Auctions and Brokerage
According to its fascinating known history, this factory-supercharged 1937 Cord 812 S/C Convertible Coupe was delivered to Argentina and purchased new during late 1937 by a wealthy rancher and driven for the next 10 years until he placed a cover carefully over it and parked it in a barn, where it remained for almost 60 years. The consignor was alerted to the rare Cord’s existence by a friend and he then acquired it and brought the vehicle to his shop located in Montevideo, Uruguay.
A recognized and longtime restoration expert specializing in the grand Full Classics of the years 1925–1940, the consignor has amassed considerable expertise in the distinctive Cord 810/812 automobile series with eight such restorations already to his firm’s credit. Active over the past 30 years, the consignor’s firm has restored over 40 different makes and models. With this wealth of experience and a dedicated staff of experienced artisans, the consignor launched the full restoration effort of this 1937 Cord 812 S/C in 2010, with the project completed during late 2013 and the outstanding results are now displayed here. Completely stripped and refinished inside and out, the 812 was fitted with brand-new leather upholstery and beautifully restored bright trim and hardware throughout, including the bright external exhaust pipes specific to the 812 S/C. The dash, with its handsome engine-turned dash panel, comprehensive instrumentation, and abundance of aircraft-inspired control levers, is a particularly impressive highlight of this rare supercharged 812. The engine and power train were rebuilt to match, and only a small number of miles of use have been registered since the restoration was completed.
Rightly designated as Full Classics by the Classic Car Club of America, the 810/812 Cord series remains well appreciated as the remarkably advanced and capable cars they are, with outstanding driving dynamics even by today’s standards, in addition to their striking design cues and sophisticated front-drive engineering. With its fresh, top-quality restoration and beautiful presentation, this once-sleeping beauty, a highly rare factory-supercharged 812 S/C from 1937, marks a truly exciting find and a compelling opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts of the finest Classic Era designs.
The Cord 810/812
Intended to follow the advanced front-drive Cord L-29 to market but shelved following the devastating 1929 stock-market collapse, the so-called “Baby Duesenberg” returned as the Cord 810 and 812 of 1936/1937. Yet another textbook case of E.L. Cord’s well-proven formula of outstanding design, performance, and technical sophistication at a surprisingly reasonable price point, the Gordon Buehrig-styled 810 created an instant sensation at its November 1935 New York Auto Show debut, so much so that Cord simply could not initially meet buyer demand.
The 1937 models, now designated 812, were little changed; significantly, a supercharged engine was now optionally available, with the Schwitzer-Cummins unit delivering a maximum boost of 6 psi to raise the aluminum-head Lycoming V-8’s output to 185–195 hp, which the factory conservativelyreviseddownwardto170hp.The supercharged 812’s strong performance was amply confirmed in September 1937 when Ab Jenkins set 35 AAA-certified American stock-car speed records at Bonneville, including 24 hours at an average speed – including stops – of 101.72 mph.
Approximately 195 examples of the very attractive convertible coupe were built during the brief two-year production lifespan of the Cord 810/812. Only 64, according to confirmed factory records, were originally supercharged. Today, while the dashing convertible coupe is commonly known as the “Sportsman,” a designation never officially used by Cord, its aptness is clearly apparent from the clean and sporting lines of the car, aided by a completely disappearing folding-top mechanism.