood and eventually through the fenders and running boards to a rear exit. A nice suicide door offers up entry to the drivers cockpit. Bring on more long slightly curved upward fiberglass to form the back of the car and flank this with more pontoon fenders for the rear tire coverings. These fenders will eventually move away from the inward curving to a point boattail trunk top, giving the car its namesake. Round Tamil lights are in bullet styled bezels just inside the fenders, and below another curved bumper frames the bottom of the car. Small running boards are attaching the front and rear fenders and the rear fenders have a chromed plate on the leading edge that curves around the actual fender. Add on a SUPERCHARGED badge to the venting on the sides of the hood, and some flat aero dog dish chrome wheels wrapped in wide whites and we have the look..of love? Oh and oldest I forget, under that hot pink tonneau, there is a slightly soiled and torn tan canvas convertible top.
A swing forward of the suicide doors reveals some hot pink leather door panels to feast our eyes on. They have a small storage pouch stitched into them. My eyes slip inside to a full hot pink leather bench which has some tuck and roll stitching and is showing some slight aging in the form of light cracking. A pink center console in plastic resides in front and center of the bench and houses a Mustang T style shifter, (think 60’s style Mustang). Above is a pink dash with dual machined swirls pattern inserts for the gauges in front of the driver, and an AM/FM radio and some toggles and knobs for the passenger. The dash is light pink fiberglass and has a top mounted rear view mirror. The steering wheel is black and has a half round horn ring with a pink center and a large AC unit hangs below the dash under the radio panel. Just below is some faded pink carpeting is covered by black protective mats.
Under the flip to the passengers side hood sits a Ford 460ci V8 fed by a single 4-barrel carburetor. On the back is a 3-speed C6 automatic transmission, and spinning the rear tires is a Ford 9 inch rear. Stock dual exhaust is currently used for the exhale and is fed by the functional cowl piping.
Some light patina is noted on the steel underpinnings of the black heavy coated fiberglass floor pans and wheel wells. Independent coil springs are on front and a 4 link with coil springs is reserved for the back. Power disc braking is up front, and power drums for the rear. Mostly nicely clean underneath.
The car starts and runs just a bit rough, but did make it to the test track where it has smooth power, jerk free shifting through the 3 speeds, and good handling. All functions were working at the time of the test drive save for the AC that was blowing warm, but frankly who cares when you’re in a car like this?
An interesting venture for Glenn Prey whip actually made some extra money in this venture. It’s a great look for the design, but the pink is a bit too much for this writer, but to each his own. Fantastic interior with many options and a good overall preserved reproduction fiberglass car.
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