Lot 240

Miami 2024

1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Cabriolet

Offered From the Terence E. Adderley Collection


$151,200 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Coral Gables, Florida



Serial No.
812 32463
Chassis No.
Engine No.
FC 3252
Body No.
C 92 162
US Title
  • Offered from the Terence E. Adderley Collection
  • A highly sought-after supercharged Cord 812 “Sportsman” Cabriolet
  • Formerly owned by Del Beyer, Roger Willbanks, and John Groendyke
  • Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club Certified Category 1 (C-183)

To many enthusiasts the dramatic front-wheel-drive Cord is one of the most fascinating Full Classics. It is never more desirable than in its most rakish body style, the two-passenger Cabriolet—nicknamed “Sportsman” by enthusiasts—with the factory-optional supercharged 190-horsepower engine.

The example offered here has a recorded ownership history back to 1960, when it was owned by Douglas M. Naughton of Burlingame, California. Later in the decade it made its way to Wisconsin, and in 1967 was acquired by the prominent early collector and Classic Car Club of America member, Del Beyer of Wauwatosa. Mr. Beyer sold the Cord to David Kerr of Englewood, Colorado, in whose ownership it was exhibited at Arthur Rippey’s well-known Veteran Car Museum in Denver during the early 1970s. It was then purchased by Edward M. Lee, also of Englewood, with whom it would remain for nearly two decades.

In 1987 the Cord was acquired from Mr. Lee by well-known collector Roger Willbanks of Denver. It remained in the Willbanks Collection for the next six years, during which time, in 1990, it received its present restoration by Stan Block in Arizona. During his ownership the car was Certified by the ACD Club as a Category 1 Original Car. The late Cord historian Stan Gilliland notes in the Certification paperwork his belief that the car had been a leftover 1936 Cord 810, which the factory or a distributor then renumbered as a 1937 model. Despite the notation in the same paperwork that the car had its original engine, as none of the renumbered Cords are known to have been supercharged, the present engine was likely installed at a later date along with a replacement front “stub” frame.

The Cord was acquired from Mr. Willbanks by Bill Howitt of Windsor, Ontario, and in his ownership was an award-winner at the ACD Club National Reunion in 1995. Later owners included the noted collectors John Groendyke and Bob Paige, prior to the acquisition of the Cord for the Adderley Collection in early 2013. Still resplendent in its Rich Maroon finish from the Willbanks restoration, the car has been exhibited in the collection on static display since acquisition and exhibits some signs of age to its cosmetic finishes. It is still a charming older restoration, complete with accessory driving lights. In addition to the correct soft top, there is also a clever removable hardtop, fabricated during restoration to resemble the erected factory top.

Few cars pack the visual power of a supercharged Cord cabriolet—an amazingly modern-feeling Classic to drive and to admire, and one of the finest American cars of its era.