BF Exclusive: 1936 Cord 810 Project


UPDATE 6/28/16 – Dave just let us know that the car has sold. They received an offer above their expectations and are happy that the car will be going to a good home!

From David B – This 1936 Model 810 Auburn Cord four-door sedan is all original and 95% complete. The car has been in the same family since early 1940’s. It has been stored in the same barn for 40 years that I personally know of. The body is solid with only minor rust except the trunk floor has a hole. The rockers are good. Has all the glass and trim. The interior is mostly complete, it is missing a gauge and a shift knob. The upholstery on the seats is in bad shape. The drive train is all there though. It was last running around 1975. This car will restore without any major problems and very little searching for parts.


This could be one of the coolest front wheel drive vehicles ever built! That’s a V8 in there and yes, it’s powering the front wheels. Cord was first to introduce the American market to FWD with their L-29, but this is the car that everyone remembers. The model 810 and 812 feature that iconic coffin nose and flip up headlights. These had to be futuristic looking machines when they were new because they still are today!


This one has obviously seen better days, but I bet with some work, it could look gorgeous again. Just take a look at that engine turned dash and all those big gauges! You can’t see it, but the floor is flat down there – one of the benefits of front wheel drive. These were expensive cars when new, but were a lot smaller than their competitors. There were some teething issues too so sales just never really took off. They were just too far ahead of the times for their own good I guess.


Today these cars are highly sought after for their good looks and unique engineering. So, it is unlikely that there are many still sitting out in barns. In fact, this could be one of the last ones. It will likely get restored and hopefully enjoyed. David is asking $23,500 and the car is located in Ulster County, New York. You can contact him here via email if interested. Just be sure to tell him that Barn Finds sent ya!


  1. nessy

    There is nothing anyone could knock on a car like this, except that the guy says it’s an Auburn….

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  2. Rich

    I want this sooooo bad. Seems like a very reasonable price.

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  3. Terry J

    Watched an episode of “Antique Archaeology” and they found a similar Cord. The owner thought it was worth a bazillion $. Frank and Mike called an expert friend who evaluated pictures of what they were looking at. He said that the really desirable Cords have the 8 cylinder engine. Since the car the boys were looking at had a 6 in it, it was worth WAY less, and the 6 cyl model used many different drive train parts so could not be easily upgraded to an 8 cyl car even if someone had the parts. COOL 8 cylinder Cord you have here. :-) Terry J

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    • A.J.

      Every Cord ever built had an 8 cylinder engine. The L29 was a straight 8 and the 810/812 was a V8. Are you confusing Cord with Auburn?

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      • Davnkatz Taylor

        NOPE!!!! I have watched the same episode – several times. The expert the boys called & sent pix to IDed it as a 6 cyl Cord wprth about $12,000.

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    • RayT Member

      Saw that episode, and what Mike and Frank were looking at was an Auburn. Nothing to do with Cord except the top corporate structure of the companies.

      Every Cord I know about has had a Lycoming V8 in it.

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      • A.J.

        The thing about reality TV is that it has very little to do with reality. It is a fairly well known fact that Cord never produced a 6 banger but Auburn certainly did.

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    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      I’ve seen the episode with the Auburn. They refer to it as a product of the Auburn/Cord company. [Real name was Auburn/Cord Duesenberg Corp.]

      They do refer to the car as an Auburn.

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  4. Howard A Member

    Hey, I’m in Ulster Co. NY. ( visiting friends) As I travel the back roads ( even some main ones) there’s all kinds of classic cars and trucks lying in the weeds. Not like Wis. A quick search on local CL ( with surrounding areas) yielded like 2200 results. All over priced. But you name it, it’s around here. I don’t believe the shift knob is missing. That’s the shifter by the steering wheel. I think it was electrical and problematic. Anybody? People around here had/have money. It was/is a getaway destination for folks ( with money) from NYC. Many have homes around here they rarely visit. I always wonder what’s in those ramshackled garages, all overgrown. What a find. I think only a few thousand were made and after 1937, Cord was done.

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  5. mtshootist1

    I’ll have to show this posting to a friend of mine who drives a 1936 Cord Beverly that is supercharged. He restored it from a pile of junk on an iron pile. To hear him talk about the difficulties involved, and this guy is a real capable machinist, it was a nightmare. I will be interested to hear his take on this one. According to him, you had to be very careful how you shifted these cars, especially at low speeds.

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  6. A.J.

    The shift knob is next to the steering wheel and it is correct. The shift mechanism is vacuum and once dialed in will work fine but not dialed in there can be issues.

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  7. George

    From what I’ve read over the years, the only weak spot problem was the pre-select gearbox.

