2022 | Pebble Beach Auctions
1937 Cord 812 S/C Cabriolet 'Sportsman'
From The Tony Vincent Estate Collection
$375,000 - $450,000
Gordon Buehrig’s Art Deco Masterpiece
One of 64 Originally Supercharged Cabriolets
Authentically Restored by Mosier Restoration Inc.
1994 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® Award Winner
ACD Club Gordon Buehrig Award and 100-Point CCCA First Primary Award Recipient
289 CID Lycoming L-Head V-8 Engine
Stromberg Downdraft Carburetor
Schwitzer-Cummins Centrifugal Supercharger
170 BHP at 4,200 RPM
4-Speed Bendix Electric Vacuum Servo Preselector Gearbox
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
Front Independent Suspension with Trailing Arms and Transverse Leaf Spring
Rear Solid Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
Bruce Isherwood, Chicago, Illinois (first known owner)
George Lamberson, Oakbrook, Illinois (acquired in the 1950s)
Vernon D. Jarvis, Decatur, Illinois (acquired in 1964)
John Greenleaf, Oxford, Massachusetts (acquired in 1991)
Donald E. Stewart, Los Angeles, California (acquired from the above in 1991)
Tony Vincent (acquired from the above in 1997)
CCCA Annual Meeting, California, 1994 (First Primary)
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, 1994 (Third in Class)
Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club Annual Reunion, Auburn, Indiana, 1995 (Gordon Buehrig Award)
Few automobiles combine mechanical innovation with timeless styling as well as Cord’s 810 and 812 models. Originally envisioned as a baby Duesenberg, Gordon Buehrig penned a landmark design that is considered his masterpiece. Breathtakingly modern when introduced, it remains a styling milestone incorporating streamlining features such as a disappearing convertible top, coffin-nose hood, hidden headlamps, pontoon fenders, and the absence of running boards. The design philosophy continued inside with an aircraft-inspired dashboard equipped with a full array of gauges.
While nearly 3,000 Cords were built during its two-year production run, only a few were equipped with the optional supercharger which provided a significant one-third increase in horsepower. Just 64 supercharged cabriolets left the Connersville, Indiana, factory including the example presented here.
Records from the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club list this car’s first owner as Bruce Isherwood of Chicago, followed by George Lamberson, and Vernon D. Jarvis, also of Illinois. In 1991, John Greenleaf of Oxford, Massachusetts, sold the car to Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Donald E. Stewart of Los Angeles who, in addition to numerous accomplishments in the motion picture industry, enjoyed a passion for automobiles, having founded Competition Press which later became Autoweek.
An exhaustive, no-expense-spared restoration was carried out by Mosier Restoration Inc. with an emphasis on authenticity, which was validated with numerous awards throughout California. The Cord made its debut at the January 1994 CCCA Annual Meeting, where it scored a perfect 100 points and received its First Place award carrying Senior badge no. 1844.
Later that year, it placed Third in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®. In 1995, it was subject to rigorous marque judging at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club Annual Reunion in Auburn, Indiana, where it received the Gordon Buehrig Award for Best 810/812 Cord from a field of more than 60 Cords entered. The occasion was captured in a photograph published in the club’s newsletter showing Gordon Buehrig’s widow, Kay Buehrig, presenting Mr. Stewart with the award.
Chassis 31867F is listed in both of Cord authority Josh Malk’s books as an authentic supercharged cabriolet – certainly the most desirable Cord body style offered. It is finished in an authentic Cord color known as Cadet Gray and complemented by dark blue used for the canvas top, leather upholstery, and carpeting. Accessories fitted to this car include the correct radio and heater.
Tony Vincent acquired the car in 1997, and the Cord joined his significant collection of foreign and domestic collectible automobiles, always receiving excellent care. The 812 still presents well today, having benefited from a new convertible top and interior during Mr. Vincent’s loving ownership.
A supercar in its day, period ads typically depicted a Cord cabriolet in motion, captioned as a motoring thoroughbred or the “King of the Highway.” Those same spirited driving opportunities await this car’s next owner, along with commensurate recognition on the show field for an authentically restored Cord.