Coffin Nose Survivor: 1937 Cord 812 SC


Just about everyone is familiar with the “Coffin nose” Cord for its luxury and styling. Although there aren’t that many floating around in original unrestored condition. This Cord is in solid shape, but we are curious on the back story on this 812, as there are some bullet holes in this one. This rare opportunity is priced at $39,950. Find it here on craigslist out of Denver, Colorado.


The 289 V8 looks complete but, the seller claims that the engine needs to be rebuilt and that these is no supercharger. We are unsure if the seller has removed the supercharger, or what the story is. There are no specifics on the engines condition, but the seller apparently knows someone with a supercharger, to aid in the completion of this Cord. The 289 V8 is mated to a semi-automatic transmission. Aside from the “missing” supercharger, the engine and bay are remarkably clean.


From the cockpit, this Cord is pretty darn nice. The interior has survived very well, looking only to have suffered minor damage in its life time. The front bench seat looks to have a rip on the seat back. The back of the front seat has a rope, or “back seat handle” that has come unattached, but is still present. The interior is a little dusty, but overall the upholstery looks sharp with little to no sun fade. The back seat, and door panels are in excellent shape. When in the driver’s position you have the lovely engine turned aluminum dash cluster. The vibrantly colored turquoise steering wheel still has a lovely shine, though has suffered some cracking from time. The interior of this Cord does not meet concours standards, but for a 79 year old interior it has aged gently with time.


The cream color this Cord wears is similar to a factory color, but is not this Cords original color. In fact, the original color is blue on blue. Studying the body a little further reveals that this is a pretty solid Cord. Rust is minimal, but the interior of the trunk has some rust issues.  The paint is thin on the rear fenders and on the center part of the roof partially revealing the original blue color.  The body looks to be primarily dent free, and the only major concerns are the trunk and some bullet holes in the driver side rear fenders and “C”pillar area.


The bullet holes are interesting, making the mind wander with thought of mafia based activity, or other activities. Solid, with many positives to its condition, this Cord 812 would be a grand restoration candidate. Would you save this Cord 812?


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  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Way out of my scope, Thanks Brian, I remember reading a comic book, I believe,Batman, If I remember correct. Never forgot that story. I love these cars! Plus, You gotta love anything with bullet holes! A lot of that here in Wisconsin. Take care, Mike.

  2. Mitch

    If you remember the Saturday morning cartoon “Hot Wheels”, they also released comic books, of which I have two. One is the story of finding a Cord in a barn, which they got into running condition before attempting to restore. Then they got the backstory on the car, & I still find it interesting to read.

    • Rich Nepon

      I actually found a Cord in a barn in 1970. Alas, it was gone when I came back to get it before the barn was to be torn down. Columbia,MD. I believe an 810, front shift mechanism apart, otherwise all there, but covered with pidgeon poop and straw.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Rich – I’m pretty sure that car was bought by Billy Thompson, the owner of White Post Restorations, in Virginia.

  3. JCW Jr. Member

    I think this would make a killer Street Rod, or I guess you could restore it. Lol

  4. Glen

    He says “complete car nothing missing”, then tells us it doesn’t have the supercharger. I’m assuming the SC after 812 stands for SuperCharger. Am I wrong about that?

    • Dave Wright

      I don’t know about the model designations but I would bet supercharged cars were in the minority as were cars with external exhausts. I would be more suspect about the origanilaty of the external exhaust than the lack of a supercharger.

  5. PackardMike

    I, too, remember the comic book! Unfortunately it has been lost. Thanks for the memories. I have loved these & cars from this era ever since. Over 50 years now. I believe the “backseat handle” was actually for hanging a lap blanket to help keep rear seat passengers warm.
    I love this site. Keep the joy coming.

  6. Tony S

    Since there appears to be a carb there maybe someone converted it if this is truly a sc. The side pipes were an option even on non sc cars. Same with Duseys. The superchargers didnt last as long as the weird but tough Lycoming engines.

