Lot 3130

Auburn Fall 2019

1936 Cord 810 Phaeton


$137,500 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Auburn, Indiana



Identification No.
  • ACD Certified Category 1 (C-009)
  • Originally delivered in Pennsylvania; equipped with its original engine
  • Long-term ownership by noted enthusiasts and collectors
  • A superb Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) CARavan and Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD Club) tour car

When the “new Cord” made its debut at the New York Auto Show in November 1935, it turned the automotive world on its ear. Onlookers reportedly stood on the roofs of other cars just to catch a glimpse of Gordon Buehrig’s stunningly advanced “new, original, and ornamental design for an automobile,” with its aerodynamic “coffin-nose” louvered hood lacking a traditional radiator shell; its “step-down” floor; its unitary body construction; its hidden door hinges; its pop-up headlamps; and its total lack of running boards. Underneath was no less innovative, with a Lycoming V-8 running the front wheels through a four-speed, electrically shifted pre-selector transmission, which was operated by a “key” off the steering column; essentially, it was an H-pattern gearshift in miniature.

Orders for the new Cord flooded the manufacturer’s headquarters in Auburn, Indiana, but the car was not quite ready for production. By the time cars finally began to be delivered, many impatient customers had canceled their orders, and the car that could have saved the Auburn Automobile Company became its death knell. The new Cord was only built for two years, and it has since gone down in history as one of the most beautiful automobiles of its time, being regularly displayed in art museums as what Buehrig referred to as “rolling sculpture.”

The 810 Phaeton offered here was originally delivered in Pennsylvania, where it was first registered on 11 June 1936. An interesting notation in its Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club paperwork is that it was once owned by Richard Nicholas, whose home was the famous Stonebridge estate in Chadd’s Ford. The car remained in the Quaker State for its first 35 years, including ownership by the well-known enthusiast and CCCA member Calvin High. Mr. High sold the car in 1971 to Frank Martucci, the mayor of Roslyn Heights, New York, a skilled acrobatic pilot and Cord collector who retained it until the early 2000s.

In Mr. Martucci’s long-term ownership, the already freshly restored car was again restored to meet his standards, in the present Cigarette Cream with dark red interior, an original available factory color combination, while adding 1937-style side exhausts. He submitted it to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club, where it was fully certified as a Category 1 Original Car—only the ninth Cord to be so recognized. Among its honors in his ownership was an AACA Senior First Prize, reportedly with 397 out of a possible 400 points, and Senior awards in ACD Club national judging.

The current ownership purchased the car in 2016. Since then it has been shown at numerous events and has been mechanically maintained, most recently receiving a new convertible top. It is still a beautiful machine, ideal for both CCCA CARavans and ACD Club tours, as well as regional concours d’elegance—allowing its new owner to experience one of the most striking and well-engineered automobiles of its time.