1937 Cord 810 Westchester
s/n 2593A, engine no. FB524
Rich Maroon with Light Grey Leather Interior
The 810/812 was the second and final offering of The Cord Automobile Company, founded by the idealistic and visionary industrialist Errett L. Cord. Cord’s holding company, The Cord Corporation, held over 150 companies, mostly in the transportation industry, including Auburn Automobile Company, Duesenberg, Checker Cab, New York Shipbuilding, Lycoming Engines, American Airways (now American Airlines) and Stinson Aircraft Company. He is intimately associated with and largely responsible for some of the greatest American cars of the period, or of any period for that matter, including the Auburn 851, Duesenberg Model J and SJ, Cord L-29, and the Cord 810/812. The Cord Automobile was close to Mr. Cord’s heart since it bore his own name, and the attention that went into the cars is clear.
Introduced in 1929, the L-29 was the world’s first production front wheel drive car, beating both the Ruxton and the Citroen Traction Avant. Developed by Carl Van Ranst, an ex-Miller engineer (of the famed Indianapolis 500 racers), the car was sophisticated, with de Dion axle and inboard brakes. The 810/812 continued the trend of innovation with the addition of independent front suspension, making it the first production car to be so equipped. The transmission was a 4-speed pre-selector mounted ahead of the engine, which concentrated all the drive components at the front of the car. As a result, the chassis and body were low, eliminating the functional need for running boards, which also proved to be an important stylistic element. Styled by Gordon Buehrig, the car was low and had a distinctive and thoroughly modern appearance that was streamlined, elegant and restrained. There was no large chrome radiator grille, while the shape of the rear-hinged engine cover earned the car the nickname of “coffin nose”. The headlights were covered and were operated by hand cranks inside the car and the lights were actually modified Stinson landing lights, borrowed from elsewhere in Cord’s industrial empire.
This particular car is an excellent driver example that is matching numbers and generally correct, retaining its original engine and trim. Finished in the correct Cord color of Rich Maroon and sitting on whitewall tires, the car has a period correct presentation. It has been retrofitted with external exhaust pipes in the style of the supercharged 812, which was a common practice in period with unsold 810s. The car was inspected Auburn Cord Duesenberg concours judge and found to be fundamentally correct with some minor departures.
The car has an older restoration that still presents very nicely but is not perfect. The body is excellent, with straight panels and very good fit. The paintwork is attractive and shows a few blemishes and surface marks from polishing. The chrome is very good to excellent, with excellent bumpers and wheel covers, but some pitting in other areas such as the door handles. The car has surprisingly little chrome for a vehicle of this period, which speaks to the restrained modernity of the design. The lights are in excellent shape, with turn signals and fog lamps added.
The interior is in very nice shape, with excellent leather seats and contrasting burgundy accents and carpeting. The carpets are in excellent shape, as is the wool headliner. The door panels would have originally been fabric but have been redone in leather, which is in very good shape other than a few small blemishes. The dashboard is correctly presented and beautiful, with lovely gauges and aluminum turned dashboard. The knobs to open the front windscreen halves for ventilation have been chromed rather than correctly painted. The preselector gearbox works correctly and a stalk for the turn signals has been added to the steering column. The wiring was redone for enhanced reliability.
The engine compartment is quite clean and is generally correct in appearance. An alternator has been fitted to replace the generator, and the car has an air cleaner from a supercharged Cord, which is a factory part, but is not original to this car. The trunk has been recarpeted on the bottom to match the interior of the car while the jute on the side panels appears to be original and is intact but showing some age. The correct spare is in place.
This is a rare opportunity to acquire an iconic American automobile. The work of a legendary personality, this car represents a golden age of American motoring when the cars produced here could lay legitimate claim to being among the most innovative in the world. Not only was the car aesthetically advanced and trend-setting, its mechanical specification showed a willingness to try new solutions to advance the state of the art. This particular car has a nice older restoration and is generally correct but has several functional upgrades to enhance its usability, making it an ideal example to use and enjoy.
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
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