The 1936-37 Cord
models 810 and 812 are the embodiment of both
cutting edge engineering and revolutionary design
earning them the designation of “Full Classics™ by
the Classic Car Club of America.
Despite the accolades, the Auburn Automobile Company
ceased building Cords at the end of the 1937 model
year. The company’s demise can be attributed to the
economic effects of the Great Depression and the
fact that the UAW organized the company in 1936.
Cord was a car well ahead of its time. Front wheel
drive, retractable headlamps, Bendix “Finger Tip
Gear Control,” unit body construction and a
supercharged Lycoming V-8 engine all made the Cord a
The Cord was above all a daringly different
automobile. This uniqueness appealed especially to
those who wanted to set themselves apart from the
crowd. Celebrities adopted the Cord as another
symbol of their special status to flaunt before an
admiring public. Cords were the favorite car of
Actors Tom Mix and Johnnie Weissmuller, ice skater
Sonja Henie, Amelia Earhart, and boxer Max Schmeling.
In addition, Cord automobiles were featured in many
movies. Cords were cost effective, too;
Rolls-Royces, Duesenburgs, and some Cadillacs and
Packards sold for several times the $3,000.00 base
price of any Cord.
The Cord model 812 was equipped with a 289 cu. in.
supercharged Lycoming V-8 engine that would produce
117hp at 3500 rpm. This model could reach speeds of
107-108 mph. Production records are incomplete
however it has been estimated that Cord produced
2972 model 810 & 812 automobiles of which 610 or 21%
of production were convertible phaetons.