10-11 March 2017
A Gentleman's Collection: The Pride & Passion of Orin Smith
1936 Cord 810 Phaeton
- Serial no. 810 2447 H
- Engine no. FB 1547
- Body no. C 91 210
$170,000 - $220,000
To be auctioned on Friday, March 10, 2017
- Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club Certified Category One (C-310)
- Restoration by marque specialist Henry Portz
- Two-time Best of Show at the ACD Club West Coast Meet
- Equipped with its original engine
- Correct accessory luggage rack and rare correct jack
This beautiful Cord 810 phaeton was built midway through the production year, as distinguished by its trunk lid, which is cut out to clear the spare tire. It has a known ownership history back to the early 1960s, when it was owned by Robert McCullagh, a longtime Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club member in Northern California. It subsequently passed in 1978 to Michael Nigro of Huntington Beach, California, and in 1993 to David Graham of Santa Ana. In a letter passed with the car to a subsequent owner, Mr. Graham noted that the car as-acquired was solid and rust-free, and had been off the road since 1961.
Mr. Graham commissioned the renowned Cord expert Henry Portz to restore the car to original condition, which was completed over a period of five years with great care and authenticity exhibited throughout. A Cord enthusiast since the 1940s, Mr. Portz has restored numerous superb examples and is highly regarded both for his knowledge and for his ability to machine and fabricate high-quality Cord parts. His workmanship combined with Mr. Graham’s own attention to detail, such as sourcing a correct original trunk rack – an extremely rare accessory, taken off a garage wall in New Hampshire where it had hung for 40 years; dual Cord amber-lens accessory fog lights; and a correct jack. The latter is one of the rarest Cord accessories, even though every 810 and 812 had one when new; very few are known to exist, and they are almost impossible to find. Such touches resulted in the car being awarded Best Cord 810/812 and Best of Show twice at the ACD Club’s West Coast Meet, in 1998 and 2000.
The phaeton next passed to well-known enthusiast and Auburn-Cord collector, Paul Petrovich, who had its restoration considerably freshened, both mechanically and cosmetically, by Chris Kidd’s Tired Iron Works of Monrovia, California, with extensive invoices on file. It then joined Orin Smith’s wonderful collection, where it has enjoyed the same excellent care and conservation of his other automobiles, and remains in superb overall condition.
The car is recorded in historian Ron Irwin’s listing of extant Cords published in the ACD Club Newsletter, No. 8 1984, as well as in the lists of known Cords published in Josh B. Malks’ two landmark works, Cord 810/812: The Timeless Classic and Cord Complete. All three lists show the car to be equipped with engine FB 1547, that which is still under the hood. While the car was born unsupercharged and remains so today, it was decided during its Portz restoration to equip it with supercharged-style side exhaust, a popular flamboyant touch and one that only adds to its appeal. Further, the car has received its ACD Club Category One Certification, a further mark of approval on its quality, authenticity, and correctness throughout.
A simply superb Cord in every way, this car ranks among the best-restored examples to recently come to auction. Nothing more need be said.
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