Cord 812 SC Phaeton
Errett Lobban Cord was one of the giants of the U.S. auto industry, a gifted ambitious salesman, who came to the public’s attention in 1924 when he revitalized and bought the ailing Auburn marque. By repainting the stodgy cars in bright colors, he sold them all and then embarked on an aggressive development program leading to his acquisition of Duesenberg and the front-drive Cord L-29.
Cord’s ambitious plan for a “baby Duesenberg” bearing his own name would lead to the extraordinary Cord 810/812 series, Gordon Buehrig’s ground-breaking “coffin-nose” creation that remains arguably the greatest American car design. Groundbreaking elements included “fingertip” gear shifting, retractable headlights, disappearing top, step-down interior and a high power-to-weight ratio that meant 0-60 mph in 13 seconds and 100 mph top speed with 1937’s optional supercharger and outside exhaust pipes. Even the fully instrumented engine-turned dash was a thing of beauty and much copied later.
Of approximately 2,900 810/812 Westchester/Beverly sedans and Phaeton/Sportsman open cars built in 1936-37, an estimated 60 percent still exist.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2009 at the The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida, in January of 2011 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona, and in January of 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
170 hp, 288.6 cu. in. supercharged Lycoming L-head V-8 engine, two-barrel Stromberg carburetor, four-speed manual transmission with vacuum shifter, front-wheel drive, independent front suspension with trailing arms and transverse leaf spring, tubular rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 125"
Sources: RM Auctions and Mecum Auctions