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  8. RayT Member

    Like a lot of BF readers, I’d love to take this car on! All it takes is time, money, and space. Also, of course, some skill….

    These are lovely cars. A few were still on the road in SoCal in the ’50s when I was growing up, and though my preference was for Brit sports cars, Cords always made me take notice. No matter what issues they may have had/still have, they are works of art.

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  9. Andrew

    Love the car but would settle for a Hupmobile Skylark/Graham Hollywood.

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  10. rdc

    What a car. Always admired a Cord.

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  11. Jeff K.

    I recently (over the Memorial Day weekend) paid a visit to the Duesenberg Auborn Cord museum in Auborn, IN. If you are ever in the vicinity, please stop by and support the museum. It is located in the original showroom that is over 100 years old. I found it fascinating to see all of those cars in 1 location. We spent a few hours there and were in awe of the beauty that we were amongst. I was surprised at how many donated cars they have received that are literally worth millions of dollars each. They have both running and non-running cars, plus a warehouse on/near the property with about another 40 or so, in varying in condition. It is a must see for any gearhead regardless of which genre you are a fan of!!!

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  12. Fred W.

    Jeff K, just traveled to that area with full plans to visit the museum on the way back to TN, but the not so bright GPS took us a different route coming back. Couldn’t convince the wife to backtrack 50 miles. Looking forward to visiting the area again and checking out the museum.

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  13. Roger Owen

    I’m not really a great lover of a lot of American cars – but the Cord ticks all the boxes!!!!

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  14. Dave Wright

    This project would be a life changing project……….few cooler machines ever on the road.

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  15. Dan h

    I used to ask folks from time to time if they have ever seen or heard of a Cord. Can’t tell you how times the response would be “sure, I’ve seen lots of Accords!”

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  16. Ken Nelson Member

    The 810 always has a problem with vaporlock since the exhaust manifolds are on the inside edges of the cyl heads which strikes me as silly since of course they cook the carb which sits between them – wish I knew why the engine guys did that! So even with good insulation on them I think it’ s still iffy on a hot day.
    Or did they not know how to design a cross flow head? AJ, do you know?

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    • A.J.

      Hey Ken, I can’t find my Josh Malks “Cord Complete” copy but he goes in to all the design decision issues. The biggest problem was actually squeezing in the 4th gear which caused some of the gears to be a bit undersized. Hence the “gear box” issues you hear about.

      But, once you dial a Cord in you can go on a 1k mile trip no problemo. The dash is the coolest one ever, and you can get a very nice throaty sound out of the exhaust. The Supercharged cars absolutely fly and held all kinds of stock car records into the 1950s.

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  17. Robin S

    Tip for prospective buyers, there is a garage in Uruguay that specializes in Cord restoration.

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  18. Ed Willaims

    Back around 1947 or ’48 when I was in Junior High school I had a newspaper delivery route in West Los Angeles. There was a man who had a black Cord convertible that he always had parked in front of his house. His garage was full of large scale live steam locomotives so there was no room for the Cord.
    Every day I had to ride past this house and that darned shiny black Cord would stop me in my tracks and would look at it for 15 or 20 minutes fascinated by its design and so I was always late finishing my paper deliveries. ( I had 120 customers to whom I delivered on my Elgin bicycle.)

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  19. Chris A.

    They are a stunning design inside and out. However the bustle back trunk lit ruins the actual shape just to get some extra trunk space. I prefer the Sportsman open version, but they all look years ahead of anything else that was built at the end of the 30’s. Still looked good when they made the replica cars with Corvair motors.

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  20. HCallaway

    This one came home to VA to join his brother. My friends did a round trip and got back early AM from NY. We had a chance to view its brother along with about 20-30 interesting Cars and Motorcycles a few months ago. It would have qualified as a Warehouse Find trip. My brother and I get Barnfinds. He saw the listing remembered the Cord being restored and it’s beautify lines. Then I sent it to my friend in Va, he sent it to his buddy and the rest is history! This is such a great way to give a car exposure.

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  21. Woodie Man

    @HCallaway: Hope you’ll keep on your friends to update us here on what they find and their progress. Would be a lot of fun to read a thread as they go along!

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  22. Frank Opalka

    Once upon a time restored s/c Beverly, after many hours and much money, had to part with it, car was very fast but not reliable., parts difficult, advise sparse, but would have another, join ACD Club before u buy.

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  23. A.J.

    Actually a Cord 810/812 properly maintained can be very reliable but a nightmare when not. The ACD club is supportive and you can get just about any part or modification including new heads, drive shafts, wheels, etc.

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