Starting at Marmon, Alan H. Leamy Jr. moved to E.L. Cord’s operations in Auburn, designing the landmark Cord L-29, the Auburn Speedster and the front end of the Duesenberg Model J. When sales of the ’33 and ’34 Auburns didn’t do well and Cord hired Gordon Buehrig, Leamy saw the handwriting on the wall and started looking for another job. He submitted proposals to Packard, but the conservative company thought them too radical. He ended up working for Harley Earl at GM’s Art & Colour, where he was quickly promoted to head styling for LaSalle. Tragically, Leamy who had polio as a child and health problems most of his life, died freakishly from septicemia caused by a medical injection within a year of taking the job. In 1982 Automobile Quarterly published drawings and photos of Leamy’s models from the archives at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum.
Before coming to Auburn, Leamy worked at Marmon. Largely self-taught, Leamy was highly regarded by other designers like Harley Earl and Gordon Buehrig. Marmon proved to be a bit to conventional for Leamy, who liked cutting edge engineering and the latest European styles in automobiles. He found a much more compatible patron in Errett Loban Cord, a maverick in his own regard.
The color drawings below were proposals for Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs that Leamy drew during 1928 and 1929.
Leamy was one of the pioneers in using clay models, both scale and full-size for styling concepts. These photos are designs for 1934 Auburns that were never produced. By then, Leamy was starting to be in disfavor at Auburn and the company was losing a lot of money.