Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

And now for something completely different. This is not a metal vehicle, but it was cast from a die, so it counts. Today we get to examine an unusual old-timer. This is an Auburn Rubber Co. Ford 3 Window Coupe, 1935 model. This is a rubber toy, on white rubber wheels/tires. It has a lot of detail for something of its size and age:

Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday - Auburn Rubber Ford 3 Window Coupe
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Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday - Auburn Rubber Ford 3 Window Coupe

Rubber toy vehicles were most popular for about 10 years before and after WW2. Auburn was probably the most successful company, making such vehicles and other rubber toys for a number of years. I believe the vehicles with specific identifiable model year details, such as this, were only made for a year or two around the time the real vehicle was built. This has held up well for something that is 80 years old. This specific piece is roughly 1:43 scale. Even at that, it has significant detail - the grille, body accent lines, wipers, door hardware, lights, etc, are very realistic. These were painted over black rubber - the paint on this has held better than most. I suspect rubber toy vehicles were created for possible cost/manufacturing ease, and maybe even safety. From all angles, it is a charming and attractive piece:

Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday - Auburn Rubber Ford 3 Window Coupe
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Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday - Auburn Rubber Ford 3 Window Coupe
Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday - Auburn Rubber Ford 3 Window Coupe
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Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday - Auburn Rubber Ford 3 Window Coupe

Front and rear also have nice detail. These models were prone to warpage - this example has very little. The trunk detail suggests this might be a rumble seat car, and the “V8" cast in the spare tire hubcap is a nice touch:

Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday - Auburn Rubber Ford 3 Window Coupe
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Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday - Auburn Rubber Ford 3 Window Coupe

Base has little detail, other than a manufacturer and model number. This type of rubber was fairly soft when new, and becomes hard and brittle over time. This one isn’t as soft as new, but doesn’t appear to be decomposing:

Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday - Auburn Rubber Ford 3 Window Coupe
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I found this at an estate sale last year - I think I paid $8 for it. I snapped it up - I have not seen another 3 window coupe like this, I think it is relatively rare as I can’t find any online listings for identical models. These rubber cars tend to be relatively inexpensive, but I suspect this is one of the better ones. I am definitely happy to have it:

Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday - Auburn Rubber Ford 3 Window Coupe
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1:1 examples, from americandreamcars.com and pinterest:

Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday - Auburn Rubber Ford 3 Window Coupe
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Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday - Auburn Rubber Ford 3 Window Coupe

That is all.

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