1937 Cord 812 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Custom Berline
In 1937 Cord offered the 812 in six different bodystyles including the Convertible Coupe, Beverly Sedan, Custom Beverly, Custom Berline, Phaeton, and Westchester Sedan. The Convertible Coupe is commonly referred to as the 'Sportsman.'

Little changed from 1936 except for the Schwitzer-Cummins centrifugal supercharger that added an additional 6-psi of boost for the Lycoming V8 engine.

The cost of a new Cord in 1937 was around $2,560, and increase of about $450 over the prior year. This was a substantial change considering most entry-level vehicles cost around about $500 to a $1000. The cost of the supercharger on the Cord raised the price an additional $450.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2007
Supercharged Convertible Phaeton Sedan
Chassis Num: 17834
Sold for $192,500 at 2011 RM Auctions.
E.L. Cord's, Cord Corporation, was noted for innovative, sometimes extreme, designs incorporating the newest ideas and technologies. In almost every way, each of Cord's automobiles were more like concept cars than what would be considered regular pro  [Read More...]

By Jeremy McMullen
Convertible Coupe
'It didn't look like an automobile. Somehow it looked like a beautiful thing that had been born and just grew up on the highway.' Those words were used by someone seeing a Cord for the first time. The Cord 810/812 models of 1936 and 1937 were some of  [Read More...]
Supercharged Convertible Phaeton Sedan
This is a very special Cord - the original owner was Tom Mix, the first great western film star, who made 348 films between 1915 and 1935. Just 196 Supercharged Cord 812 Roadsters were built. This example is one of only three with a rare set of optio  [Read More...]
SC Phaeton
Chassis Num: 31690H
Engine Num: FC2265
At one point in history, E. L. Cord controlled Auburn, Duesenberg, Cord, Lycoming, Stinson Aircraft and American Airways, and the Checker and Yellow Cab companies. He was a salesman who had worked his way into a position of leadership and had a port  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2007
Supercharged Beverly Sedan
The Cord Model 812 succeeded the model 810 in 1937. Several options were made available in 1937 including a super-charger and a long wheelbase 'custom' series. The super-charged model had the external exhaust pipes, and utilized a super-charged Lycom  [Read More...]
Cabriolet
In 1936 the British motoring magazine, The Autocar, called the new Cord 'the most unorthodox car in the world today.' The Cord 810/812 had its origins in an abandoned design for a smaller, less pricey version of the Model J Duesenberg from 19  [Read More...]
The model 810 and 812 front-wheel-drive Cord made their debut at the 1935 New York Auto Show and were an immediate success. Gordon Buehrig's sensational styling along with innovative engineering advances, such as front-wheeled drive, coupled with an electric vacuum shifting device located on a short arm just under the steering wheel for ease of driver control, just added to the excitement. A Bendix Pontoon fender, no running boards, and an enclosed radiator, along with the 'coffin nose' hood attracted dealers and buyers. Cord had trouble producing enough cars to meet the demand.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006
SC Phaeton
Chassis Num: 1469
The Cord is a front wheel drive vehicle and has pre-select shifting with Vacuum/solenoid assisted Transmission. Another feature was the disappearing headlights.  [Read More...]
Custom Berline
The 1936-1937 Cord 810/812 models are considered one of the greatest design of all time. Originally intended as a 'baby' Duesenberg, it evolved into the radical Gordon Buehrig designed front wheel drive Cord. The car features a 125 horsepower Lycom  [Read More...]
SC Phaeton
Chassis Num: FC2998
This 1937 Cord 812 SC Phaeton was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars sale at Hershey, PA presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $200,000 - $250,000 and offered without reserve. The lot was sold for $253,000 including buyer's   [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
Convertible Coupe
Chassis Num: 32463CORD
This 1937 Cord 812 SC Sportsman with a removable hardtop was offered for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions held in Amelia Island, Florida. The car was estimated to fetch $200,000 - $250,000. It is powered by a 269 cubic-inch L-head, V8 engine with a cen  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2007
SC Phaeton
Chassis Num: FB1865
This 1937 Cord 812 SC Phaeton is painted in rich maroon with a saddle brown leather interior and a tan cloth top. In 2003 it was certified by the A.C.D. The first time this car was given a nut-and-bolt restoration was in 1977, which took four years  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
Convertible Coupe
Chassis Num: FC3144
Engine Num: FC3144
At one point in history, E. L. Cord controlled Auburn, Duesenberg, Cord, Lycoming, Stinson Aircraft and American Airways, and the Checker and Yellow Cab companies. He was a salesman who had worked his way into a position of leadership and had a port  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2007
SC Phaeton
Chassis Num: 32339H
Engine Num: FC3079
Sold for $121,000 at 2009 Gooding & Company.
The Cord automobile was launched in 1929 by Erret Lobban Cord, who gave the U.S.A. its first front-wheel drive car in reasonable numbers. The Cord Model 812, succeeded the Model 810 in 1937. The 1937 Cord cars are powered by super-charged Lycoming   [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009
Convertible Coupe
Chassis Num: 32023F
Sold for $310,750 at 2012 RM Auctions.
This 1937 Cord 812SC Sportsman has chassis number 32023F, is finished in burgundy with a light brown interior, and has been treated to a restoration since new. It was once owned by one of the early founders of the Disney Corporation, Mr. Lee R. Rich  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
Convertible Coupe
Chassis Num: 32485F
This Cord 812 SC was once a right-hand drive model with a body by Central Manufacturing Company, an in-house coachbuilder for Cord. It carried body number C92-304. The last known original body number is C92-306, which makes this car one of the last  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
Convertible Coupe
A supercharged Cord set records in September of 1937 at the Bonneville Salt Flats. They were clocked by the Contest Board of AAA, which also certified the cars as stock. Among other records this Cord did the flying mile at 108 mph, and 24 hours at   [Read More...]
Cabriolet
Chassis Num: 812 31762 F
Engine Num: FC 2575
Sold for $302,500 at 2017 RM Auctions.
The 'Coffin Nose' car, as it was called, is one of 64 cabriolets built with the supercharged motor and is painted in the corporate advertised color of 'Rich Maroon.' These cars were originally conceived as a baby Duesenberg, and their avant-garde sty  [Read More...]
Introduced in 1929, Erret Lobban Cord created the Cord, one of the most stylish and graceful cars to ever be produced in America.

