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  1. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  2. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  3. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  4. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  5. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  6. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  7. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  8. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  9. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  10. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  11. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  12. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  13. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  14. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  15. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  16. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  17. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  18. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  19. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  20. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  21. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  22. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  23. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

  24. 1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe

Lot Number
34

1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe
2017 Scottsdale Auction

ESTIMATE: $175,000 - $225,000
CHASSIS NO: 8121163F
• Formerly part of the Blackhawk and Malcolm S. Pray, Jr. Collections
• An excellent candidate for AACA and CCCA events and tours
• Stunning Gordon Buehrig design; recently serviced and detailed

289 cid Lycoming L-head V-8 engine, single Stromberg carburetor, Schwitzer-Cummins centrifugal supercharger, 170 HP at 4,000 rpm, four-speed Bendix electric vacuum-servo pre-selector transmission, independent front suspension with trailing arms and transverse leaf spring, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 125”


Intended to follow the front-drive Cord L-29 but shelved following the 1929 stock market collapse, the “Baby Duesenberg” returned as the Cord 810 and 812 of 1936/37. A bold statement in every possible respect, the 810/812 followed the Cord L-29 with innovative front-wheel drive, with power from a new Lycoming 289 V-8 engine delivering 125 horsepower and compact dimensions placing the engine’s mass in closer proximity to the drivetrain and front wheels for improved traction. A Bendix pre-selector system was used to operate the four-speed transmission, with engine vacuum powering gear changes. The new Cord’s front-wheel drive system was considerably improved over that of the L-29 with the addition of ball-bearing CV joints for an improved driving experience.

Most prominently, the new Cord’s thoroughly modern body design was penned by Gordon Buehrig. Today, it remains an unqualified triumph and a mainstay of museums and private collections. Replete with sleek pontoon-style fenders, beautifully tapered contours, and masterful proportions, the new Cord’s other signature design cues include the distinctive “coffin” nose, hideaway headlights, and hidden fuel filler. Yet another case of E.L. Cord and his Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg formula combining outstanding design, performance, and technical sophistication at a surprisingly reasonable price, the 810 was a masterpiece that created an instant sensation at its November 1935 debut at the New York Auto Show. So much so, that production capacity and planning could not meet intense buyer demand.

The 1937 models, now designated 812, were little changed for the most part; significantly, a supercharger was now optionally available, with the Schwitzer-Cummins centrifugal unit delivering a maximum of 6-psi boost to raise the aluminum-head Lycoming V-8’s output to 185-195 actual horsepower, which the factory conservatively revised downward to a 170-hp rating. The supercharged 812’s strong performance was amply confirmed in September 1937 when famed racer Ab Jenkins set 35 AAA-certified American stock-car speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats, including 24 hours at an average speed – including stops – of 101.72 mph.

Only an approximate 195 examples of the very attractive Convertible Coupe were built during the brief two-year production lifespan of the Cord 810/812. Today, while the dashing Convertible Coupe is commonly known as the 'Sportsman' (a designation never officially used by Cord), its aptness is clearly apparent from the clean and sporting lines of the car, aided by a completely disappearing folding-top mechanism. According to confirmed factory records, just 64 were originally supercharged. However, now as then, retrofitted supercharged engines and their beautifully flowing external exhaust pipes are welcome performance and visual upgrades that enhance the remarkable experience offered by these truly revolutionary automobiles.

Bearing Chassis Number 8121163F, this stylish Cord 812 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe was originally a 1936 vehicle, redesignated a 1937 model by the factory. More recently, it was part of the Blackhawk and Malcolm S. Pray, Jr. Collections. It was upgraded with a rare 289/170 HP supercharged Lycoming V-8 engine, numbered FC2133, and continues to benefit from a well-preserved restoration. Handsomely presented in Cigarette Cream over Crimson Red leather upholstery, this 'Sportsman' rides on red wheels with full chromed wheel covers and wide whitewall tires, with other highlights including a striking engine-turned dash panel. Previously part of two well-respected collections, the Cord has recently received a complete brake service, mechanical tuning, and concours-level professional detailing to help preserve its gorgeous older restoration. Rightly enjoying the Full Classic™ status conferred by the Classic Car Club of America, this supercharged 1937 Cord 812 'Sportsman' presents compelling opportunities for collectors and enthusiasts of the finest Classic Era designs.

1937 Cord 812 SC 'Sportsman' Convertible Coupe
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