Lot 3118

Auburn Fall 2019

1937 Cord 812 Phaeton

Offered from a Private Collection


$130,000 - $160,000 USD | Not Sold

United States | Auburn, Indiana



Chassis No.
32010 A
Engine No.
FB 2003
Body No.
C91 417
  • Timeless Gordon Buehrig design
  • Legendary performance
  • Fully restored in the late 1990s
  • CCCA Full Classic

Sometimes known as the “Baby Duesenberg” and produced only for 1936 and 1937 before the ultimate demise of E.L. Cord’s massive automotive and industrial empire, the innovative Cord 812 Phaeton offered here remains an undisputed collector favorite today. Conceived as the eventual successor to the groundbreaking and handsome but short-lived front-drive Cord L-29 of 1929, the later 810/812 series continued to exemplify company president E.L. Cord’s proven formula for sales success: a combination of cutting-edge styling and high performance, all at a surprisingly reasonable price point.

Again fitted with an advanced front-wheel drivetrain, the new 812 offered a 288-cubic-inch V-8 engine from Lycoming, one of Cord’s many companies, mated to an innovative four-speed, electrically shifted pre-selector transmission. The smooth Gordon Buehrig–designed body was an equally major step forward in automotive design, featuring a blunt louvered “coffin” hood, retractable headlights, and the absence of running boards. Its reception at the November 1935 New York Auto Show was enthusiastic, and orders poured in. Alas, production startup was slow, and by the time supply finally caught up with demand, some customers had changed their minds. All in all, some 2,900 examples were built, 612 of those being phaetons.

The car being offered here is said to have been restored some years ago by noted restoration experts Al Prueitt and Sons of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania. It is painted correct Cigarette Cream with dark burgundy upholstery, a superb and truly classic color combination. It is fitted with a newer convertible top. This Cord is equipped with engine number FB 2003 and affixed with body number tag C 91 417; it appears to be original and is believed to have been born with the current engine and as a phaeton. However, the serial number tag has been replaced at some point and may have been erroneously stamped with the number of a supercharged Westchester Sedan. Furthermore, Cord historian Josh Malks’s books on the subject indicate that engine FB 2003 is fitted to an unspecified, un-supercharged phaeton, as this car is.

Of the 612 convertible phaetons, this car is certainly among the most attractive, and as a CCCA Full Classic, it’s the perfect candidate for CARavans and judged shows. With just 1,524 miles showing on the odometer, it is sure to offer many more miles of enjoyment to its fortunate new owner.