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HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1937 Cord 812 sedan, a supercharged design masterpiece

Pick of the Day: 1937 Cord 812 sedan, a supercharged design masterpiece

First-prize winner at the Classic Car Club of America's National Competition

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The Cord 810/812 is among the most beautiful automotive designs ever created in any era, much less a production car that was marketed as a mid-level vehicle born during the Great Depression.

The Pick of the Day is a 1937 Cord 812 (click on the link to see the ad), a supercharged-V8, front-wheel-drive sedan that shows off the stunning lines penned by Gordon Buehrig, standing today as the acclaimed industrial designer’s most-revered masterpiece. 

cord, Pick of the Day: 1937 Cord 812 sedan, a supercharged design masterpiece, ClassicCars.com Journal

This 4-door is apparently a Beverly sedan, judging by its proportions and interior. The model name is not mentioned by the Grand Rapids, Michigan, dealer advertising the Cord on ClassicCars.com, although the car is described as being “museum quality.”

“The car’s condition is, in a word, stunning,” the seller says in the ad. “A first-prize winner at the Classic Car Club of America’s National Competition, it is certain to be the star of any collection.

cord

“The exterior silver paint is in excellent condition, free of noteworthy wear and retaining excellent gloss across the Cord’s beautifully curvaceous body panels.”

The Cord brand was part to E.L. Cord’s automotive triumvirate of Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg, a group of premium and luxury automobiles that collapsed under the weight of the Depression, but all of which live on in the hearts and garages of today’s more-savvy collectors.

The design of the 810 and later 812 Cords stood apart starkly from the mostly boxy designs of the 1930s, with modernistically rounded shapes on a low form, deleted running boards, hidden headlights and that signature wraparound grille. 

This Cord looks exceptionally clean in the many photos with the ad, and the supercharged Lycoming 289cid V8 raises the performance with 170 horsepower, fed through a pre-select 4-speed gearbox – the electric-servo operated shifting was an engineering solution to deal with the transmission being in front of the engine in this front-wheel-drive car.

cord, Pick of the Day: 1937 Cord 812 sedan, a supercharged design masterpiece, ClassicCars.com Journal

The Cord’s interior also looks splendid in dark blue with many gleaming chrome accents. 

“Like the exterior, every aspect of the Cord’s interior is noteworthy for its beautiful design and exceptional current condition,” the seller says. “The blue dashboard with turned-metal trim, unique switchgear (including turn-cranks to operate the hidden headlights), gated, column-mounted 4-speed manual shifter, blue 3-spoke steering wheel (with Cord’s Y-design center), and analog instruments (each one a work of automotive art) make quite an impression.”

cord, Pick of the Day: 1937 Cord 812 sedan, a supercharged design masterpiece, ClassicCars.com Journal

While Cords are nearly universally admired and desired for their uniquely artistic style, the sedans are not nearly as valuable as one might think, certainly less than the roadsters and phaetons, making them relatively affordable to those who want a lovely and drivable pre-war collector car.

This Cord is priced at $124,900, which seems quite reasonable considering its apparently fine condition.

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Hagerty
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

2 COMMENTS

  1. That is a beautiful car! When I was a boy growing up in southeast Texas during the 60’s, my dad and older brothers spotted a rusted but intact Cord parked by the side of the road at an auto mechanic’s shop. I remember how excited they were – “Look, it’s a Cord”! Of course, I knew nothing about it then, other than it seemed very “modern” for an older car. I wish I had $125k to put this one in my garage. Thanks for sharing!

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