By 1933, Chairman of the Board, Errett Cord, had sold most of his stock of the Auburn Company and Gordon Buehrig joins the team. In 1935, created is five prototype Cord 810s. Mechanically, the 810 Cord was inspired by its front-wheel-drive predecessor, the L-29. But with this engine, it was a 90-degree V-8, designed by Lycoming's Forest Baster. The 810 would be fitted with a four-speed transmission, with an electro-vacuum activated gear selection by a lever on the steering column. The 810's wheelbase was over 120 inches, weighed in at 3,650 pounds and still would reach 90 miles per hour. The design of the door handles, rounded gauges, and window cranks would confirm the Art Deco style with colorful plastics, which played a major role in the designing of the 810. It would also do away with the traditional runningboards, outside-mounted headlamps, traditional upright radiators and tall hoods. 1937 would bring the 812, which replaced the 810 with an optional centrifugal supercharger increasing the horsepower by over 40. Also added were chrome exhaust pipes like the Duesenberg SJ.

Kyle McMullen
Convertible Phaeton Sedan
Designer: Gordon Buehrig
This Cord 812 Phaeton is 1 of only 688 cars originally equipped with a Switzer-Cummins supercharger. Ab Jenkins drove a stock supercharged Cord to a new 24-hour average speed record at Indianapolis Motor Speedway of 79.577mph, earning the company th  [Read More...]
Custom Berline
Cord manufactured automobiles from 1929 through 1937. Production began with the L-29 in 1929 and ended with the 810/812 series in 1936 and 1937. Cord produced some of the most mechanically advanced automobiles of the period. Cord was the first pro  [Read More...]
Cabriolet
Chassis Num: 38010A
Engine Num: FB2003

Cord: A Brief History

Super-salesman Erret Lobban 'E.L.' Cord saved the Auburn Automobile Company in the mid-1920s by taking their drab sedans, repainting them in spiffy colors and aggressively promoting them throughout the country. Having saved Auburn, he then bought the company in 1928 and proceeded to build a steady flow of very good-lòòking Auburns, including the stunning boattail speedster. In 1929, Cord announced a car carrying his own name: a front-wheel-drive luxury automobile wîth extremely low lines and ravishing good looks. To complete his whirlwind year of automotive activity, he also produced the mighty Model J Duesenberg, completing plans for his very own automotive empire.

