- Iconic coffin-nose Cord
- Ideal long-legged tour car
- ACD Club Certified Category One (C-232)
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
Having failed to move mountains with his L-29 model, E.L. Cord made another try with the 810 in 1935. Again with front-wheel drive, its engine was a V-8, also from Lycoming, but a four-speed electrically shifted pre-selector transmission was used. The body was designed by Gordon Buehrig and is a thing of beauty. Its blunt louvered hood gave rise to the nickname “coffin nose,” always used as a term of endearment. 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 caught up with demand, some customers had changed their minds.
In its day, the Cord 810 captured the imagination of the country, earning supporting roles in cultural icons like John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath: “There goes one of them Cords. Looks like a coffin on wheels.” “But, Jesus, how they travel!”
This 1936 Cord 810 Westchester Sedan was acquired by the Merrick Auto Museum from the Charlie Sens Auto Museum of Marion, Ohio, in 1997. Previous owners include Edwin Steng of Cincinnati, Ohio, for whom an Auburn Cord Duesenberg certification was carried out in the 1990s. At that time the car was largely original, including the blue cloth interior. It has since been the subject of a 770-hour restoration to the original specifications: Cadet Gray paint and blue cloth upholstery with grey whipcord. Accessories include yellow fog lights and an in-dash radio with header-mounted speaker.
The Cord 810 and 812 cars are sturdy and perform well. With overdrive top gear, they have long legs and are excellent for touring on all sorts of roads. This Westchester is an excellent example.