Cord 812 Sportsman Convertible Coupe
In 1929, E.L. Cord, who once controlled the Checker and Yellow cab companies, Duesenberg, Lycoming, Stinson Aircraft and American Airways among a portfolio of 156 companies, took Auburn to the next step with the introduction of the Cord Front Drive, now commonly known as the L29. With its distinctive, sporting appearance and great performance for its price, it provided the basis for a new medium-priced front-wheel drive car from Cord – the 810.
Designed by Gordon Buehrig, this clean and unadorned coffin-nosed, retractable headlight design would create a standard by which cars are still judged today. Powered by a Lycoming-built V8 engine, it was a sensation at its November 1935 introduction at the New York Auto Show, so much so that Cord could not meet demand.
The 1937 Cords, designated 812, were little changed cosmetically from the 1936 810 models, and only about 200 of these very attractive Convertible Coupes were built during the two year lifespan. Often referred to as the “Sportsman” even though that designation was never used by Cord, its aptness is apparent from the stylish and sporting look of the car, aided by its folding top that completely disappears under the rear deck panel.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
125 hp, 288.6 cu. in. Lycoming L-head V8 engine, Stromberg dual-downdraft carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, front-wheel drive, independent front suspension with dual trailing box-section swing arms and transverse leaf spring, tubular steel rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 125"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel