1936 Cord 810

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1936
  • Chassis number 
    2140A
  • Lot number 
    617
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

1936 Cord Model 810 Westchester Sedan
Registration no. not UK registered
Chassis no. 2140A

One of the few automobiles deemed worthy of inclusion in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and arguably the most easily recognised American car of all time, the Cord 810 debuted in November 1935, receiving a rapturous reception at US automobile shows. The work of a team headed by Duesenberg designer Gordon Buehrig, the 810 body style with louvred 'coffin' nose, streamlined, spat-shaped wings and absence of running boards would prove immensely influential, its distinctive features being borrowed by most mainstream manufacturers by the decade's end.

The 810's arrival marked the end of a hiatus in Cord production, its predecessor - the L29 - having disappeared in 1931. Errett Lobban Cord had introduced the L29 in 1929 as a gap-filling model priced between his Cord Corporation's Auburn and Duesenberg lines. Powered by a Lycoming straight eight, the Cord L29 featured front wheel drive, then in vogue at Indianapolis. Its front-drive layout made for a low-slung frame, and the freedom this gave coachbuilders meant that the Cord was soon attracting the attention of master craftsmen on both sides of the Atlantic.

Front-wheel-drive like the L29, the 810 differed from its predecessor by virtue of its more compact Lycoming V8 engine and four-speed, pre-selector gearbox. Set further back in the chassis, the former endowed the 810 with better balance and came with 125bhp in standard trim or 170bhp when supercharged. Custom sedans on a longer wheelbase joined the four-model 812 range for 1937, though it is doubtful whether any independent offering ever matched Buehrig's original Beverly fastback sedan for sheer style. Priced competitively in the $2,000-3,000 range, the 810/812 should have been a huge success, though, sadly, this was not to be. The Cord Corporation was in deep financial trouble, and when its proprietor sold up in August 1937, it spelled the end not just for Cord, but for Auburn and Duesenberg as well.

This example of a car widely recognised as one of the top ten automotive designs of all time was purchased by the Key Collection in the USA and imported in July 2009.

Should the vehicle remain in the UK, local import taxes of 5% will be added to the hammer price.