1937 Cord Model 812 SC PhaetonSOLD
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Estimate: $150,000-$200,000 US

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $176,000

190hp, 288 cu. in. L-head V8 with a Schwitzer-Cummins centrifugal supercharger, front wheel drive, four-speed preselector manual transmission, independent front suspension with rear semi-elliptic leaf springs and four-wheel hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 125"

E. L. Cord was a master salesman who worked his way up through the automobile business. At one time he controlled the Auburn and Duesenberg automobile companies, Lycoming, Stinson Aircraft and American Airways, along with Checker and Yellow cab companies in a portfolio of 156 companies. The basis of Cord ’ s industrial empire was Auburn manufacturing, which he acquired in 1924. He set to work to resuscitate Auburn and succeeded by creating a performance image that helped sell mundane, but profitable, sedans.

In 1929, E.L. Cord took Auburn to the next step, introducing the front wheel drive Auburn-derived automobile with his namesake, the Cord Front Drive – most commonly known as the L29. With its distinctive and sporting appearance and great mechanical performance it was considered a relative bargain for its offering price. Shortly thereafter the stock market crashed and with it the market for most luxury automobiles. Part of E.L. Cord ’ s response to the crisis was to build the baby Duesenberg, designed by the renowned Gordon Buehrig.

Its distinctive styling provided the basis for a new medium-priced front-wheel drive car from Cord, which eventually led to the model 810 in 1936. This line was intended to restore Cord ’ s auto manufacturing operations to full health, using the proven formula of styling, performance and reasonable price. In the process, Gordon Buehrig ’ s low profile unibody style with its clean and unadorned coffin-nose and retractable headlight design would create a standard by which cars are still judged today. Powered by a Lycoming V8 engine, it created an instant sensation at its November, 1935 introduction at the New York Auto Show – so much so that Cord could not meet the ensuing demand for orders.

One of the most attractive and desirable variants of the 810/812 series was and still is the Supercharged Phaeton, as displayed by the example shown here in the dynamic Cigarette cream color. Model 810/812 Cord Phaetons were owned by some of the most stylish and noteworthy individuals of the period, some of which included Frank Lloyd Wright, Gary Cooper, and Clark Gable, while the great Tom Mix owned three Cords simultaneously. Model 810/812 Cords were only produced for only a very limited time, and the Phaeton was very rare, with a total production of 610 cars, and less than 200 of these were supercharged.

The matching numbers 1937 Cord offered here is a factory original supercharged 812 Convertible Phaeton. Along with its beautiful color, this Cord comes with a striking black interior and top to give it a fantastic contrast of colors. The complete nut and bolt restoration was finished in the mid-nineties following which the supercharged Phaeton was shown at the Classic Car Club Museum Auburn Cord Duesenberg Experience in 1995.

The Cord 812, especially in SC guise with external exhausts, remains one of the most significant automobiles in the annals of automotive design. Its combination of charisma, fresh styling, and innovative engineering make it one of the most desirable, practical and drivable cars of the classic era. Although the example offered here is ideally suited to be enjoyed on the open road, having retained its original engine and having been well preserved, if given some cosmetic attention could be elevated to show quality once again.

Reference Number 11136

as of 7/12/2007

Car 1937 Cord Model 812 SC Phaeton
VIN 31690H 
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