At first glance, the Cord 810/812 may not seem like it is a car born of the Great Depression. But at that time, high end manufacturers were struggling to sell their extravagant machines, and many resorted to developing lower priced models to make up sales. Packard developed the Junior series, Lincoln added the Zephyr and GM introduced LaSalle to fit between Buick and Cadillac. Even Duesenberg wasn’t immune to the pressure and work was begun on a “baby” Duesenberg that could help pick up the slack in sales. Partially through its development, the baby Duesenberg idea was dropped, as it was thought it could cheapen the brand. But E.L. Cord, the man in charge of Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg, saw great potential in the design and pressed forward to produce it as an all-new Cord. The Cord L-29 had been out of production for some time, and E.L. saw this as an opportunity to revive the brand that bore his name. Development went ahead and the 810/812 was realized by 1936. In spite of its “entry level” roots, technical boundaries were pushed to the limits. Drawing inspiration from the Citroen Traction Avant, Cord designers gave the 810 a semi-monocoque chassis, and it was the first American car with both front wheel drive and independent front suspension. Motivation was courtesy of a Lycoming V8 engine and a solenoid actuated pre-selector transmission. Of course the most distinguishing feature of the 810/812 was its Gordon Buehrig-designed bodywork. The front end featured curvaceous fenders with hidden headlights – a first for a production car. Rather than a traditional radiator shell, the Cord’s radiator was hidden behind a sleek and unorthodox wraparound grille and a uniquely shaped hood, which earned it the nickname “Coffin Nose”. Fully extended doors, no running boards and a sleek, minimally adorned body gave the 810 its distinct appearance. Nearly 80 years later, the Cord 810/812 is still considered to be one of the greatest American car designs in history.
As the 810 evolved into the 812 for 1937, some models gained a supercharger, while others remained naturally aspirated. The 812 is easily distinguished by its outside exhaust flex-pipes, a necessity of the supercharged cars that carried through the rest of the range. Several body styles were available, from four-door sedans to the open-air phaeton. One of the rarest and most attractive body styles is known as the Custom Beverly. As the name would imply, the Custom Beverly was built to special order and it rode on a longer wheelbase than the standard Beverly. An 8-louver hood also set it apart from the standard car.
This stunning 1937 812 Custom Beverly is an exquisite example of this rare and desirable Cord. It has been treated to an extensive “frame-up” restoration by the highly respected specialists at LeVine Restorations of Nappanee, Indiana. It is clear that a great deal of money was lavished upon this car to achieve such incredible results. Gorgeous non-metallic dark blue paint, blackwall tires and chrome wheel covers impart an elegant yet ever so slightly sinister look. The paintwork, chrome restoration and fit/finish have all been beautifully executed to concours levels. Striking indigo blue upholstery accented with subtle gray piping complements the paint color magnificently. As with the exterior, the cabin has been restored to a very high standard and presents in fresh, beautiful condition. The body-color dash proudly carries the distinctive aviation-inspired instrument panel with a comprehensive array of gauges set into a polished, engine turned alloy panel. This example is also equipped with a radio and directional signals. The engine bay is beautifully detailed, with the normally aspirated Lycoming V8 showing very little evidence of use since the restoration was completed. It is still equipped with the correct pre-selector transmission and the undercarriage is tidy and very nicely presented. Included with the sale are restoration receipts and photos and owner's manual. Combining rarity, iconic style and an undeniably imposing presence, this is an excellent opportunity to acquire a gorgeous Cord 812 Custom Beverly that will be welcome at most any event.
For more information on acquiring a classic Cord 812 or on our collector Consignment program, contact us today. Our experienced car specialists are here to help.