Fort Lauderdale | Lot 3154

1937 Cord 812 Phaeton



$126,500 USD | Sold

United States | Fort Lauderdale, Florida

7 April 2018

Chassis No.
Engine No.
FB 2105
  • Offered from a private collection
  • Attractive Cigarette Cream over red color scheme
  • Recent freshening and service
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

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 cancelled 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 phaeton offered here has been part of a prominent West Coast collection for several years. Finished in the factory-correct color scheme of Cigarette Cream over red, it boasts chassis frame no. 9071 and an original 812 engine, no. FB 2105; though the two were not born together, the car is composed entirely of original factory Cord components. It has recently undergone cosmetic work and service prior to the auction and presents very well overall, with a handsome and correct appearance.

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