The Auburn Auction

Lot 31
1937 Cord 812 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe


Selling on Saturday Evening

1937 Cord 812 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

CHASSIS NO: 812 1256 F

• Fully documented ownership since new
• Highly preserved and well-sorted
• ACD Certified
• First owned by Jazz Trombonist Monte Barton


288 cid supercharged Lycoming L-head V-8 engine rated at 170 HP, four-speed pre-selector manual transmission, front-wheel drive, independent front suspension with dual trailing box-section swing arms, transverse leaf spring with Lovejoy double-action hydraulic shock absorbers, rear semi-elliptic suspension with tubular steel axle on leaf springs and Lovejoy double-action hydraulic shock absorbers, four-wheel hydraulic brakes; wheelbase: 125Ē


The pages of automotive history are filled with great names that literally pioneered transportation as we know it today. Great men like Henry Ford, who put America on wheels and William Crapo Durant, who created General Motors certainly made their mark. Among these great names is Errett Loban Cord, who was never one to shy away from style. Indeed, the cars of Errett Loban Cord carried an aura of prestige that led the way in the Golden Age of the motorcar. Whether it was the famous Duesenberg Model J or a sexy Auburn Boattail Speedster, Cordís cars carried a look and style like no other car on the road. In 1936, Cord shocked the automotive landscape with the introduction of the 810. Styling for the 810 was by the great Gordon M. Buehrig. Innovation does not begin to describe the 810 as it was unlike anything else on the road at the time. Front-wheel-drive, a powerful Lycoming V-8 engine, an ultra-low profile, and the elimination of running boards were just a few of the styling cues that set it apart from all the rest. Selling for $2,145 when a new Ford Roadster sold for just $560, Cordís Sportsman was a sporty car with a price to match. The 810 became the 812 for 1937 as it continued to rule the road as an exceptionally styled motorcar.

Offered here is an outstanding example of the 812 that was actually one of the unsold 1936 models that was renumbered and sold as a 1937 by Cord. This is solidified by the seat sideboards that the earlier models had and by the fact that it retains its original factory serial number, body number tags, and its original engine, all having been preserved by only six owners since it was sold new in 1937. This 812 was delivered new to Monte Barton, a well-known early jazz trombonist and songwriter in San Francisco and it remained in his ownership until 1971. Originally finished in Dark Cool Orchard Green, it was refinished in its current red by the second owner, who sold it in September 1974 to William L. Beck of Napoleon, Ohio. The fourth owner, Morton Feldman, sold the car in 1976 to Glenn Allen of West Bloomfield, Michigan, who maintained it for the next 18 years. It was during this time he added the popular supercharged-style side exhaust, an option that was available from the factory upon request. He also rebuilt the Zeppa front axle joints and fuel pump. It was then acquired by Alfonzo Vacchiano in October of 1994 who maintained it for another 18 years before passing it on to a subsequent owner and then to the current vendor. Aside from the repaint and side exhaust addition, this Cord has never received a full restoration and has been only well-cared-for since new. It retains its original brass windshield frame and is a solid and fine driver-quality car. This Cord also rides on new wide whitewall tires with its factory correct rims and hubcaps. Accompanying the car are all records of both the current owner and the two previous long-term owners, both of whom were meticulous recordkeepers. While the car was very well known our consignor opted to go through the rigorous process of certification and the car now offically carries its ACD Certification. Also present are copies of various compositions of which Monte Barton contributed to and performed.

Long, low and sleek are the attributes that made Cord the best-looking car of its day and this is an exceptional 812 in every way. With its documentation and rich history, itís a jazzy automobile that turned heads when new and still does today. Thereís simply no mistaking the look of a Cord 812 Convertible Coupe.

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