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Elegant Project: 1936 Cord 810

At Barnfinds, we love to feature rare vehicles, although one could argue that, in comparison to many cars we’ve covered, the Cord 810 is not particularly rare.  Production numbers might be considered low but amazingly, of the 3,000 Model 810 and 812 Cords made from 1936-1937, it’s estimated nearly 2,000 are still in existence.  That’s pretty remarkable and a testament to the deliberate care taken by countless Cord owners over the past 80 years to preserve these cars.  This 1936 810, up for auction here on eBay, is prepared for a total restoration according to its seller and is offered without a reserve price.  With plenty of time left in the auction, bidding is currently at $7,505.  Located in Las Vegas, Nevada the seller strongly encourages prospective buyers to come to see the car in person if at all possible.

The seller of this Cord 810 offers no historical information about the car which I find disturbing.  He mentions all of the 810’s parts are in storage and says he believes the car is complete, although he assumes some small parts have been lost over time.  Such ambiguity prompted me to search for information about the car’s history using its serial number but surprisingly, I couldn’t find a registry that catalogs existing Cord 810s.  I first checked the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club (ACD) website which is a great resource in terms of researching these cars, but no luck.  A few years ago I was researching an Auburn 851 Speedster and by simply providing ACD Club members with a few old photos, they were able to give me a detailed ownership history of the car!

The seller’s initial description of the car on eBay consisted of a mere four sentences.  That must have resulted in him getting peppered with questions asking for more information about the car because he quickly added a lengthier description and more photos to the ad.  Really? Did he think four sentences would be adequate in describing a car of such high esteem?  Even worse, photos of the car’s parts primarily consist of pictures taken of boxes sitting upon shelves in a garage.  The seller even admits he was too lazy to set-up a ladder to take pictures of some parts located in the loft area of the garage.  It all seems strange to me.  He must realize the high price this car will command and how simply taking the time to photograph the contents of the boxes (not the boxes themselves) would result in more confident and aggressive bidding by prospective buyers.

The car’s engine block is reported to be held in place by nothing more than gravity but unfortunately, no photos are provided.  The rest of the car’s Lycoming V8 motor (heads, carbs, manifold, etc.) is stored in boxes in the aforementioned garage.  Unique in its design, the 810 was the first American made car to feature front-wheel drive with independent front suspension.  Other interesting attributes include the car’s trademark coffin-nose grille, pontoon fenders (with hidden headlights), and lack of running boards.  Once restored, a Cord 810 such as this will no doubt command a hefty six-figure price tag.  What is the cost of commissioning such a restoration?  The ACD forum probably has some good advice on where to begin.  But first things first, let’s watch the eBay listing and see how much this 810 goes for once the auction ends next week.  Does anyone care to venture a guess?


  1. Coventrycat

    There aren’t many cars that look good in this state of disrepair, but this is one that does. A great design.

    Like 3
  2. IkeyHeyman

    Not many people have the deep pockets and the time and patience to restore this car to its former glory. I see a restomod candidate here, my apologies to the purists.

    Like 2
    • Andy

      Maybe if an Eldorado or Toronado engine/transaxle will fit, but I couldn’t endorse going to RWD.

      Like 4
      • John COREY

        That would actually be easy, as the Graham Hollywood use these very same body dies once Cord died, to make their rear-drive cars.

        Like 1
  3. Will Fox

    An established classic, and one well worth restoring. It would be a show stopper in that original cream color! This car deserves a buyer that realizes what it is, and has the resources to have a frame-off restoration done. Even in this shape, it’s not for the faint of pocketbook.

    Like 3
  4. Alex

    Finally! One in Vegas! Decent project, though not for me.

    Like 2
  5. TimM

    The coffin cord

    Like 1
  6. Jo

    JO will be hefty price to restore…..I think it is close to value already based on no knowledge of what is missing….. No it won’t fetch a six figure price when finished unless you are using some gold to redo finish pieces. The most I have ever saw a beautifully restored one go for is around the 60K mark…my opinion only

    Like 1
    • Stinker

      Yes, the sedans are not nearly as valuable as the convertibles.

      Like 0
  7. Jim B

    Grew up in Auburn Indiana and I have seen cars in far worse condition restored to almost mint condition. Going to take the right buyer though.

    Like 1

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