1937 Cord Model 812 CoupéSOLD

RM Auction - Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island - March 10, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $250,000 - $350,000

$253,000 Sold

125hp, 269 cu. in. L-head vee eight-cylinder engine, front wheel drive, four-speed electric preselector manual transmission, independent front suspension with rear solid axle and semi-elliptic leaf springs and four-wheel hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 125"

Errett Lobban Cord had built himself an empire with the aim of challenging Ford and General Motors for the title of America ’ s greatest automobile manufacturer. At one time E.L. Cord controlled the Checker and Yellow cab companies, Auburn, Duesenberg, Lycoming, Stinson Aircraft and American Airways, among a portfolio of 156 companies. Some of these companys would succeed, while others would not. His namesake, the Cord, as part of the Auburn Automobile Company fittingly would be his very last foray in the automobile industry.

Making its first public appearance in November, 1935, the Cord 810 must have appeared to onlookers like something from another planet. It had a “ coffin nosed ” hood that opened from the front instead of each side, retractable headlamps concealed in pontoon styled front fenders, and had no running boards that created an unprecedented clean and modern look.

Mechanically, the 810 Cord was also highly significant with its front wheel drive system, This drive train both helped to lower the silhouette of the Cord ’ s profile, as well as reduce weight by a claimed 400 pounds. The Cord 810also featured all-steel construction, full safety glass, a Startix-controlled starter, and a four-speed electric remote controlled vacuum shift that made shifting smooth, quiet and effortless.

With pricing between $2,000 and $3,000 for the various body styles offered, the Cord 810 was intended to be a sporting sub-luxury vehicle. For 1937 the 810 was succeeded by the 812. Very little had been changed, save a short list of upgrades made available on the 812 that had not previously been offered.

Not only an incredibly fashionable vehicle, the Cord 812 made headlines for both efficiency and performance. The 812 beat all of the competition in its class by achieving over 18 mpg at the Gilmore-Yosemite Economy Run. Later in the year, Ab Jenkins won the Stevens Trophy for establishing a new 24 hour record by covering over 1,900 miles and averaging 79.577 miles per hour. Ab Jenkins also set 36 American Closed Stock Car Class C and 36 Unlimited Class records on the Bonneville Salt Flats in an 812 Cord by the end of 1937.

As great a car as it was, E L Cord had decided to pull out of the automobile industry entirely in 1937. With less than 3000 examples of the 810/812 built, production would not start up again in 1938. Ultimately though, it would be the factory built 810 and 812 Coupes that would be the most rare of all the models with only three examples originally built. Two such cars were fitted with a metal roof while a third, the car offered here, was originally fitted with a padded leather top, which it still retains today.

The 1937 Cord 812 Coupe offered here was discovered in the late 1980s by Dr. Fay Culbreth and was sent to the well-known Cord restorer John Ehresman in Massachusetts, where it received a ground-up concours quality restoration. Fresh from its restoration, the car was awarded a First in Class at an ACD club event in 1991. In 1999 the Cord was awarded a First in Class at both the Pebble Beach and the Amelia Island Concours d ’ Elegance.

The Cord 812 Coupe remains today in highly presentable condition, it is ACD certified and comes with its original identification plates. Without question, the 810/812 Cord will forever retain its place as one of the most respected, admired, and collectable automobiles ever produced. The 812 Coupe we have the pleasure of offering here is without question, one of the most rare, desirable and attractive examples of the marque and its occasion for sale marks a unique opportunity to own a truly singular example in excellent overall condition.

Reference Number 6338

as of 1/21/2007

Car 1937 Cord Model 812 Coupé
VIN 1602MFB3305 
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