L-29 Cord production ceased after two years, but E.L. had another car in the works - a 'Baby Duesenberg,' also a front-driver, but wîth V-8 power from his Lycoming Engine Company and priced in the upper-medium band. Called the Cord 810, this car was created to help Auburn Automobile out of the deep financial hole that dismal sales during the worst years of the Depression had caused. A totally clean-sheet design by the hugely talented Gordon Buchrig, it debuted at the 1935 New York Auto Show and was the hands-down hit of that event wîth its 'coffin nose' front styling, retractable headlamps, lack of running boards, and sleek, integrated shape. Cord salesman couldn't write orders fast enough.

However, teething troubles wîth the cars themselves, along wîth assembly line glitches plus a financial pinch, made for a slow delivery of Cords, and the first cars didn't get into owners' garages until mid-1936. With Auburns and Duesenbergs halted after 1936, the Cord was continued into 1937. But on August 7, 1937, the last Cord rolled off the assembly line and the glory days of Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg came to an abrupt end. In its two years of existence less than 3,000 Cord 810s and 812s had been built.

The Cord 812
There's a popular misconception among collectors that all Cords wîth an 812 designation indicate supercharged cars, but the 812 merely distinguishes the 1937 model-year cars from the 1936 run.

The 810 and 812 Cords are identical to each other in all specifications and other respects. Even if Cord had wanted to fiddle wîth Buehrig's superb design, the money wasn't in the till to mess it up wîth face-lifts or big mechanical changes. In both years, only four body styles were offered: the Phaeton, Beverly and Westchester sedans and the Sportsman convertible.

This Car
Finished in the popular Cord shade called 'Cigarette Cream,' the interior has been authentically reupholstered in dark burgundy leather. A beige canvas top complements the exterior and interior colors.

The timeless design of the Cord 810/812 continues to fascinate even 70 years after its public introduction. All Cords are Full Classics as recognized by the Classic Car Club of America and are eligible for all of the activities that the club offers for its members and their cars.

Source - Gooding & Company
It was spring of 1933 and former Auburn Automobile Company president Errett Lobban Cord became Chairman of the Board of the Cord Corporation, a holding company. By this time Cord has sold nearly all of his Auburn stock. Meanwhile in Detroit, General Motors Art and Color Division, headed by Harley Earl, runs a contest among its stylists. One of the four competing teams is headed by young Gordon Miller Buehrig, formerly chief stylist for Duesenberg, Inc. His entry places last. In September 1937 E.L. Cord sold his interests in the Cord Corporation to a group of financiers headed by Victor Emmanuel. They began selling of unprofitable subsidiaries, and changing the product 'mix' of others. They ordered the Auburn Automobile Company to cease its unprofitable automobile production, and placed the company in receivership. Since the other car Auburn was still building was the Cord

The public embraced the Cord in numbers unanticipated even by Auburn! The company simply couldn't produce a reliable car fast enough, and the original customer base evaporated. The Cord was the sensation of the auto shows in November 1935. Over 7000 requests for information were received. Salespeople took deposits for hundreds of cars at the shows. The Cord engine was the only V-8 Lycoming ever built.

It was a very modern power plant, wîth almost 'square' bore and stroke and nearly-horizontal valves operated by roller-equipped rocker arms. Even the earliest engines were designed to accommodate the centrifugal supercharger that was offered as an option on 1937 models. Supercharging not only raised the horsepower to 170 but also the price to an extra $2000.

