- A most desirable example of the supercharged “Sportsman”
- Formerly owned by Ervin “Bud” Lyon and Bob Pond
- Ideal for Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club activities
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
Introduced in late 1935 at the New York Auto Show, the advanced front-wheel-drive Cord 810 created a sensation. Crowds around it were so deep that people were forced to stand on other display cars just to get a glimpse. Deliveries began in 1936, but the Depression finally caught up to the Cord empire and 1937 was to be the final model year. During this time, the cars (now designated Model 812) were available for the first and only time with an optional supercharger, which boosted power to almost 200 horsepower. The supercharged cars could also be fitted with magnificent outside exhaust pipes, giving the car its most iconic look. At the height of the Depression, sadly, few could afford this luxury.
Presented here is an “ultimate-spec” Cord, the supercharged Cabriolet, informally known as the “Sportsman,” of which only 64 original examples were produced. Study of Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club records and the chassis listing in Josh B. Malks’s Cord Complete indicates that the example offered here incorporates the stub frame and serial number of a supercharged 812 Phaeton, amended to suit a Cabriolet body and correct supercharged engine. The car was restored in this form in 1962 by the ACD Company in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, successor to the Cord’s original manufacturer and informally known as “the factory,” for Guy Waltz of Canton, Ohio. In 1963 Mr. Waltz drove it long-distance to the ACD Club Spring Meet at Auburn, Massachusetts, with the car noted as being a “factory rebuilt 812 Cord Sportsman” and its “perfection” bragged of in the Club’s Newsletter. He retained the car until at least 1980.
The Cord was later acquired by the noted and highly respected collector Ervin “Bud” Lyon of Kensington, New Hampshire, then passed in 1997 to the prolific enthusiast Bob Pond of Palm Springs, California. It would remain part of the Pond Collection for the next 17 years, undergoing cosmetic freshening late in its tenure, before joining a prominent East Coast collection in 2014. Today it remains very well-preserved and attractive, in the popular factory-correct color of Cigarette Cream, in the appropriate, original and authentic lighter tint rarely captured by modern restorations, with a dark red interior and black cloth top. The car would be ideal for participation in ACD Club events, continuing the tradition begun by Mr. Waltz over half a century ago—or in Classic Car Club of America CARavans, for which the supercharged Cord is a potent and comfortable mount.
This supercharged Cabriolet represents one of the great performance automobiles of its era.