Gordon Buehrig's Cord 810/812 created a sensation when it was introduced in 1936, so much so that orders poured in - even in the depths of the Depression - faster than Cord could deliver. It has remained a singularly significant milestone in the timeline of automobile design in the three-quarters of a century that have followed, winning accolades from designers, collectors, historians and even museum creators. Its genius was its simplicity, combined with an artful blend of aerodynamics and the allure of front wheel drive that lent to its proportions a specific arrangement of wheels, hood, fenders and passenger compartment unlike anything before or since. It survived the demise of Cord to be the basis of the final Grahams and has inspired others to emulate it including Glenn Pray's 8/10 Cord in the mid-Sixties, a true "Cord" as Pray had acquired rights to the corporate name. None of them, however, rose to the quality, accuracy and attention to detail of this Cord Sportsman convertible coupe. The build quality of the fiberglass body, upholstery and particularly its use of correct-appearing Cord parts are amazing. The dashboard and instruments faithfully re-create the Cord 812 and it has Cord-style foglights, hubcaps, wheels and emblems as well as the 810/812's retractable headlights. It is only when the hood is raised to see the rear wheel drive 350 GM engine that it becomes absolutely certain it wasn't built in 1937. It is loaded with modern conveniences including an automatic transmission, air conditioning, 6-way power seat and hydraulically operated hood and trunk lid. The shifter for the automatic transmission is hidden under the dashboard and on the steering column is a correct-appearing shift assembly from the pre-selector Cord gearbox. The burgundy paint, chrome, tan leather upholstery and interior trim and burgundy cloth top are fresh and sharp. It is an amazing exercise in craftsmanship and attention to detail that drives well and looks even better while giving its driver and passenger the conveniences, performance and comfort of a modern automobile. Its proportions are right on and the build and finish quality is better than ever came out of Cord's overburdened and underfinanced factory. It is in a very real, tangible, sense the ultimate tribute to the genius of Cord and Buehrig, a tribute that can be driven with pride and pleasure to the admiration of everyone who sees it.
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