Source - SDAM
SC Phaeton
Chassis Num: 32374H
Sold for $198,000 at 2010 Gooding & Company.
Sold for $198,000 at 2011 Gooding & Company.
This Cord is one of 610 Phaetons produced and fewer than 200 were equipped from new with the centrifugal supercharger. It has covered less than 30,000 miles from new. It has several rare factory options including auxiliary fog lights, a radio and a f  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2010
SC Phaeton
This was the last year of production for the Cord automobiles. A total of 1146 Cord 812 vehicles were produced this final year.  [Read More...]
SC Phaeton
Chassis Num: 32462H
Engine Num: FC3249
Sold for $209,000 at 2006 RM Auctions.
Sold for $258,500 at 2010 Gooding & Company.
Sold for $269,500 at 2016 Gooding & Company.
This factory-supercharged Cord 812 Phaeton was discovered by Dr. Fay Culbreth in the mid-1970s in the collection of Carter Schaub and was able to negotiate a deal for its sale. Dr. Culbreth enjoyed the car for the better part of a decade after comple  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2016
SC Phaeton
This 1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Phaeton is an unrestored example that has been well maintained all of its life. The top and upholstery have been replace, but the vehicle has never been apart. Over ninety percent of the paint is original to the car. T  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2010
Convertible Coupe
The 1937 Cord 812 Phaeton with the optional supercharger, a $415 option, sold new for $3060. Only 196 such equipped vehicles were built. The supercharged increased the 125 horsepower to 170 horsepower from the Lycoming V-8 engine. The addition of Due  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2010
Convertible Coupe
While 812 SC Convertible Coupes are very rare due to low production, this is one of only six built without the outside exhaust pipes.  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
Convertible Coupe
Approximately 195 Cord Convertible Coupes were built during the two-year run of the Cord 810/812. Only 64 were factory supercharged of which this car is one. The Convertible Coupe has come to be known as the 'Sportsman,' though the designation was ne  [Read More...]
Sportsman
This Sportsman is one of only fifteen originally supercharged cars from the factory. It has undergone an extensive 3-year restoration. The 810 Cord was introduced at the 1936 auto shows in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Show rules required that 1  [Read More...]
Berline
This is the only 135-inch wheelbase Berline ever built-it is a one-off custom. The interior features pigskin leather in the driver's area and mohair in the passenger area. It also has the bustle back trunk that was used on all 1937 Cords.  [Read More...]
Convertible Coupe
This Cord 812 Convertible Coupe was re-united with its original owner in 2009, a rare and special event for a car of this vintage.  [Read More...]
SC Phaeton
This Cord 812 Phaeton is from the second year of production and was purchased from an estate in 2006. It was in a disassembled state and in complete disrepair. A complete concours quality restoration was completed in 2011 and made its restoration deb  [Read More...]
SC Phaeton
One of the greatest automobile designs of all time - and one of the most recognizable - is the Cord 810. Its designer, Gordon Buehrig, also designed numerous Duesenberg custom bodies as well as the 1935 Auburn.  [Read More...]
SC Phaeton
High bid of $120,000 at 2016 Mecum. (did not sell)
In 1937, Cord offered six different body styles including The Convertible Coupe, Beverly Sedan, Westchester Sedan and the 812 Phaeton Convertible.  [Read More...]
Convertible Phaeton Sedan
Designer: Gordon Buehrig
Chassis Num: 812 1933H
Engine Num: FB 2578
Sold for $220,000 at 2013 RM Auctions.
For 1937, the Cords were designated the 812, although there were few changes, aside from an optional supercharger. The 812 was the final car to remain in production in the E.L. Cord empire. Cold sold his interests that August, and new management imme  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | May 2013
Beverly Sedan
This Cord was originally designed by Gordon Buehrig in 10933 as a 1935 GM vehicle. Buehrig then took his design to Duesenberg where it became the basis for a smaller Duesenberg. Shortly, Auburn management decided that the car be built as a 1936 Cord.  [Read More...]
Convertible Coupe
In the early 1920s, E.L. Cord used his business and sales talents to gain control of the Auburn and Duesenberg automobile companies. In 1929, he created his namesake, the Cord, as the middle-class volume sales part of his ACD conglomerate.  [Read More...]
Cabriolet
The supercharged Cord 812 was introduced in 1937 as the successor to the futuristic and similarly styled Cord 810 that had amazed the car buying public in 1935. The new car was available in a variety of body styles including this Sportsman Cabriolet.  [Read More...]
Convertible Phaeton Sedan
Designer: Gordon Buehrig
Chassis Num: 812 1546 H
Engine Num: FB 3258
Sold for $173,250 at 2013 RM Auctions.
This four-passenger Convertible Phaeton has a fully disappearing fabric top and rear quarter windows. Former owners include a Mr. Davis, of North Carolina, and long-time Cord enthusiast Jim Ray, from whose estate the car was acquired by its current o  [Read More...]
SC Phaeton
Chassis Num: 1469
The 1936 Cord 810 was Gordon Buehrig's 'baby Duesenberg', and known as Model 810 'Coffin Nose.' It was America's 1st front wheel drive production car.  [Read More...]
Cabriolet
