Auber Auto was founded in 1938 by Jackson Auber, and was contracted by the US Armed Forces to provide heavy duty vehicles for use during the war. Following the war, Auber was forced to change the company’s market segment in order to keep the company afloat now that the US no longer needed military vehicles. In 1958, Auber debuted their first production car, the Bernadetta.
1958 Bernadetta Sedan
The 1958 Bernadetta was built off of Auber’s experience with military vehicles. The engine was built off the same platform they had used during the war, the Detroit 6. The Detroit 6 motor was a 2.2L SOHC inline 6 engine. The Revision 6 variant used in the Bernadetta was re-tuned for 121lb-ft of torque and 109 horsepower. The Bernadetta was a huge success for Auber, and they sold over 1 million examples before the introduction of the second generation.
1962 Trent Station Wagon
In 1962, Auber pulled back the curtain on an upcoming model, a station wagon. When the Trent hit dealers in 1962, people were surprised with the Trent, it had an understated look and was more economical. Featuring a revised, 2.1L variant of the Detroit 6 found in the Bernadetta, the Trent could cruise along with quite similar power numbers to the Bernadetta, but with improved fuel economy. The Trent was designed to be a cheaper alternative to the Bernadetta that could be made available to a wider audience.
For the 1966 model year, Auber released a new model named the Layland. A cheaper alternative to the Bernadetta and a more luxurious alternative to the Trent. The Layland came in two different trims, the “LT” sedan and the “LTD” wagon. The LTD came equipped with an automatic transmission, while the LT only had a manual. Both the LT and LTD featured the same revision of the Detroit 6, which made 101hp and 123lb-ft. The Layland was advertised and marketed as a car made for travelling; both cars came from the factory with cargo racks for extra storage on long road trips.
In addition to the Layland, Auber brought in a pickup truck to “aid the working American.” While the statement may sound like marketing BS, Auber actually did deliver on it. The T-200 was a fantastic truck, it had excellent towing capacity and off-road capabilities; and with it’s 4x4 drivetrain it was awesome everywhere. Featuring the new 4.2L “Kentucky Iron” V8, the T-200 was making 248lb-ft and 192hp.
The first generation Bernadetta was getting way out of date, and sales had slowed down since the mid 60’s after the Layland was introduced. To put the Bernadetta back in the spotlight, Auber refreshed it with an entirely new look and feel; and a new revision to the tried and true Detroit 6 motor, this time making 128lb-ft and 115hp. With the new styling and interior options, the Bernadetta was back to being the best in class premium sedan.
Auber’s 60s lineup, while strong, struggled to effectively sell. The Bernadetta did very well, alongside the Trent, but their sales were still meager compared to other American brands and the handful of successful imports. The Bernadetta’s refresh for 1969 brought a resurgence in sales, after the severely outdated first generation was retired; but the end-of-the-decade refresh cycle would be put to a stop in the 70s. The following decade was highly successful for Auber over the 60s, and they were able to up their sales much higher as car prices dropped and more and more people could afford to buy cars. However, the Oil Crisis struck in 1973 and hurt sales on the 2nd generation Layland; which now featured a V8 engine. The Trent still shipped with the Detroit 6, which was more efficient than the new Detroit 8; and sales on the Trent multiplied while sales on Auber’s V8 offerings suffered until the end of the Oil Crisis.
The second generation Trent still featured the deprecated Detroit 6, which Auber had highly considered ditching for the production model. But Auber was blessed with luck, because in choosing to keep the Detroit 6, the Trent was more efficient than most other American cars at the time; resulting in a boost in sales when the Oil Crisis hit in 1973. In 1973, Auber halted production on the original second generation model in favor of an altered one that had greatly improved fuel efficiency and an automatic transmission, with only a small increase in price.
The Oil Crisis hit just after Auber refreshed their truck and introduced a new truck. Of course, even with people’s demand for fuel efficiency, people bought the trucks anyways. The T-200 still utilized the Kentucky Iron, but it would be the second and last car to feature it. Again, a cheap, reliable, and stylish truck for the working American; the T-200 sold pretty well, mostly after the Crisis ended.