  7. Mark S Member

    What to do with it? I see two choices first one is sell it to a millionaire for 100k so that he can put into it another 200k to make it far better than the day it was built, Only to have it sit in a hermetically seal bag in a ware house some where. Second choice would be to sell it to a average guy that is a true hobbyist so he can do a simpathetic refurbishment of only what is needed including repairs to the interior without replacing everything. Then do a single stage paint job in the original colour to a driver quality. Then it can be seen at vintage car rallies and show & shine meets and seen out on the road ocasionaly. No it won’t be on the lawn at pebble beach or the stage at Barrett Jackson. But it will get used and enjoyed.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Mark, while all of us here would love to see the 2nd option play out, it’s very unlikely that will happen, due to the high initial cost and the 1st scenario will prevail. I agree, most, if not all of these you see nowadays are total restorations, and you’d be nuts to drive it. The hardtops like this, don’t seem to bring as much as the convertibles, $40-$60g’s, with convertibles well into the 6 figures. Somebody will spend $100g’s on this, because it’s so rare. Neat to see them still surface. For it’s time, it was quite the car. That electric shifter was groundbreaking. Wonder how that actually worked?

    • dean H

      You got that right.Fix it to safe standards,rip around town,awesome!! What can you say about the bullet holes !!!

  8. Joe Nose

    Wow. A ventilated trunk. Fuggedabowdit. The stains ain’t coming out.

  9. Lee Hartman

    Neat car! Nothing missing, except the supercharger, and oh yeah, the front bumper, and who knows what else.

    The transmission wasn’t semi-automatic. It was a standard transmission with an electric shift.

    • Joe Howell

      Vacuum shifted, not electric. This according to Jay on “My Classic Car” this morning. It featured his non supercharged car with exterior exhaust pipes.

  10. joeinthousandoaks

    Great car. So innovative at the time.

  11. Alan (Michigan)

    I have always loved the style of these cars. Classic to the max.

    Whichever way this is actually brought back to life, so worth doing it.

    Oh, and I think the term is “bustle”, not “bussle”

  12. dennis Dusenberg

    Here is the source for parts!!! Great place to tour also!

  13. Clay Byant

    A car just like Jay Leno’s………………not!!

  14. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Bullet holes ? Yes I have a car or two with them – my cabriolet’s were kinda in a circle on the door….either there was a target on the side of the barn….or they had it up on the running boards just leaning on the door….nice car….out of Oklahoma I think at an sell maybe two years ago ?

  15. Ck

    This thing screams kool.If I had my way with it I would try and find the parts that are missing, fix it then leave it the way it looks rite now bullet holes and all.I wonder if there are records of who bought these cars it would be cool to know the history .It might even be worth trying to contact jay leno .

    • Brakeservo

      Why would you want to contact Jay Leno?? He won’t know anymore about this car than anyone else, and is certainly smart enough to realize that even if you were given this car for free, the restoration cost will be at least twice what it will be worth when done. I called him once about a Duesenberg I knew of, he said he had enough Duesenbergs already. Heck he probably follows this website anyway. He’s a nice guy but give him some space and privacy.

  16. Thorsten Krüger

    Car in Colorado and pictures made at Peter Kumars warehouse at Gullwing NY?

  17. Ck

    Hey Brakeservo so you want me to give Jay Leno some space Ohh you mean like you did? First of all I was talking about the Person who buys this car Not me . I was just wondering if there were any Factory records of who may have owned this car thats all .

  18. Brakeservo

    So what on earth do factory records have to do with Leno?? You’d be better off starting with the appropriate marque club.

  19. Ck

    Nothin I guess ,Your right, But I bet you always are.

  20. Brakeservo

    @CK – jus’ ask my wife .. .. ..

  21. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Say, who is the roundhead that gives the thumbs down all the time? And I think the person also has a thing against Howard A. Howard seems to know his stuff. I always enjoy his comments. I learn something on all his posts. I am only one year younger than Howard, but he has so much more knowledge than I do. Keep them coming Howard! And thanks for the video Howard! Pretty Sweet!

  22. Dan Joyce

    Everyone kindly calm down. Let’s act our age. Now have a nice day.

  23. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Sorry Dan, I did vote to keep the thumbs up or down icons here. Pretty hard to act my age though. I still look at pretty girls through twenty five year old eyes. And I still like to light the tires up now and then. My apologies and thanks for the shake up, take care, Mike.

  24. Cargirl

    I don’t see the engine number anywhere but if it’s supercharged it should start with an FB.

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