The second generation Cord automobiles were introduced in 1936 as the Model 810, penned by the famous designer Gordon Buehrig. The 810 was front wheel drive as was the earlier Cord L29 had been. The front wheel drive allowed a much lower body positio  [Read More...]
Sportsman
Chassis Num: 812 1163 F
Engine Num: FC 2133
Sold for $220,000 at 2014 RM Auctions.
This Cord Cabriolet has been part of the Malcolm Pray collection since 2001, when it was acquired from Carlos Dominguez, of Palm City, Florida. Earlier owners are known to have included the Blackhawk Collection. This Cabriolet was a 1936 model that r  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2014
Supercharged Sportsman
Chassis Num: 32420F
Engine Num: FC 2807
This Cord 812 S/C Convertible Coupe was delivered to Argentina and purchased new during late 1937 by a wealthy rancher and drive for the next decade until he placed a cover over it and parked it in a barn, where it remained for almost 60 years. The c  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2014
SC Phaeton
In 1929 E.L. Cord introduced the Auburn-derived automobile named for himself, the Cord Front Drive or the L29, with its distinctive and sporting appearance. Its styling later provided the basis for the front-wheel-drive Cord 810 in 1936 and the later  [Read More...]
SC Phaeton
This Cord 812 Phaeton has been in the same family for the past 50-plus years. Since its restoration, it has earned numerous awards at automobile events.  [Read More...]
Convertible Coupe
The Cord 812 was a continuation of the 810, which had been introduced a year earlier. It is one of the best-remembered automotive designs of all time. It featured disappearing headlights, a 'coffin nose' hood, and an aircraft-style instrument panel.   [Read More...]
SC Phaeton
Chassis Num: 812 31643 H
Engine Num: FC 2133
Sold for $132,000 at 2014 RM Auctions.
This Cord is finished in Cigarette Cream over red leather upholstery and made its debut at the ACD Club's National Reunion in 1991 and was an award winner there the following year. The restoration has been well maintained in the ownership of collecto  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2014
Supercharged Convertible Phaeton Sedan
The Buehrig-designed 'coffin-nosed' Cord 810 debuted at the 1935 New York Auto Show and caused a sensation. Originally intended as a 'baby' Duesenberg, it sported advanced features such as front-wheel drive; independent front suspension; a unitized b  [Read More...]
Custom Beverly
E.L. Cord introduced an exciting and different automobile for the 1937 model year. The car was built in Indiana, retailed for $2,960 and used a 289 cubic-inch Lycoming L-head V8 engine. The big change from 1936 was an optional supercharger raising ho  [Read More...]
SC Phaeton
The Cord was originally designed as a 'Baby Duesenberg.' It became a Cord when engineers decided to use front-wheel drive to give the car a lower silhouette. In 1937, the Cord 812 Series offered two models on the 125-inch wheelbase and 4 models on th  [Read More...]
Cabriolet
This 1937 Cord 812 was built in May of 1936. Because it did not sell in 1936 the car was sold as a 1937 by Cord. The car was owned for almost 30 years by James Irving, owner of Irving Ready Mix, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was certified by the Auburn   [Read More...]
Supercharged Coupe
This special car was built for Robert Stranahan, President of the Champion Spark Plug Company of Toledo, Ohio. A non-removable steel top, covered with a padded leather, was affixed to a standard Cord convertible coupe body. Custom items specified by   [Read More...]
Beverly Sedan
1937 was to be the last year for the Cord. The 812's that were sold in 1937 were actually leftover 810's from the 1936 model year. E.L. Cord was accused of financial manipulations and the remains of the Cord Company became the possession of the Aviat  [Read More...]
The Cord was owned by Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg. Thus their similarities in vehicle design. These three firms also owned the Lycoming engine manufacturing company. This company supplied the 289 cubic-inch V8 engine that gave this vehicle life. The engine was rated at 125 horsepower, with the supercharger the horsepower increased to 170 bhp. The 125hp engine was capable of 90 miles-per-hour with a zero-to-sixty rating of about 20 seconds. A four-speed pre-selector was used, and the wheels were fitted with drum brakes.
The Gordon Beuhrig design is very classic, clean and inspired by aviation. The hood was called the 'Coffin Nose' look for obvious reasons. The hood, when opened, would open upwards. The windshield was split in the middle and was small in comparison to other vehicles. This was due to the room needed by the massive V8. The front had a chrome bumper and a wrap-around grill. Two lights were attached to the bumper and two retractable lights were hidden in the front wheel covers.

Production began for the Cords in 1936 and sales were steady. However, the company itself was not doing as well. The industry was very tough during that era due to many obstacles such as competition.

In 1937 the car was renamed to the 812 and included a few modifications. The 812S were supercharged and had chromed exhaust pipes attached to the side. It was too little, too late. Production ceased later that year due to company financial problems.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006
 
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810/812
L-29

1938 814 Prototype Image Right
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