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1929 Boattail Auburn

Bill McRory built this 1929 Boattail Auburn as a tribute to his Uncle Jack. After owning the car since the 70’s and not getting around to completing it, Bill McRory took on the project to complete the car in his uncle’s memory. With parts collected from swap meets and junkyards and fabricating what he didn’t have, Bill created his own take on this gorgeous 1929 Auburn, building it from the ground up. While he recognizes that modifying a classic like this wouldn’t be everyone’s choice, Bill wanted to create a unique car that would pay tribute to the classic Auburn style.


Only the movie stars basically had these kind of cars.

Hi folks and welcome to Center lane, I'm Bruce Hitchen. Well today, we're in Parksville British Columbia and I'm speaking to Bill McRory. Now, Bill has had this car for some years but he's built it, basically piece by piece. Bill's going to tell us more about the car. If you like this show then please subscribe to my channel and click the bell to be notified of any future episodes.

Now Bill, can you tell me a little bit about this car and how you came to own it? I inherited the concept of the car from my Uncle Jack and my Aunt Jackie in 2008. He contracted cancer and passed away in 2008. But the car over the years, because of other projects and so on he never ever completed it from 1979 when he actually got it as far as he did. Jack wanted me to build it as a jalopy without fenders and I just couldn't do that. I had to complete it. I had the parts so here it is today, how I built it.

Well it started basically as a frame and the re-body of it was because he bought the patterns of an original boattail at the swamp meet and then took those and cut new oak for the body and that's what resulted in how the car ended up being, how it is today. We talked about it in Bellingham a week before he passed. He told me he wanted me to have the car and complete it. And I was quite happy to get it because, family history. Spent a lot of time with Jack over the years when he used to fix up Austin's. I had to do the best I could with the car. I have experience but I didn't spend a lot of years when my kids were growing up. I spent it with hockey and soccer and... I had a Model-A two-door that I kind of put on the back burner and when I moved to the Island, I sold it for basically scrap. But this was special and had to be completed how I think Jack would have wanted it. Four and a half years of pretty steady work. Everything was dry and clean and the sheet metal that was missing, I got busy and shaped and so on myself. This sheet metal here on the cowl was all rolled under a pipe, not a sheet break and so on. Same with behind the, between the trunk and the windshield or back window is all hand rolled.

I didn't have a windshield frame and that's an expensive part so I fabricated it out of 1/8" flat bar and I used black iron because I didn't know how good it was going to look. And once I got it, I didn't want to part with it so I took it to the chrome shop and they made me look good. There's, there's a lot of hours of work in it. I'm pretty happy with it. Jack's body man, Brett, did the fabrication of the boattail out of steel and sheet metal and he put the '40 Ford hood. He sectioned it and put it on. And it opens and is a functional trunk. It's better than an Auburn. I could put luggage and lawn chairs and and it's a it's a real benefit to this car.

Jack put in a motor that he thought was a '38 Plymouth flathead, six. Turned out to be a '58 Plymouth, 251 cubic inch, which I put a dual carb intake manifold on it. The transmission here in the last couple of three years, I changed it out and it's an S10 Chevy. Easy swap. Put it in, and it's got an eight inch Ford rear end and I love it with the 5-speed, it idles down the road 18-2000 rpm.

They're both Auburn fenders but two different years. And one didn't have the bead on the side, and I had to make all that. I borrowed with a shrinker/stretcher and got the shape out of a piece of flat bar there it is. It's base/clear and it came out pretty good for backyard paint job.

Well most people don't realize that they're made in America. Came from Auburn Indiana. Auburn automobiles started in 1900 from a cycle company and became, well they lasted until 1937. And the end of the Depression put them under. These cars were basically, I think, designed and built to be something in the showroom to bring people in. "Oh, I got to have one of these."

Well I think he'd be pretty happy because originally he wanted it with, like to say, without fenders. Just make it a speedster...and I'm sure that a lot of the puritans would think twice about this car because it's modified. Nobody modifies an Auburn.

It's uh, it made the club t-shirt, I've collected my share of trophies along the way, it's been fun and I wouldn't part with it.

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