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Gordon Buehrig’s Cord 810 is among the most celebrated of all American automobile designs. Technically advanced and stunningly beautiful, a “coffin-nose” Cord was displayed at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1951.
The 810 features front-wheel drive, a 125 bhp Lycoming V-8 engine with roller cams, electro-vacuum pre-selector gearshift, step-down floor, no running boards, and retractable headlights. The top disappears under a metal cover, and high gear is an indirect overdrive. The 810 wowed the 1935 New York Auto Show, but E.L. Cord’s automotive empire was foundering. Only 1,174 810s and 1,146 812s were built. The 195 two-seater “Sportsman” cabriolets are the rarest, and most sought-after, of all the Cord production models.
This cabriolet is well known in West Coast ACD circles, having enjoyed 44 years in the custody of its prior owner. In 1971, it was discovered behind a gas station in Oregon and restored by marque legend Wayne Weihermiller, famed for his skill with the often-challenging gearbox. Finished in Cigarette Cream over black leather, this cabriolet continues to present well and features the accepted Toronado driveshaft conversion, with which LeeRoy Richardson cured a notorious design fault.
Though the original engine, no. 1742, was replaced years ago by no. 1879, the tag with the original number remains on the car. This cabriolet’s authenticity is confirmed in respected Cord expert Josh B. Malks publications, and its exceptional elegance is an enduring testament to Gordon Buehrig’s design genius.