To expand Auber’s lineup of utility vehicles, they released the 4 door T-400. Featuring a spacious cabin, and fancy suicide doors, the T-400 was great for those with deeper pockets and wanted a truck with more to offer than the T-200. Suped up with the new Kentucky Steel, a much larger V8, the T-400 was better equipped for towing and hauling. After the Crisis ended, sales picked up sharply.
Unfortunately, the second generation Layland suffered early in it’s life. Auber was banking on the Crisis ending before, or shortly after, the announcement and release of the Layland; but their luck had run out after being spent on the Trent. The Crisis hung on for almost 8 months after the Layland’s initial release, which cut deeply into Auber’s sales. Towards the end of the decade Layland sales began to pick up, so it wasn’t written off as a failure. The second generation was once again featured in wagon and sedan format, both models with automatic transmissions.
Following the end of the Crisis, Auber went full swing into the third generation Bernadetta. Featuring an improved A variant of the Detroit 8 from the Layland, the Bernadetta was poised to be the major contender in the luxury car market for the rest of the decade. The Bernadetta came in two different trims, standard and the White Hat Special. The White Hat Special featured a white roof and special paint color options, and a nicer interior.
White Hat Special:
(later Auber cars are WIP)
Crown Performante was founded in 1980, designated to be Auber’s tuning marque for adapting road going cars into highly competitive race cars for entry in motorsports. Joseph Crown, of whom the marque was named after and who was the leader of the racing team, had difficulty getting much for victories in the 80s. Auber was going to get rid of the team and go back to focusing solely on family and utility vehicles, but Crown promised Auber that they could see success, but only if Auber allowed Crown to develop their own cars. Auber agreed, and thus Crown’s career began in earnest. In 1990, Crown began the development of their first in-house racing machine, which debuted on the track in 1992.
-Note- Crown generally names their engines with this scheme: (first letter of car name)R(capacity/cc).(# of cylinders) – example: The Raptor ST’s engine is named RR22.6 (Raptor, ‘R’, 2.2L, ‘.’, 6 cylinders)
(pre-90s Crown race cars are WIP)
1992 Raptor GT
The Raptor GT was purpose built from the ground up to be a pure racing beast. Powered by a 3.2L aluminum block 24 valve DOHC straight six that was naturally aspirated. Dubbed the “RGT,” the Raptor was rocking 373 break horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque. The Pega Matriarch debuted on the track in 1991, and claimed an absolute victory that year. However, with the Raptor now joining the field, the Matriarch was evenly matched and the season came down to the wire. The final race was so close that the officials had to look back at the footage to see that the Raptor had just barely crossed the line first, winning the 1992 racing season by 3 points overall.
Following the Raptor GT’s massive success in racing, Crown requested that Auber allow the marque to sell production sports cars; of which they could use to better develop their racing cars, as well as earn additional sales for AAG (Auber Auto Group) and increase brand recognition.
(cars between are WIP)
In 2016, Crown released a new lineup of performance cars. The cheap, low powered, yet light and nimble Triad; and the aggressive, track-bred returned legend Raptor ST.
The Triad’s 2nd generation features and upgraded version of the TR2.4 engine, which now makes a hefty 204 horsepower and 161 lb-ft that improves upon the previous generation in every way. Featuring a new, angular style, the Triad was fashionable and quite the looker. The Triad isn’t a blisteringly fast car, instead it focuses on being a light and agile coupe. It’s fast in the corners, but slow on the straightaways; depending on who you ask, it’s a worthy trade-off.
2016 Raptor ST
The ‘ST’ stands for street, because the Raptor ST is a dumbed down version of Crown’s newest GT4 champion, the Raptor GT4. Featuring the RR22.6 engine, which makes 222hp and 171lb-ft (optional factory supercharger is available). Translating a similar style from the Triad, the new Raptor looks fantastic. And the improved power output of the engine makes it much faster. The Raptor is more aggressive, and features many of the improvements found in the GT version; such as wider tires and improved aerodynamics. The Raptor ST is what you want when you’re looking for a fast coupe.
2016 Raptor GT4
The Raptor GT4 was introduced to replace Crown’s aging GT4 car. And with a supercharged 2.5L variant of the RR22.6 engine making 495hp and 303lb-ft, it was well equipped to compete with the likes of the Bravado RS. Re-tuned suspension and racing slicks give the Raptor GT4 up to near 1.27gs of cornering grip. A wicked GT car to compete at the top of it’s class.