Skip to main content

1938 Cord 814 Prototype news, pictures, specifications, and information
Custom Cabriolet
Designer: Alex Tremulis
 
Prototype for a Car that Never Was

Auburn Automobile Company was the manufacturer of Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg automobiles. In July 1924, E.L. Cord became Vice President and General Manager of Auburn Automobile Company, and in 1929 became its new President. Production ceased on August 7, 1937.

The design for the 1938 Cord prototype was done by Alex Tremulis, Auburn's Chief Designer. The car was an evolution of the landmark 1936-1937 Cord 810/812, famously designed by Gordon Buehrig. Total 810/812 production was 2,972 cars, including 205 convertible cabriolets, plus this one-off prototype 1938 Custom Cabriolet.

This Cord prototype had been in storage since 1958. The current owner found it in 1989 and embarked on a 15-year restoration. During the restoration process, the discovery of original factory photos helped as the prototype was returned to its original 1938 specifications and appearance.
Custom Cabriolet
Designer: Alex Tremulis
 
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.

Cord had designer Gordon Buehrig design this car to be a 1935 Duesenberg. The concept of front wheel drive was incorporated and, at the last minute, it was renamed Cord. The design featured twin flush mounted tail lights, no running boards, step down interior, disappearing top, concealed door hinges, fold-away headlights, built-in radio, and full ventilated wheel disc.

The Cord 810 was introduced at the 1936 New York Auto Show. Show rules required that 100 cars had to be produced in order to be displayed. Auburn built the 100 cars in 116 days. The car was the hit of the show with people standing on tops and running boards of other show cars to get a glimpse of it. For 1937, the model was designated as 812 and a supercharger was offered increasing horsepower to 170. These models were distinguished by the chrome-plated external exhaust pipes mounted on each side of the hood and grille.

When the current owner started restoring this car, he found many aspects of the car that 'didn't add up.' Research determined that it was a custom prototype for 1938 featuring planned changes such as a sloping grille, raised body and a smoother transmission cover, but the company went out of business before 1938 production could begin.
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
Recent Vehicle Additions

2017 GMC Yukon

1982 Fiat X1/9

1978 Lancia Beta

1966 Lancia Flavia

1962 Mercedes-Benz 300d

1962 Chrysler New Yorker
"
VOLKSWAGEN #PINKBEETLE AUCTION RAISES MONEY TO FIGHT BREAST CANCER WITH GIULIANA RANCIC'S FAB-U-WISH AND THE PINK AGENDA
Winning bidder claims first limited-edition 2017 #PinkBeetle in the United States before hitting dealer showrooms in October Herndon, VA (September 26, 2016) – Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA) today announced the completion of the auction of the first U.S. limited-edition 2017 Volkswagen #PinkBeetle, raising $30,272.00. Proceeds from the winning bid will support the efforts of FAB-U-WISH and The Pink Agenda to raise money for breast cancer research and care, including granting w...[Read more...]
VOLKSWAGEN TEAMS WITH GIULIANA RANCIC'S FAB-U-WISH AND THE PINK AGENDA TO AUCTION OFF LIMITED-EDITION #PINKBEETLE
Bidding is live at charitybuzz.com/vwpinkbeetle; Proceeds will support efforts to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research Herndon, VA (September 1, 2016) – Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA), in collaboration with Giuliana Rancic and The Pink Agenda, today announced the auction of the limited-edition 2017 Volkswagen #PinkBeetle. Beginning today and hosted at Charitybuzz.com/vwpinkbeetle, the auction offers bidders the opportunity to become the first owner of the new...[Read more...]
CONCOURS d'ELEGANCE OF AMERICA AT ST. JOHN'S CELEBRATES 37TH YEAR OF AUTOMOTIVE HERITAGE
 • BRUCE MEYER HONORED AS ENTHUSIAST OF THE YEAR
• 2015 Concours Attracts Enthusiastic Crowds, International Corporations and Local Businesses
Detroit, MI. (July 8, 2015) – The Concours d'Elegance of America at St. John's (Concours of America) announced today its 2015 edition of their world-class event. The show has grown to three days of automotive excellence designed to attract a larger and more diverse audience. With over 300 vintage and classic automobiles and motorc...[Read more...]
Out of Sinkhole, ZR-1 ‘Blue Devil' Drives in Museum
Two of eight historic Corvettes pulled from 30-foot deep hole BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The recovery of eight historic Corvettes that fell into a sinkhole under the National Corvette Museum last month began Monday with the successful extraction of the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 'Blue Devil.' The car was able to be driven 20 feet to the doorway of the museum's Skydome. Based on initial inspection, the ZR-1 sustained minimal damage, despite falling nearly 30 feet when the hole ope...[Read more...]
Two Best of Show Winners : Similar Designs : Same Owner
When these two vehicles won Best of Show honors at major Concours d'Elegance events, they both were owned by Judge Joseph Cassini III. The green colored Chrysler 4 door Phaeton with tan convertible top wears coachwork by LeBaron. In 2012, it won the Best of Show title (for an American car) at the Concours d'Elegance of America at St. Johns. The other car is a Packard 2 door Convertible Victoria with coachwork by Dietrich. It won this years Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Best of Show honors...[Read more...]

810/812
L-29

Image Left 1937 812
© 1998-2016. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.